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From the Z-Files

Web posted on September 27, 2001

The Z-Files

Disgust, disgrace, shame, these are feelings, among others, that I never thought I would experience about residents of Guelph. Let me correct myself - some residents of Guelph are causing these feelings in me.

Ever since the terrorist attacks in the United States, we have heard little good news. And, to top it off, we start hearing of terrorist attacks of a different sort happening right here, in our own backyard.

A week after the planes crashed into the Pentagon, the World Trade Centre towers, and the field in Pennsylvania, and the car bomb exploded at the State Department, we hear of some bozo damaging private property by spray painting words on a local Mosque.

This depraved person, in a few movements of a hand, has succeeded in slinging a racial slur against all members of Islam, without provocation. This is just what the attackers in the United States want to have happen so they can say, "we do this because of our brothers and sisters who get attacked."

But, is this something new to our society? NO! Racism exists, whether we like it or not.

However, even the most racist people I know, are saying, "not all Muslims are bad, they (the one(s) who spray painted the mosque) should leave them alone."

I agree, but this problem doesn't just stem from a misinformed public and some racists. It is a direct result of our current "news" purveying media who lately seem to be more interested in spreading hate and fear than real news. When the terror attacks first happened there were widely spread news reports saying, "Bin Laden (so much for innocent until proven guilty), a member of the Islam faith, is to be blamed."

Then, we have a provincial government which feels it is more important to discuss the problem of terrorism and what happened in the United States, than it is to deal with its ramifications for Ontario's Islamic community. This is a community which is afraid to send its children to school, a community afraid to conduct business in our "free" and "democratic" society.

If it weren't for Howard Hampton, Leader of the Ontario NDP, the emergency debate at Queen's Park on September 24 would have ignored the problem. Instead, with an amendment Hampton was able to get through, Ontario now expresses unity in "responding as well to recent and unfortunate incidents, in Ontario and elsewhere, of intolerance directed to Muslims and members of other visible minority communities."

While we grieve and mourn for the dead as a result of the September 11th attacks, let us not forget the innocent, in our own backyard, who are being treated like terrorists just because of their religious belief.

I applaud those who went to the Mosque on Marlbourgh Road last week in order to sit with our friends, neighbours, brothers, and sisters, in a show of solidarity.

Peace Through Solidarity, William Zebedee - a member of a Peace-loving and Tolerant Community
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