Saturday, October 10, 2015

Canada: Harper defends government's choice to prioritize Christians and other minorities as refugees

Is Canada going to take some of those millions of refugees? Sure.

OTTAWA (The Canadian Press) — Conservative Leader Stephen Harper says his government's policy of prioritizing certain refugees, primarily Christians and other religious minorities, isn't discriminatory.

The government is merely prioritizing those Christians and other Muslim minorities — as opposed to Muslim Sunnis and Shiites — who are being targeted by the self-proclaimed Islamic State, Harper said this week.

"We are giving priority to the people who are the most vulnerable," Harper said during a campaign event in Richmond, B.C.

"It is the ethnic and religious minorities in Iraq and Syria who are, in fact, targeted for extermination by the armed group Islamic State and their allies."

What Harper didn't mention, however, is that all the resettled refugee candidates Ottawa is considering are far from Islamic State's reach and are located in places like Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey.

Faisal Alazem of the Syrian Canadian Council says the Conservatives "know full well the majority of people who are paying the price are Sunni Muslim.

"Of course, the Yazidis, the Christians are suffering and are being persecuted," Alazem said. "(Islamic State) is also persecuting Muslims. So this idea that Islamic State is only persecuting Christians or Kurds is false."

Asked whether or not he personally ordered the government to prioritize certain groups over others, Harper dodged the question.

"The selection of refugees is never done by political people," he said. "It's done by bureaucrats."

Canada doesn't need either Sunnis or Shiites growing strong in Canada as they have in Europe. And it's not discriminatory, it's a safety measure.