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Letter to the Editor: Help me explain to my wife why she isn’t a second class citizen


I moved to Canada when I was two years old and have proudly called this country my home for over 36 years. My wife is from Morocco and emigrated here in 2020.

Before she came here, she used to ask me “Will I be accepted in Canada for who I really am: a Muslim Arab woman?” My response had always been “You will be as much a Canadian as anyone else.”

Since the crisis in Israel and Palestine began three weeks ago, she has told me that she does not feel Canada is her home anymore. Everything she knew about this country - its values of justice, equality and human rights for all - are no longer clear. She asked me “Is this what Canada really is?” I don’t know how to reply.

My wife and many others are feeling this way for only one reason - because the Federal Government has taken one clear side and blatantly ignored the other. By supporting Israel wholeheartedly, they have made anyone who doesn’t take that position feel isolated, if not non-existent. This has created a climate of racism, discrimination and the feeling that some Canadians are second class citizens. A neutral position - such as calling for a ceasefire - would not marginalize anyone because peace in itself is inclusionary.

Mr. Prime Minister: you can hold any position you want on the crisis in Palestine and Israel. But if you want to protect all Canadians, it is in your best interest to call for an immediate ceasefire.