Volume 96, Issue 15
Tuesday, September 24, 2002

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Educate to combat hate

To the editor:

The recent protests at Concordia University have illustrated failures in its educational system.

Throughout its early years of adolescence, Canadian schools focussed more on social education rather than on academics. Canadians learn respect for others, manners and courtesy.

While our youth are statistically behind our European and Asian counterparts in mathematics and sciences, we like to think that Canadians learn to accept people of different cultures, religions and races. However, episodes at Concordia continue to rear their ugly head.

The recent protests of the Palestinian Human Rights group at Concordia show that something has to be done stop the anger and violence. Education is the answer to stopping the hate.

History shows that uneducated people are at the root of hate crimes. More than 50 years ago, Hitler persuaded the German people to accept the genocide of six million Jews, gypsies, communists, homosexuals and mentally challenged people. The Germans were easily persuaded because of their nation's widespread economic devastation.

Similarly, Jews and Palestinians alike are bombarded with hate propaganda everyday in the Middle East. It is no wonder suicide bombings are almost a daily occurrence when Yasser Arafat spends the millions of dollars he receives from worldwide relief on paying the families of terrorist bombers, rather than buying new school books that aren't filled with anti-Jewish sentiments. One only has to read a Jewish newspaper in Israel to see the anti-Arab propaganda published daily. How can western society help fight terrorism when Middle Easterners can't even help themselves?

It is painstakingly evident that the acceptance Canadians show to one another is something to be cherished. There are some isolated events, like those at Concordia, but Canadians must continue to use education in the right way. Concordia must teach their students the importance of accepting others.

Brian Gray
Health Sciences I

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2002 THE GAZETTE