Re: Fostering Hate In The Halls Of Power, Amy Awad, August 7.
I have seen first hand how having multiple passports provides advantages, ranging from ease of access to government services to increased salaries. I have also seen the plight of a Palestinian friend of mine, who travels exclusively with a Lebanese passport. A few year ago, it was going to take him six months to get a single entrance visa for Canada. Last year, his lack of another passport cost him a job in Singapore.
Although holding a Canadian passport makes life much easier for many people, it is simply not the case, as Amy Awad suggests, that revoking the privilege of holding multiple passports is the same as being stateless.
Paul Seaman, Calgary.
Amy Awad, human rights co-ordinator at the National Council of Candian Muslims, calls on the Canadian government to apply more nuance in its interpretation of the Hamas-Israeli war, rather than adopting “simplistic notions of ‘good’ and ‘evil’ to drive their policy decisions.”
To recap: Hamas has fired 3,500 missiles into civilian areas. It used child labour and redirected over 15,000 tons of cement from public infrastructure projects to create over 30 tunnels crossing under the border into Israel, in order to murder and kidnap civilians. It uses UN schools and hospitals to conceal weaponry and missile launch sites among the civilian population. It spreads hate and anti-Semitism to encourage its citizens to martyr themselves, while its leaders hide in underground shelters and five-star hotels.
There is indeed a word that would describe the ability to see Hamas in terms other than “good” and “evil,” but that word is not “nuance.”
Harold Reiter, Thornhill, Ont.
In the past several weeks alone, I have witnessed demonstrations of pure hatred at the Israeli consulate in Toronto and at the Ontario legislature, by people who support terror regimes, such as Hamas and Iran. Canadians do not want, or need, immigrants who bring their wars to Canada. Amy Awad should note that the 60,000 Southeast Asian refugees she mentioned left their hatred and their wars at the door when they arrived.
The National Council of Canadian Muslims, where Ms. Awad serves as the human rights co-ordinator, constantly portrays themselves as victims. They need to admit that human suffering will not stop by bringing more Middle Eastern values to Canada. It will stop when they bring more Canadian values to the Middle East.
Steven Scheffer, Burlington, Ont.
It apparently escaped Amy Awad’s notice that most of the terrorist organizations in the world at present are run by Muslims, and that far too many Muslim societies treat their women as second-class citizens. I suggest she gets the other non-extremist Muslims to cleanse their religion of all its bigots before she criticizes the Canadian government for its perfectly rational foreign policies.
Kendall Carey, Toronto.
Amy Awad accuses the Harper government of adopting “simplistic notions of ‘good’ and ‘evil’ to drive their policy decisions,” in regards to the war between Israel and Hamas. With one side demonstrating an implacable hatred toward the other, vowing to exterminate them and using terrorist tactics in conduct its military campaign, our courageous Prime Minister has chosen to call evil by its name. It’s that simple.
Milan Mijatovic, Windsor, Ont.
‘Show some class’
Re: Raonic Keeps Home Hopes Alive, August 7.
Milos Raonic is too full of himself. His flippant and self-serving comments in his interview with Arash Madani were not what one expects of a world-class player. Jack Sock played some great tennis and very nearly won the match. Other professional players would have complimented him on his play, but Mr. Raonic did not say a word. Grow up, Mr. Raonic. Show some class.
Phil Rody, London, Ont.
Starving the Germans
Re: What If, letter to the editor, August 7.
Letter-writer Donald McKay suggests that Germany’s “Schliefflen Plan” during the First World War was “negated” by Von Moltke and therefore didn’t succeed. Not true. The plan didn’t succeed because, like most military plans, the opposition failed to “co-operate,” and Germany lacked the manpower and resources to overcome that opposition.
Oddly enough, the most effective part of the war from the Allied standpoint was the British naval blockade, which caused a food shortage in Germany. That aspect of the war is rarely mentioned, in part because it shows Great Britain in a bad light, since the blockade continued long after the armistice.
Gary Waller, Toronto.
Hamas has no friends
Re: ‘Hamas Is A Virus That Must Be Destroyed,’ letters to the editor, August 7.
Letter-writer Andy Turnbull claims that the only thing to come out of Israel’s invasion of Gaza is that Israel is guaranteed the hatred of all the Arabs, and that the big winner is the military-industrial complex. Mr. Turnbull seems unaware of the internecine squabbles and rivalries among the Arab states and Muslim sects. While the Arabs have no love of Israel, they stayed out of the Gaza war and gave no support to Hamas.
Egypt has been fighting with the Islamists in Sinai and angered Hamas by shutting down the smuggling tunnels and enforcing its own blockade. With their supply of arms and money curtailed, Hamas was facing a crisis. It kidnapped and murdered the three Israeli boys in a bid to gain popularity. We all know how that ended.
The Saudis were glad to see Hamas defanged, as was Mahmoud Abbas, who is the Americans’ leader of choice for the Palestinians. Hezbollah turned a deaf ear when Hamas asked for help, because it is angry with Hamas for not supporting its side in the Syrian civil war.
As for the so-called military-industrial complex, the technology that is most interesting to other countries is Israel’s Iron Dome, which saves lives from incoming rockets and missiles. It does not kill or injure.
E. Joan O’Callaghan, Toronto.
Taxer is a word
Re: ‘Taxer’ Me, I’m Canadian, letter to the editor, August 7.
What led letter-writer Fraser Petrick to think there is no such English word as “taxer”? It appears, along with its variant “taxor,” in both editions of the Oxford English Dictionary.
William Cooke, Toronto.
Re: Iraqi Sect Flees Jihadist Onslaught, August 7.
It saddens me that ISIS has defamed and desecrated the Muslim religion by killing innocent children. The terrorists running the so-called “Islamic State” have hijacked the word Islam, which means peace and submission. They submit only to their personal agendas and greed. The religion they profess to follow states that there is no compulsion in religion. On what basis do they commit these acts of injustice and malice? As a Canadian born Ahmadi Muslim, I urge these barbarians to act upon the teaching of the Holy Quran, which states: For you, your religion, and me, my religion.
Qasim Choudhary, Calgary.
Re: Transgendered Advocacy Has Gone Too Far, Barbara Kay, August 6.
Barbara Kay cites an op-ed written by Paul McHugh to assert that “transgendered advocacy has gone too far.” Mr. McHugh argues that transgender surgeries do not work because a study published by the Karolinska Institute found that surgical transgender patients had a suicide rate that was 20 times higher than non-transgender patients. Ms. Kay also quotes McHugh’s assertion that puberty-delaying drugs stunt growth and cause sterility. Both these assertions are incorrect and require further clarification.
First, the authors of the Karolinska Institute study interpret their results to suggest that their subjects needed “improved psychiatric and somatic care after sex reassignment.” The authors did not state that their data suggest the surgeries do not work. We also do not know what the rate of suicide would be had these surgeries not been performed.
Second, the primary purpose of puberty blockers is not to render surgeries less onerous in adulthood, but to allow more time for youth to consolidate their gender identity and seek adequate mental health resources. Puberty blockers have been shown to decrease anxiety and depressive symptoms in transgender youth. They are also completely reversible and do not permanently stunt growth and fertility.
Dr. Joey Bonifacio, Toronto.
Today"s letters: A conflict between "good" and "evil"?