Fear and Freedom
by: John Tyrrell
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These headlines came up in my news feed this morning:
- Climate of fear takes hold for European Muslims
- French Jews on high alert
- European Jews have not felt this threatened since WWII
- Mosques attacked in wake of Charlie Hebdo shooting
There were several other similar news stories. While the stories were linked to the Charlie Hebdo massacre, the current fears which the Muslim and Jewish communities feel represents only an escalation of the fears they felt previously.
Vandalism of synagogues and mosques has been an ongoing problem, stoked in part by the rise of xenophobic political parties interested in stirring up intercommunal differences, and profiting politically from it.
The same problem exists to a lesser degree in North America with the hatred stoked by a xenophobic "news" network.
We should all be able to get along. Muslims and Jews should be able to live among us without an everpresent threat of violence. They should be able to feel as safe in their homes, their workplaces, and their places of worship as everyone else does.
And the majority of any religion should not be held accountable or responsible for the actions of a few.
When we stand up for our own freedoms, we should be prepared to stand up to ensure others have the same freedoms.
They should not be afraid to live among us - and we should not be afraid to have them as neighbours.
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