Volume 93, Issue 51

Tuesday, November 30, 1999


Need to check your headlines

One musn't overshadow the other

A hard look at debate and freedom

One musn't overshadow the other

Re: "Convention not always rational" and "We mustn't forget the Holocaust" Nov. 16

To the Editor:

As a graduate of Western and an active member of political and human rights clubs during my four year education, I would like to share with my fellow colleagues a few of my experiences regarding politics at Western.

As Canadians we were all taught about the traumas of the Second World War and the Holocaust. No doubt, it was a sad time for everyone in the world and we all still mourn for those who died and suffered.

The honest truth is that we did not learn about the many other atrocities and holocausts that occurred during the 1900s, where many people perished.

Just to list a few examples: approximately 30 million Chinese people were maimed or slaughtered by the Japanese army between 1931-45. During Japan's 14-year invasion of China, atrocities plagued the Chinese.

According to a UNICEF 1998 report, over 1.2 million Iraqi's have died because of the United Nation's sanctions imposed on the country. Meanwhile, one million Iraqi children under five are suffering from severe malnutrition.

And let's not forget the atrocities that occurred in Bosnia, Kosovo, Chechnya, Rawanda, Burma and to the Palestinians. Such atrocities are still affecting people all around the world today, including myself.

As a Palestinian, I sometimes find myself thinking that my people were the only ones that have suffered by being oppressed, massacred, or exiled – then I realize that there have been many holocausts in the 20th century and I cannot only acknowledge my own people's suffering. No human life is more important than another.

I know there are many other atrocious deeds that I have failed to mention and I do apologize to any ethnic, cultural or religious group for such lack of scope. But my intentions are to shed light on the matter in general. Mr. Skok mentioned his anger towards The Gazette for not advertising the Jewish Students' Union event as much as they should have and I concur.

For the past two years, the Arab Students' Association has held a number of events regarding human atrocities and with so much effort going into an event to educate ourselves and the public, it is disheartening to see no adequate mention of it in The Gazette. We must remember all significant events from the past that have come to shape our lives today. The Gazette time and time again fails to see the importance that such occasions hold for us.

Noha El-Shareif
Bachelor of Arts '99

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