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Racists are made, not born.
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In his mandate letter to Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau included the creation of an Office of the Community Outreach and Counter-radicalization Coordinator. But there is a lack of consensus among academic experts that these counter-radicalization programs are scientifically reliable.
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As a Canadian living in London, I am deeply saddened to see this happen to the city that I now call home, and my thoughts are with those directly affected. However, despite the recent spate of violence and terror, I still feel safe in my adopted city.
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Please, don't paint us as a racist, intolerant community - it will simply add to the fire we are already battling. Canada is a multicultural and inclusive society, a fact a small part of my province hates. By pushing us all aside and characterizing us all as something we are not, you will increase that resentment.
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This persecution has personally affected me and continues to cause me great pain, grief and sorrow. I'd like to fall in love with Pakistan again, but something holds me back. It seems to be fear of continuing to lose those that I love most. And so, I have to ask, O Pakistan, when will you stop?
What's true is violent extremism is a greater threat than terrorism in Canada today. Furthermore, it is supremacist-motivated attacks that make up the majority of violent extremist incidents as the TSAS report articulates. Not surprisingly, supremacist-motivated attacks are hardly ever the focus of media stories.
Alarming claims are made in the report: "It is not the presence of extremist literature in the mosque libraries that is worrisome. The problem is that there was nothing but extremist literature in the mosque libraries." The real problem, however, is the report itself.
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If our social media profiles can tint in support of Paris, Belgium, and Orlando, then why not change for Turkey, Bangladesh, and Iraq? Innocent lives taken in Turkey airport, and no vigils, or landmarks, but when an attack of similar degree took place in Brussels we did all of the above. I'm often asked why Muslims don't speak out enough, but perhaps this is something we all need to work on.
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Building takes effort, sacrifice, dedication and time. It has taken a lot of effort for the United Kingdom to maintain its unity over the years -- but destruction can easily be accomplished overnight, as we have just witnessed in this referendum.
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Is it too much to ask in the 21st century to self-identify based on the beliefs you hold so dearly? After all, who has the right to tell me who I am and who I'm not? Apparently the Pakistani government does, who have declared the Ahmadiyya community "infidel" and non-Muslim since the infamous ruling in 1974.
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By virtue of a shared language, religion, skin colour or ethnic background, should we feel compelled to publicly denounce an individual that commits a criminal offence? Is it fair to assume that the absence of such a denunciation implies a tacit endorsement of the offender?
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"Injustice anywhere, is a threat to justice everywhere." These words of Martin Luther King Jr. accurately describe the world crisis we live in today. To avoid war and attacks as such, all nations must come together for the greater good and unite in their efforts to stop all forms of cruelty, persecution and injustice perpetrated in the name of religion or else wise.
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De-radicalization is really about a process moving toward disengagement. Academic research supports that changing what is in someone's head is difficult and may be impossible, as it isn't something we can "see, feel, taste" -- but their actions are. Disengagement means the bias present within the individual is something they have moved away from, and that should be our goal.
Despite its internal problems, Pakistan is slowly emerging as a key cog in the geopolitics of the region. In light of the OPEC market share war and the Syrian crisis, both Iran and Saudi Arabia are looking to tilt the power balance in their favour - a balance that lies with Pakistan as a military power. Instead of gravitating towards its traditional Sunni ally in Saudi Arabia, Pakistan is attempting to play a positive role in diffusing tensions between the two regional powers while also keeping its interests in mind.