Lately, several incidences around campus have hinted to me that, even in a liberal and culturally diverse society like Canada, we are not immune to irrational tribalism, and the spirit of mutual understanding and co-operation in times of distress should not be taken for granted.
I feel sorry that many ethnic communities and groups, such as the Jewish-Canadians and homosexuals, have to fend for their sense of security all by themselves. Defensiveness begets a lack of communication, and precludes dialogue, rationality and solution.
I am very sorry that madness permeates everyday life in the Middle East, especially when new battle fronts are being opened in that region. And I know what it is like to be connected to either side of the conflict.
However, it is definitely wrong for members of the Western community to project animosity onto fellow community members because of their background and political opinions.
Those who do not seek dialogue, but try to provoke and inflict damage through misbehaviour and verbal abuses, evade their responsibility to mend a gaping wound where it is still possible. Unlike those in the Middle East, we are fortunate to coexist in a society governed by law and order. We don't live in the Hobbesian fear that obstructs any positive solution toward peace.
Those who think ethnic relations in Canada should be dictated by the situation in the war zone are wrong. In fact, peace should start at home, right in our midst.
In this month dedicated to diversity, harmony and the elimination of racism and other bigotries, we should make rational co-operation between Jews and Arabs a community-wide affair, alongside efforts to weed out hatred toward ethnic-religious minorities, women and people of different sexual orientations.
I am sick and tired of all the squabbling and all the mutual vilifications and think something should be done to bring both sides to the same table.