Canada Should Welcome Syrian Refugees, Carefully

The video showing a Hungarian camerawoman tripping a Syrian refugee as he ran across an open field on the Hungary-Serbia border sent a wave of revulsion across the world.

Her television network fired her. On the other hand, her victim was offered a job by the football club Real Madrid in Spain. This was poetic justice unfolding in real life.

However, what appeared to be a happy ending has now taken a new twist. No sooner did his name and picture flash across social media then a Kurdish-based political party in Syria identified him as a member of the jihadi Nusra Front.

The Syrian Democratic Union Party (PYD) is one of Syria’s major opposition parties and is banned by the government of dictator Basher al-Assad. It said on its website the refugee had fought alongside the Nusra Front before leaving Syria with his family, earlier this year.

Hungarian camerawomanI reached out to him for comment through his new employer, Real Madrid, but the club’s public relations office told me: “We receive all kind of opinions concerning these matters, and we acknowledge them, but we cannot nor should (we) take a stance on any of them.” I was not able to reach him directly for comment.

To be clear, no country has laid any charges against him in relation to allegations he belonged to a terrorist group, and I have no knowledge if they are true.

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That said, this does illustrate the concerns of those advocating for thorough background security checks of all future Syrian refugees coming to Canada.

Many in Canada have invoked the 1956 Hungarian refugee crisis, the 1968 Czech refugee crisis, and the 1978 Vietnamese Boat People crisis as shining examples of how Canada reached out to those fleeing dictatorial regimes.

But this is different. In those crises we knew the people we welcomed to Canada hated our enemies and were committed to the West’s values of democracy, freedom, and individual liberty. They embraced our values while retaining their own faith and cultures.

This may also be true of the Kurds, Iranians, Yazidis, Darfuris, and Baloch who wish to flee the tyranny of Islamism and embrace Canada and the West, and of the vast majority of Muslim refugees. But it cannot be said of any radical Islamists who seek refuge in the West.

Take Britain. Despite the fact many were born in the UK, 40% of British Muslims surveyed by theTelegraph newspaper said they backed introducing sharia in parts of Britain, while 20% felt sympathy with the motives of the London July 7 bombers.

We will now rightfully open our doors to 10,000 Syrian refugees.

But let us not repeat the mistakes made by other countries and allow our refugees to be manipulated by Islamists already in our midst.

Let us make sure that before Islamist organizations and mosques poison their minds, they are introduced to Sir Wilfrid Laurier, Sir John A. Macdonald, Pierre Trudeau, Tommy Douglas, and to Voltaire and Rousseau.

Let us help them understand the futility of armed jihad and sharia as public law. Let us heed the warning by Hans-Georg Maassen, president of Germany’s domestic intelligence services, who said Tuesday: “There is a big worry that Islamists in Germany, on the pretext of offering humanitarian help, could try to take advantage of the migrants’ situation to convert and recruit those seeking asylum.”

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