Toronto, September 22: There's an adage about one man's terrorist being another man's freedom fighter. The problem for a third-party country caught in the middle is figuring out which is which.
Make no mistake, if the allegations Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made in the House of Commons this week regarding the Indian government and the murder of Sikh activist Hardeep Singh Nijjar are accurate, then they're reprehensible, thoroughly deplorable and unacceptable.
That said, while it may be uncomfortable to raise such issues, perhaps we should point out that people who come to this country, who raise their right hand and swear allegiance to Canada, owe it their new land to leave ancient feuds behind.
A country such as Canada, which relies heavily on immigration, has a large and diverse population of people from all countries. Of course, they have freedom of speech, association and all the great benefits citizenship in this country bestows. But once you're allowed the privilege of becoming a landed immigrant or a Canadian citizen, then your future is in this country and not in the past.
Without in any way absolving the government of India of any potential wrongdoing, we should perhaps turn the events on their head and look at it from a different perspective. If separatists from this country had been fomenting dissension against our government in a foreign country, Canada would quite rightly have been outraged.
Not to suggest Canada would send a hit team to whack the agitators, but this country would be protesting at the highest levels.
Let's not pretend it hasn't happened. During the Northern Ireland“Troubles,” Irish ex-pats in Canada and the United States propped up IRA terrorists with money and weapons.
Canada is no place for extremism. This is a country that looks forward, not back. It's a place where citizenship is a privilege, not a right. In many cases, immigrants and refugees come here to escape sectarian violence and extremism in their homelands, not to perpetuate it. We should all take a moment to recognize that this is a great country and work to build a future for all our families here.
We all have chosen Canada and have been welcomed with open arms. So, look forward and not back and give your heart to working for peace and security in this country.
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