09/28/2015 05:37 EDT | Updated 09/29/2016 05:12 EDT

Here's Why Your Islamophobic Intolerance on My Newsfeed Is Hypocritical

Brendan O'Sullivan via Getty Images

I'm sorry, but I've got a bone to pick with several of you, about the increasing intolerance I've seen on my newsfeed lately, regarding immigrants -- more specifically Muslim immigrants -- and their perceived unwillingness to "assimilate" to Canadian culture. I tend to like to share my space in this world with intelligent, open-minded people, and I think it's my duty as a decent human being to speak up against bigotry.

Let me first remind you all that you are/were all immigrants. Not one of you, save a couple of my Aboriginal friends, can lay claim to being an original inhabitant of this country. Not one of you assimilated to Aboriginal culture. Your ancestors came here and imposed their customs and beliefs on the First Peoples. I should end the argument there -- because, seriously.

Your ancestors came from all over the world -- France, Great Britain, Ireland, Italy, Germany, Poland etc., etc. They brought with them, hundreds of different customs and rituals, religious beliefs and practices. Many of you still partake in these rituals and customs on holidays and during time spent with family -- freely and without persecution.

It wasn't all that long ago that the Irish, the French and Italians were looked down upon, right here in Canada. They were stereotyped as lazy and filthy and subhuman compared to the British. These are your relatives! Your parents and grandparents were looked upon with disgust for being different. They had to fight against bigotry and ignorance to hang on to their customs and beliefs too.

"But Crystal, our ancestors came to this country and they assimilated!" I can hear you say, but that's not altogether true, is it? They've kept their languages, you celebrate your traditions, your children go to Catholic schools, or attend Ukrainian dance classes on the weekend. Maybe your parents belong to the Irish Club, or you are able to attend masses held in Croatian. There are neighbourhoods that cater specifically to Spanish or Italian speakers. There are festivals to celebrate every background in this country. The whole province of Quebec has been able to hold on to its culture and customs and hasn't been forced to assimilate to the rest of Canada. The entire western world caters to Christians! You get paid holidays based on religious traditions that might not even be yours -- but you're not going to complain about that, are you?

Having travelled extensively across this wonderful country of ours, I can tell you that there are pockets of your ancestors in every province who have held on to their languages and clothing and customs and beliefs. And thank goodness they have!! What makes Canada different from the rest of the world, remember, is precisely that we are supposed to be a tolerant society! People have come, and still come here, from all over the world to escape intolerance. They have given up the comfort of familiarity to be here, where our citizens are free to be whatever they'd like to be, believe whatever they'd like to believe, love whomever they'd like to love and even dress the way they'd like to dress. We are a beautiful combination of everyone's beliefs and customs.

Stop with the ignorant posts, people. Think about it before you blindly share some meme, or post that's not even accurate. You sound stupid. We share this planet with 7 billion other people -- some estimates suggest that 2.2 billion of them are Muslim. Enough with the "If we went to your country, we'd have to live by your rules." Stop. Muslim is not a country.

I'm sorry if pointing out your religious intolerance has offended you, but it was the same type of ignorance and vitriol that eventually caused the slaughter of millions of Jews in the Second World War. Before you're too quick to defend your hate speech, marinate in that for a minute and think about if you want to contribute to that kind of hate.

This is Canada, people. You're supposed to be better than that.


24 Reasons To Challenge Islamophobia