Lokman Mustafa, Hussam Alhasan and Mustafa and Ahmed Zaqrit dance with the crowd in a traditional circle dance at the 24th annual Roots and Blues Festival. (File photo)

Syrian refugee responds to racism in Canada

Guest columnist Mustafa Zaqrit

Whenever I write about racism, I must mention the fact that more than 95 per cent of the people I have met and dealt with are super nice.

I would probably have avoided discussing this topic if what I hear is from someone on the street, but when it’s out of a university student’s mouth, I am bringing it up.

To those who don’t know the definition of a “refugee,” please look it up.

I understand we live in a country where we all have the freedom of speech, but the question is: does this freedom extend to include changing facts? Here is one of the facts that I have seen being changed: I received $750 a month from the government for six months as a start. Why do I hear from people that every Syrian refugee is getting $2,000 a month?

Related: City welcomes refugee

Related:Citizens mourn shooting victims

To someone who tells me I am not a Canadian—if Canadian means a person who has citizenship status—in three or four months I will be. But if a Canadian means a person who loves the country and respects its law, I have been Canadian from the first day I landed in 2016. I understand very well my rights and responsibilities.

And no, I am not a terrorist.

It’s your lack of reading that’s the problem if you don’t understand the reasons that forced me to leave Syria. I stood up for what all Canadians believe in. I was out protesting against a dictatorship at the time I lost my mother, brother, uncles, friends and home, and for requesting women rights, better education and a better Syria.

I beg you, if you don’t agree with a political party, don’t throw us under the wheels. We have suffered enough.

Please understand, we came to Canada under the Canadian law and as a result of a decision made by a legally elected person.


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