In his speech on the campaign trail in Markham, Ontario on August 10, Harper clarified that the term “persecuted religious minorities in the Middle East” refers to Alawites (Muslims,) Bedouins (Muslims,) Christians, Druze (offshoot of Islam,) Ismailis (Muslims,) Shi’a (Muslims,) Yazidis, and others who are under threat from the genocidal terrorist organization ISIS.”
The author of the editorial chose to interpret the aforementioned term differently. In contrast to Harper’s clarification, he argued that the statement made by Harper doesn’t implicitly refer to Muslims, but rather to “Christians, Yazidis, Jews and others.” The Star failed to provide an explanation why the “Jews” were added to its list even though they were not mentioned by Harper, and where exactly are Jewish communities being threatened in ISIS-controlled areas?
Prioritizing the “persecuted religious minorities,” meaning (according to the Star) “Christians, Yazidis [and] Jews,” as refugees who deserve an urgent humanitarian support is wrong, asserts The Star. “The vast majority of people in dire need are Muslim,” the Star emphasized. “Cherry-picking non-Muslims may please constituencies that Harper is keen to woo but it would run afoul of UN guidelines.”
In stark contrast to the critical position towards Harper, his political opponents are being hailed by the Star, with Justin Trudeau's demand to open doors for additional 25,000 Syrian refugees and Thomas Mulcair's promise to significantly increase Canada’s humanitarian aid to Syria and Iraq.
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