First, I would like to say that I’m very sorry President Trump and the First Lady, Melania, have tested positive for the novel coronavirus. It is a life-threatening illness, and it happened on the eve of the election of a president of the United States. Yes, President Trump denied the illness, but so did millions around the world. Who can imagine so tenacious a virus as the novel coronavirus? It is best to believe a genuine problem has arisen, just in case. Many feel that the compulsory use of a mask is an infringement on their liberty. It’s prudence.
Second, and rather humbling, I was unable to remember my password to Microsoft, except for four digits. I had just acquired a smartphone, which became an obstacle. I had never used a smartphone and it seems the number had been disabled. They would not use an ordinary phone and the one I have has a new number. I did enter the correct number several times, but I was suddenly required to purchase Office 365. So, I started to worry. Microsoft should ask for a person’s consent before using a credit card. What if a new purchase does not cancel a previous one?
I reread my post and made a change. If one returns to work untested and works in a contaminated environment, one’s life is a stake and contagion will continue exponentially.
The Washington Post has stories and pictures that tell the unacceptable. President Trump is smiling as he encourages States to end the lockdown using the word “liberate.” “Liberate?” People may return to work because they have yet to receive money from Washington. What happened to the “stimulus” fund?
If a person has not received an income for two months, he or she may return to work at the cost of his or her life, which is scandalous. Before a person reënters the workplace, that person has to test negative and the workplace must be as safe an environment as possible.
There is enough money in the United States to keep people secure for a few more weeks. At the moment, returning to work is unsafe. Moreover, some people will have suffered emotionally and mentally. They require help.
I missed July 4th, Independence Day for the citizens of the United States, but wish to send special greetings to my neighbours. I spent several holidays at my grandfather’s house in Massachusetts. I grew to love his home and his land. The year is young, so greetings to everyone.
Life has not been easy for many of you since Mr Trump was elected to the presidency of the United States. You have had to rely on courts to block some Executive Orders. These are your courts and they represent you, your vision, your values. Many Americans would keep law-abiding “dreamers,” rather than deport them.
The children of undocumented immigrants may be safe. Their parents, however, are being returned to an uncertain future and some may be executed because they have stood against a tyrant. Iraqi Christians are being deported. Yes, there are Christians in the Middle East, but fewer and fewer. As for Muslims, the majority are good persons who deserve respect and love.
A Strange Illness
A large number of nations are home to refugees whom they may deport. Countries have a right to limit immigration. However, one should consider the plight of immigrants and refugees and that of persons who may be deported to their native land. In Sweden, upon learning that they their family would be deported, the children of Russian refugees have fallen ill. It’s a strange disease. They do not die, but enter into a state of resignation so complete that they are neither dead nor alive. They lose consciousness. Such phenomena are difficult to explain, but these children may have felt, or feel, they were, and are, not worthy of living.
Uppgivenhetssyndrom, or resignation syndrome, is said to exist only in Sweden, and only among refugees. The patients seem to have lost the will to live. “They are like Snow White,” a doctor said. “They just fall away from the world.” Photograph by Magnus Wennman for The New Yorker
Canada and “Illegal” Immigrants
Certain immigrants and asylum-seekers were not allowed to stay in the United States under former President Obama’s administration. But they were deported at a slower rate and in smaller numbers. We did not see “dreamers” cross the border and the cost of frozen limbs. No one can enter Canada illegally, but recent asylum seekers who arrived during winter months, were helped by the police and then arrested, but not in a brutal manner. Canada has to protect its citizens. It has immigration laws and it may deport would-be Canadians, rightly or wrongly.
The Plight of Immigrants
Canada’s Armenian community sponsored at least one flight of threatened Armenians. These refugees were Christians as are Iraqis being deported from the United States. One may think the Armenians who were on that one flight to Canada were “lucky.” To a certain extent, they were. Members of Canada’s Armenian community felt relief and newly-arrived Armenians were greeted to this country. They had nevertheless lost their home and, perhaps, children and relatives. It has often been said, in France and Canada, that “nous sommes tous du pays de notre enfance.” We all belong to the country of our childhood. Immigrants lose their native land and some remember circumstances that were better in the country of their birth. History or destiny are not always kind to people. Most immigrants have to learn a new language and they may be underemployed in their new country, which may constitute a profound loss.
President Trump’s Islamophobia
In this regard, we have learned that President Trump’s Islamophobia is selective. It does not include Saudi Arabia.
He could also be that he does not realize that there may be tragic consequences to his Islamophobia. For one thing, he may be cultivating terrorism. How long will Muslim migrants accept being looked upon as would-be terrorists on the basis of their religion? Think, moreover, of the copycat phenomenon. Think also that there is a degree of diversity in the Middle East. Although most citizens are Muslims, certain minorities were not “Arabised” in the 7th century CE. Some did not convert to Islam. For instance, there are Buddhists in Saudi Arabia. (See Buddhism in Saudi Arabia, Wikipedia.) Finally, deporting people who have grown roots in a country other than their native country may lead to an illness resembling the fate of those children in Sweden who have given up: uppgivenhetssyndrom.
War and terrorism have caused a large number of innocent people to walk away from their homes in the Middle East. It’s a crisis and such crises have happened before. We have to manage them.
The G20 Summit
Mr Trump is at the G20 Summit. It would appear he may be compromising the United States’ status as global leader. He is, at any rate, facing opposition. The climate, for instance, is a global issue and there are trading agreement, defence alliances and questions such as migration and various international accidents.
It may be wise not to look upon President Donald Trump’s defection from the 2015 Paris Agreement(l’Accord de Paris) as a decision dooming our ailing planet. Nor can it be seen as reflecting the will of the citizens of the United States. Climate change remains a major concern for countries around the world, the survival of planet Earth being at stake. If planet Earth dies, we all die. With respect to climate change, action cannot be delayed as we are already seconds before midnight.
Again, a mere hour after Mr Trump made his decision public, French President Emmanuel Macron offered a refuge in France to American climate scientists. Some of these scientists, and they are numerous and highly skilled, have gone to Washington and warned President Trump of the imminent danger climate change posed, but to no avail. It could well be that the President’s decision is not an American decision, but Donald Trump’s decision. Ironically, President Trump’s daughter Ivanka and her husband, Jared Kushner, opposed the President’s decision.
But I am also reading that there is considerable resistance in the United States. After listening to former President Obama’s farewell address, I wrote that he probably felt that a democracy was its own corrective or “that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.” (Abraham Lincoln ‘s Gettysburg Address.)
“Thirty cities, three states, more than 80 university presidents, and more than 100 companies are part of a growing group intending to uphold the Paris Agreement, the climate-change accord that President Donald Trump on Thursday announced the US would be exiting.”
Michael Bloomberg, the UN special envoy for cities and climate change, at the C40 Mayors Summit in Mexico City on December 1. Reuters
After Mr Trump’s visit to Europe, Chancellor Merkel‘s political rivals agreed with her that Europe would have to look after itself. However, it turns out that Mr Trump’s decision to pull the United States out of the Paris Agreement has unleashed widespread disappointment, in the United States in particular, but also everywhere.
Mr Trump may be a dangerous man, but he is predictable. He announced that he would not allow Muslims to enter the United States and is now planning another travel ban, but Americans will find a way to defeat it. Three men were stabbed and two died protecting Muslim women on a train in Portland, Oregon. The United States has long been a refuge to the oppressed. President Trump’s Islamophobia has not affected all the citizens of the United States. Besides, it is selective. He travelled to Saudi Arabia and signed an arms deal.
President Trump is also trying to take away from Americans what protection they enjoyed under the Affordable Act Care. Law-abiding American citizens pay their taxes and are therefore entitled to the security citizens of other and poorer countries enjoy.
The next link takes the reader to comments by Sir Richard Branson who may be saying that, in a democracy, if a people is threatened, it will rush to its own rescue.
I would like to express my condolences to the people of Britain. On 22 May 2017, only two months after the 22 March Westminster bridge attack, the Manchester Arena was targeted. Twenty-two (22) persons were killed, including 8-year-old Saffie Rose Roussos, and 53, perhaps more, were wounded. The victims were attending a performance by American singer Ariana Grande.
The killer has been identified as 22-year-old Salman Abedi who was born to Libyan parents in Manchester, England, on 31 January 1994. French and British authorities have confirmed that Salman Abedi travelled to Syria and was radicalized.
Once again, it would be my opinion that the attacker, 22-year-old Salman Abedi, who has been described as a “regular kid,” may have acted in response to the current wave of Islamophobia, in the United States especially. The President’s professed Islamophobia may be incitement to murder.
On Monday, 29 May 2017, “two men were stabbed to death on an Oregon train trying to stop an anti-Muslim rant.”
President Trump was in Europe last week, but he first visited Saudi Arabia. After his visit, the Saudis suggested that President Trump’s Islamophobia was a ploy aimed at attracting votes. He, Donald Trump, would not allow would-be killers to enter the United States.
In late March, the Canadian government passed an anti-Islamophobia motion in an attempt to protect its Muslim citizens. I would never have suspected the government of my country would have to resort to a forceful measure to discourage discrimination.
I should also note that the New Year’s eve attack on Istanbul has revealed a reëmergence of a fear, and probably dislike, of the United States in Turkey.
Turkey is an officially secular country, but at birth, citizens of Turkey are registered as Muslims. (See Religion in Turkey, Wikipedia). Istanbul, the former Constantinople, was the capital of the Ottoman Empire, which was defeated during World War I.
Since the 15 July 2016 coup d’état, harshly repressed by Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, there has been a shift away from the West in Turkey. On 4 January 2017, New York Times journalist Tim Arango reported that: “instead of unifying to confront terrorism, Turkish society is fracturing further with each attack. The West, symbolized by the United States, is the perennial bogeyman.”
Turkey is a member of NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, l’Organisation du Traité de l’Atlantique Nord, l’OTAN (see Member States of NATO).
I will conclude by quoting writer, journalist and commentator Fareed Zakaria. On 4 May 2017, Mr Zakaria wrote that “Trump is turning other countries against the United States.”
President Trump is now attacking Germany, and Adam Taylor of the Washington Post reports that “even Angela Merkel’s political rivals are on her side against Trump.” Of course! President Trump is attacking Germany, all of Germany!
 Refugees from the Middle East are Syrians, Iraqis and Afghans. Most are Muslims, but Canada has also welcomed Christians, Armenians and Assyrians (Syriacs) and Yazidis, whose faith combines a number of beliefs. The persecution of Yazidis by ISIL was genocidal.
I was writing another post, but I had news to share. Canada will be welcoming 1,200 Yazidi children. Some of these children fled ISIL and walked alone to camps. Others were accompanied by their mother. Many, if not most, have been abused and women were used as sex-slaves.
A Yazidi Child
Survivors: Nadia Murad (left) and Lamiya Aji Bashar escaped Isis enslavement to become advocates for Yazidis, and were last month awarded the EU’s Sakharov human rights prize AP
ISIL’s persecution of the Yazidis “gained international attention and it directly led to the American-led intervention in Iraq, which started with United States airstrikes against ISIL.” (See American-led intervention in Iraq (2014 – present), Wikipedia.)
Islamization/Arabization spread all the way to the Iberian Peninsula. (See Islam in Spain, Wikipedia.) The Moors were exiled, but Moriscos still live in Spain. To my knowledge they are not Muslims. However, several North-African countries converted to Islam (Morocco, Algeria, etc.).
After the fall or the Byzantine Empire, at Constantinople, in 1534, the Ottomans also conquered several countries in Eastern Europe, nearly reaching Vienna. The inhabitants of these countries did not convert and were persecuted. However, there are Muslim communities in Eastern Europe.
They inhabited Northern Iraq and, recently, they have been protected by the Kurds, which did not prevent a genocide resembling the Armenian genocide. The goal is the same: Pan-Islamism. The men who would not convert were killed. In 1915, male Armenians were disarmed, sent on long walks to nowhere or killed. Their wives and children suffered intolerable abuse and women who could do so jumped to their death. The scenario has not changed. Most male Yazidis were separated from female Yazidis and their children. Those who refused to convert to Islam were killed by ISIL.
The Yazidis are hiding in moutains. They have been helped through air drops of supplies. KurdishPeshmerga were provided with weapons to protect them. Weapons of all abominations! At this point, they must be flown to safety. Now we know why President Obama led a coalition fighting ISIL. He answered a call for help. No one helped the Armenians, but German soldier Armin T. Wegner took photographs.
Individuals whose ancestors or ethnically-related groups have committed crimes against humanity are not guilty. As well, far-right extremism is a universal affliction. United States President Donald Trump is currently conducting a major “cleansing” operation. He is also condemning difference. His actions are governed by pathological fear. However, a large number of Americans are fighting him and the courts oppose him.
Many ISIL terrorists are rebels without a cause who have travelled to the Middle East. As you know, there have been incidents reflecting Islamophobia in Canada. The worst is the Quebec City shooting. Alexandre Bissonnette’s twin has been hospitalized since his brother killed Muslims at the Grande Mosquée. Canada is protecting its Muslims and welcoming new ones.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) or Gendarmerie royale du Canada, an élite corps of policemen, have been helping people cross the border into Canada because, if left on their own, these individuals could be deported indiscriminately. These refugees are illegal immigrants and they are arrested and investigated. The RCMP/GRC must make sure individuals crossing the border are not criminals. However, people fleeing to Canada are human beings who have rights.
The Yazidis are mostly children or young adults who have been persecuted and most have lost their father. They may require medical support.
Many Canadians fear refugees and some politicians oppose our providing free medical care to refugees. However, Canada’s Prime Minister has reversed a decision not to pay for the medical treatment of refugees. Some lost fingers. Moreover, Canada cannot allow refugees to bring diseases into the country.
In other words, the RCMP (the Royal Canadian Mounted Police) is overworked at the moment and so are civil servants. Everyone entering Canada must apply, but given that they may be deported, border-crossers may apply after they have entered the country to avoid the risk of being deported. Refugees who are not “criminals” will have a home in Canada. They now live in shelters and are fed properly.
Under President Obama, the first to be deported were “people who had been convicted of dangerous crimes.” Matters differ at the moment. First, there is a large number of undocumented “aliens” in the United States, and as Amy Davidson writes, “[t]he Trump executive order starts with the idea that criminal aliens are the problem, but then widens the definition of criminality and blurs its edges.”
Various incidents, such as vandalism, point to a degree of anti-Semitism in the United States, which Mr Trump condemning. Yet, anti-Semitism is a form of xenophobia, fear of foreigners, and xenophobia is what is driving Mr Trump to deport “aliens.” These are not necessarily criminal aliens. The refugees who cross the border illegally know that Canada does not allow criminals to enter the country.
Among refugees crossing the border, many are not Muslims, but Mr Trump is planning another ban. Islamophobia on the part of the United States could lead to acts of terrorism. So, ironically, President Trump is fostering the violence he fears.
At this point, we return to fairy tales and pretty pictures. I have a niece who would say: “Tante Micheline, just pour yourself a glass of very good wine and enjoy.”
Quebec City Mosque attack suspect Alexandre Bissonnette (Facebook)
Quebec City mosque attack suspect Alexandre Bissonnette charged with 6 counts of 1st-degree murder – Montreal – CBC News. According to Alexandre Bissonnette’s Facebook page, he followed several profiles with right-wing ideologies, including Marine Le Pen, the far-right leader of France’s National Front. (Facebook)
A 27-year-old Laval University student, Alexandre Bissonnette, has been charged with 6 counts of murder and 5 counts of attempted murder while using a restricted firearm (CBC). The attack is considered an act of terrorism. Alexandre Bissonnette was a fan of Mr Trump.
There were vigils on the evening of 30 January 2017 and both the Ottawa and Quebec Parliament’s flag were flying at half-mast. The current outpouring of sympathy towards the Muslim community will not take the victims back to their family and Muslims are afraid, but I hope it will be of some comfort. Quebec Premier Couillard has made it very clear that Canadians had been killed and wounded. I have yet to hear how Canada plans to protect its Muslim citizens, but I presume police surveillance will be increased. The shootings are particularly egregious since they occurred while Muslims were worshiping. This tragedy has hurt Canadians profoundly, from coast to coast, and especially Quebec Canadians where interculturalism has been adopted.
It’s a Canadian tragedy reflecting the shift to the Right affecting various countries.
Quebec City mosque shooting victims include businessman, professor and fathers of young children – Montreal – CBC News
Azzeddine Soufiane, 57, was the owner of a halal grocery store;
Khaled Belkacemi, 60, was a professor of Engineering at Laval University;
Aboubaker Thabti, 44, worked in a pharmacy;
Mamadou Tanou Barry, 42, and Ibrahima Barry, 39, brothers
Mamadou Tanou Barry, 42, worked in information technology;
Ibrahima Barry, 39, worked for Quebec’s Revenue Ministry;
Abdelkrim Hassane, 41, was a programming analyst for the Quebec government.
All victims had children and all victims were Canadians, whatever their origin. A fund is being raised to cover funeral costs. We are awaiting details regarding the wounded.
President Trump’s Visit to Canada
United States President Donald J. Trump is scheduled to meet with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau this week. Yesterday, 30 January 2017, President Trump “cracked down on immigration and travel.”
Despite the might of American President Trump, I believe that protection of Canada’s identity, values and environment will be foremost in Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s mind. Canadian Prime Ministers must respect and love their American counterparts, they need not please them. Our border both joins and separates us. (See Canada-United States Border, Wikipedia.)
A member of a Quebec police SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics) team escorts a woman from houses not far from the scene where two gunmen opened fire inside the Centre Culturel Islamique de Québec (Islamic Cultural Centre of Quebec) during evening prayers on Jan. 29. (André Pichette/EPA)
Six people were killed and 19 wounded in the shooting at the mosque. Here, municipal police patrol outside the Mosque on Monday morning. (André Pichette/EPA)
Six men were killed and five are in serious condition after an attack on Quebec City’s main Mosque. According to Radio-Canada, the French-language CBC, there is one suspect, but we are at an early point in the investigation.
Women and children were not killed as they do not worship in the same room as men. The Mosque had been vandalized earlier when a pig’s head was deposited at the door of the building.
Motivation has yet to be determined with precision, but the target was a Mosque, the most important Mosque in Quebec city.
Quebec Premier, Dr Philippe Couillard, “doesn’t explicitly blame Trump but replies: ‘We are obviously in a world where people tend to divide themselves rather than unite themselves.’”
Premier Couillard “calls on Quebec to be a beacon, to be as inclusive as possible.”
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is travelling to Quebec city with the interim leader of the opposition, Rona Ambrose. For information on Islamic facilities in Quebec City, please click on the following link.
I would not blame President Trump, but I hope he will soon realize that Islamophobia is putting Muslims at considerable risk around the world. I hope he will also realize that Canadians were attacked. Canada is endangered because it welcomes Muslims and is located immediately north of the United States.
He must reverse his stand on immigration or poison the mind of possible terrorists. If he dares suggest that terrorist attacks are to be expected in countries that welcome Muslim immigrants, he will hear differently.
Meanwhile, we will have to intensify the protection of Canadian Muslims.