TWU expert comments on Syrian refugee crisis

In light of recent allegations that Syrian refugees may have been among the attackers in Paris, some Canadians are resisting Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s promise to bring 25,000 Syrian refugees to our shores by the end of the year.

Dr. Paul Rowe, professor and coordinator of political and international studies at Trinity Western University, specializes in the politics of religious minority groups in the Middle East. He says that Syrian refugees, far from being extremists, share many similarities with average Canadians.

“The victims have been the peaceful demonstrators of 2011,” he said. “These protests included people from all walks of life.  They wanted change, but not through violence.  They wanted a place where they would be free to dissent and to have a role in choosing whether or not the Assad family would lead them into the future. These are the people who have been betrayed by the government, the opposition, and indeed by those of us who are satisfied with attacking the oppressors without providing hope to the persecuted.

“They are the everyday businesspeople whose shops and workplaces are now rubble. They are the minority groups of Christians and Yazidis who have been hunted down and enslaved by the Islamic State.  They are the average person just trying to survive a conflict that was not of their own making. We must not betray them again by refusing to provide them with shelter or with fearing the radicals so much as to abandon their cause.”

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