United States President Donald Trump’s executive order banning Syrian refugees sent shock waves across the world. The order also puts a 90-day travel ban on seven Muslim majority countries. All done, in Trump’s view, to keep out radical Islamic terrorists.
His decision was quickly met with backlash, including here in Saskatchewan. Both Premier Brad Wall and Saskatoon Mayor Charlie Clark expressed their support, opening the province to anyone stranded by the ban.
“Canada and the United States have historically been countries that have helped to lead the process of globalization. Welcoming and building diverse societies,” Clark said from the Cameco Meewasin Skating Rink on Sunday.
“This just feels like a big step backwards.”
One local Muslim leader said Canada’s swift negative reaction has been comforting. He wishes all Muslims had the same supports.
“I think this is the kind of spirit we as leaders of nations and communities should show. Otherwise hate only begets hatred and love begets love,” Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at (AMJ) missionary Khalid Minhas said.
Many south of the Canadian border are scared, including Nooruddin Jalal, who reached out to the AMJ from his home in Memphis, Tenn. Moving from Pakistan to the U.S. in 2013, he worries about what his future will look like and if his American citizenship application will be accepted.
“This is a scary time,” Jalal said to Global News via Skype on Sunday.
“Now it’s very difficult to decide whether you belong to the community here … because it’s so phobic, it’s so uncertain.”