Posts tagged ‘Canada’

Religious exceptions or exploitations? Canada needs to wake up before its too late

News and social media is rife with the latest government decision to ban hijab in public, during citizenship ceremony etc.

Religious liberty, one should be allowed to follow their religion without the government interfearing, its discrimination against one religion, against women etc. etc. etc. and the list goes on.

A nun is allowed to wear her habit then why a muslim not her hijab? Good question. When was the last time you saw a nun serving you dinner at a restaurant, or cashing your cheque at your bank? Its safe to assume, never.

When one is an immigrant, he/she needs to adopt and accept the rules and regulations, norms and customs of the country they CHOSE to immigrate to. The emphasis is on the word CHOSE. No one forced us to come here. It was our choice.

When we immigrate, the country allows us to come over, gives us permission to live and work and allows us to enjoy all the benifits others are getting. All these things are given to us. Its a priviledge and not a birth right. As an immigrant we should be grateful that the country has given whatever we have been given. At times maybe one can request, but never demand.

I am amazed and horrified everytime I hear, Sikhs demanded their place of worship and revolted against the government, few objected at having Christ’s picture in school etc, etc and the government gives in to every demand.

If Canadian government is not careful, we immigrants will turn this beautiful country into one of the third world country very soon.

Our own country of origin even don’t allow a lot of things, we want the Canadian government to say ok to. A Sikh with turban and beard , a muslim with a hijab, a hindu in his/her traditional clothing at a 5 star hotel front desk are not allowed. We couldn’t do much about it. Couldn’t say discrimination as the rules were made by our own people. In flights, schools, offices a Sikh is not allowed to carry the dagger that their religion requires them to.

We hindus cannot walk into a corporate office with “kumkum”  the red religious dot on the forehead.

But here we can always play the discrimination card. This word has become more deadly than even a nuclear bomb. Canada is too scared to offend people, too interested in being politically correct, and cannot put their foot down where it is really needed. And we are taking advantage and exploiting the goodness of the government.

Lets see if it works the other way round too. Unfortunately not.  Richard Gere came under fire and found himself slapped with a lawsuite for kissing a Bollywood actress on camera. Tons of Americans and Europeans have been harassed, charged for kissing their partners in public in muslim countries. They don’t care. Their motto is if someone is in their country, he/she needs to follow their rules. Hindu women working in the middle-east HAVE to were a hijab, although its not required in their religion.

Loved it when Australian prime minister Julia Gillard said, “IMMIGRANTS, NOT AUSTRALIANS, MUST ADAPT.”

“This is our country, our land and our lifestyle, and we will allow you every opportunity to enjoy all this. But once you are done complaining, whining, and griping about Our Flag, Our Pledge, Our Christian beliefs, or Our Way of Life, I highly encourage you take advantage of one other great Australian freedom, THE RIGHT TO LEAVE.”

Waiting for the day when Canada would have the balls to say the same thing. Canada needs to wake up before it is too late.

Gay Iranian student attacked at Seneca College

Via Xtra.ca

Mojtaba, 22, an Iranian refugee student ended is college day with a cut in his throat inflicted by a fellow student for being gay and an immigrant.

Below is his account of what happened on 25th November as told to Xtra.

He was waiting for a friend outside the editing suite at the school when another student began to behave unusually.
“He came to me and said, ‘What are you looking at,’” says Mojtaba. “He punched [a nearby] telephone [booth] and he left.”
He recounts, seeing the same man in the 2nd floor.  “He was whispering something to me,” he says. “He was not normal at that time.”
When he confronted the man, Mojtaba says, the man responded with racist and homophobic slurs. He says the man also called him ‘bitch’ and ‘faggot.’ “I don’t remember exactly what he said, but it was like…‘leave here and go back to your fucking country.”
Mojtaba followed the man and asked him to repeat himself.
“He pulled something out of his pocket,” says Mojtaba. But he didn’t get time to see what it was as the attacker had pulled Mojtaba’s hoodie over his face and started to hit him. His throat was cut and there were ink marks leading the police to conclude the object used was a pen.
 “I just wanted to protect myself… I just pulled his hair,” he says. He says the man told him, “You’re such a faggot, you’re such a bitch you don’t even know how to fight.”
His attacker is not unknown to him. They are both in the same program and have 2 classes together.
A 21 year old man was arrested by the Toronto Police in connection with the incident.

The Australian Marriage Equality Video was great: Canada is more romantic

You may call it cheesy. But I loved the video. What can I say.

Its short, and downright cute.

via YouTube

Use and throw: Now its time for humans in the hands of Canadian government

Sayed Shah Sharifi is an Afghan who betrayed his own country and worked as a translator for the Canadian military. He is now a traitor in the eyes of the Taliban, for having worked for foreigners.

Immigration Minister Jason Kenney has left the decision making in the hands of ‘highly trained civil servants who have decided Mr. Sayed’s life is not in danger if he goes back to his country and hence not eligible for permanent residency in Canada. Moreover, according to Mr. Kenney, these Afghans knew what they were signing up for. They were promised payment for their service and nothing more.

So whatever happens to them now is not the problem of the Canadian government. The Talibans were not defeated and are increasingly gaining power. In such a scenario, Mr. Sharifi is in danger of being hunted down and probably killed by the Taliban insurgents once he goes back to Afghanistan.

There has been proof of death threats and harassment his family has been facing from the insurgents including his father’s report where he informed of Talibans visiting him and warning him that Mr. Sharifi would face their wrath once he returns, for ‘working with infidels.’

As per Toronto Star reports, Mr. Sharifi had reported his Canadian Commanders, Navy Lieutenants Jason Walsh, Chief Petty Officer 2nd Class Chris Radimer and Army-Captain Alexander Duncan about threatening phone calls from the Talibans in 2008 and 2009.

The immigration department claimed that his information were inconsistent. As per Mr. Sharifi, he claims he provided the same information everytime. At one point he was told his VISA was approved and waiting his medical and security clearance. He was then scheduled an interview on the 21st of July, which was the final step in the process of getting the VISA.

According to Mr. Sharifi, the Canadians who interviewed him, identified themselves as “immigration intelligence officers”. These officers, as per Mr. Sharifi, asked him weird questions. They told him that they had read Seyed’s article in the newspaper and asked whether he passed the VISA screening on the basis of that. In response to this, he showed these officers 13 recommendation letters and certificates from Canadian officials. They asked him if he was happy that Osama bin Laden was killed.

So what do we have here? An Afghan interpreter’s words against Mr. Kenney’s immigration officers.

Canada is famous for giving refugee status to hundreds and thousands of people across the world on the basis of adversities they face in their own country. But here, this man helped the Canadian troops by putting his life in the line of fire, literally and this courageous act doesn’t warrant a resident permit? Just because there is no more use of him, the Canadian government can just throw him out in the cold?

He could no longer go back to Kandahar, so he moved his family to Kabul to get away from the continuous death threats from the Taliban.

When Mr. Kenney was asked on Wednesday in the House Of Commons whether Mr. Sharifi would get a visa, Mr. Kenney said, “There is a process in place. Sharifi has been given the same access as everyone else who has qualified for the program, and the officials in charge have determined that he does not qualify.”

Mr. Sharifi is still alive which is a good thing but it might not be for long. Before something disastrous happens which could not be reversed, the Harper government should do the right thing and show the world once again how compassionate the country is and grant this brave Afghan a visa which would be a ticket to a life without death threats and a reward for his service and bravery.

info. taken from Toronto Star article

BREAKING: UK Ban on Gay Men donating blood to be lifted

The United Kingdom has proposed to lift the lifetime ban on gay and bisexual men from donating blood.

Men who have not had sex with another man in the past 12 months, now would be allowed to donate blood in Wales, Scotland and England. Northern Ireland has not reached a decision yet but is expected to declare their stand on the issue soon.

The restriction which was brought forth at the wake of HIV outbreak in the 80s are not relevant in today’s time as proposed by the latest medical evidences.

More detailed report can be viewed by the BBC.

Here is hoping, other countries like Canada and US would follow suit soon.

Let Alvaro ( illegal immigrant ) Stay…. !!!!

What I am going to write here, would raise a lot of eyebrows, I am sure. But again, maybe not, because I don’t think too many people read my blog anyway.

I will copy paste Alvaro’s history or bio here from the facebook page made in the hope that we can pressurize the immigration department from releasing him.
Alvaro first rose to national prominence in 2007 when his refugee claim was denied on the basis that he did not look “gay enough” for the adjudicator hearing his case via a television screen in Calgary.

This story was picked up by the largest newspapers in Nicaragua, effectively “outing” him to the entire country he left at age 12 due to severe physical abuse by a father who threatened to “kill any child of his that was homosexual.”

Alvaro, now 25, is still waiting for a decision on his Humanitarian and Compassionate (H&C) application.

Friends and supporters of Alvaro are meeting to move quickly to stay his deportation. It is critical that we keep this strong voice in our community.

Alvaro’s Accomplishments & Exhibits

– Volunteer/Mentor with Supporting Our Youth (SOY)
– Mayworks Festival, Toronto, 2011
– Toronto Youth Cabinet, 2010 Identify & Impact Awards, Street-Level Advocate Award Winner
– Migrant Expressions Photography Exhibition, Montreal, 2009
– Under the Bridge Art Exhibition, Toronto, 2009
Jumblies Theatre, Prop-Maker and Photographer, Toronto, 2009
– Refugee Rights Day, Toronto City Hall, Toronto, 2008
– ArtWherk Collective 2007, Pride Art Exhibition, Toronto,

Very impressive portfolio, I must say. I ‘Liked’ the page. Added my voice to the cause too.

But then it made me think on the facts in his case. I admit, in a conservative country like Nicaragua, if he is forced to return, it would be a disaster. But there is a small factor which some how most of the people seem to not notice or is deliberately ignoring. Alvaro first went to the States and from there came to Canada. In both the cases, his status was illegal. And homeland security took him to custody. I don’t see any wrong in this.

I am sure, tons of other men and women are there in Nicaragua who are right at this time, going through a lot of discrimination, oppression, torture on the basis of their sexual orientation. Their troubles are no lesser than Alvaro’s. They couldn’t do what Alvaro did, live in a country illegally. They are there in the thick of it, taking the brunt and dealing with it, the best way they can. THEY are the heroes. And Alvaro is the escapist. The weaker one. And for some reason, we are making him the HERO.

When his immigration plea was denied, it was covered by Nicaragua’s leading newspaper and thus he was ‘outed’. Tomorrow, if he is allowed to stay in Canada, that could be covered by the newspapers too. And what message would we be sending to the country? “If you can just manage to land in Canada, even if illegally, we will rally against the government and pressurize them to make you stay.”

If he didn’t have such a remarkable bio-data, and was instead just a gay illegal immigrant, would we have still given our support? Maybe, God forbid, if the “Kill The Gays” bill becomes law in Uganda, they can and should just land in Canada too, and we will back them up.

Am I being too heartless, mean, etc etc? I don’t know. All I am asking is, why, just because Alvaro had the guts to stay in a country illegally and the others didn’t, couldn’t or wouldn’t do it, should he be almost awarded for this act?

Every illegal immigrant has a reason to leave their country and come here. How do we judge, Alvaro’s reason is more important or serious than the others. Why should we judge? Isn’t that discrimination? Shouldn’t there be the same rule for everybody?

I sincerely hope, Alvaro gets to stay. But these questions were bothering me for a few days now. The way I look at it, this is not about being gay, this is about the country’s security.

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