In which we respond to a Saugeen Shores resident’s letter to the editor several weeks ago. Our response will be printed in tomorrow’s paper.
In last week’s paper, G. F. Erwin expressed his support for the resettlement of refugees from the Middle East. He stated that he believes Christian refugees are in greater need of assistance than their Muslim counterparts.
It is our position, as coordinators of the Saugeen Shores Refugee Fund, that the right thing to do is to offer help to people in need, regardless of their religious affiliation.
In terms of the family that we’ll be relocating to Saugeen Shores, we do not know if they’re Muslim or Christian, nor does it matter.
While it is true that many Christians in the Middle East have been targeted by Islamic State militants, Muslims have also experienced horrific treatment at their hands. There are accounts of Muslims being tortured and killed for offenses as slight as having a beard that’s too short. There was also the high-profile story of the Muslim Jordanian pilot, Lieutenant Mouath al-Kasaesbeh, who was burned alive last winter.
The family we will be relocating to Saugeen Shores has been placed on a high priority list by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and been referred to Canadian immigration officials for immediate relocation to safety.
They are in desperate need of our support, and we hope that this family will be welcomed by the community regardless of their personal beliefs.
Why place a condition upon our willingness to provide asylum? Our community stands to gain so much with this introduction of new customs, food, music, and lifestyle.
Katherine Martinko & Elizabeth Davaze
Saugeen Shores Refugee Fund