Thank you ….

Last week, whilst grocery shopping, I clumsily dropped my phone in a very busy,  crowded parking lot. I didn’t hear it drop – I didn’t even feel it leaving my hand.  But it did…

A very kind stranger found my phone and gave it to the supermarket’s lost and found.  After which, an even kinder clerk called my “I.C.E.” (in case of emergency) number and let me know where my phone was.

This may seem like a very small act about which to write, however, this was a weekend, in an incredibly hectic environment, in a popular shopping area.

I wanted to reach out through cyber space and social media to that very kind stranger and say thank you.  Thank you for reminding me there are people ‘out there‘ who live and practice ethical honesty.  Thank you for returning my phone, without which I would truly feel at a loss.

I don’t know if you’ll ever read this; I don’t know if this will ever reach you. I just needed to “put this out there.”  Thank you. Merci. Asante Sana. Gracias.  God Bless.

 

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I am so inspired by youth all across America and elsewhere who are showing world leaders what real change and real action look like!

 

Thank you for your courage, your heart, your energy!

Happy International Women’s Day

“Here’s to strong Women: May we know them. May we be them. May we raise them.”
 -unknown

Happy Women’s Day!

This past year has seen some incredible developments …

We’ve seen the absolute devastation of certain countries and certain peoples around the world.  We’ve seen western media prejudice its audience with their incorrect ‘viewpoints’  about Muslims and Islam.  We’ve seen an insane tyrant in the White House grow even more inane and juvenile with each passing day.

We’ve also seen the “comeuppance” of many an individual who thought it was alright to stand in the way of, and abuse, many a person. We’ve seen the phenomenal growth of the #Metoo and #TimesUp movements.  We’ve seen Black Lives Matter grow and grow and grow.  We’ve seen interfaith conversations and multi-faith gatherings bring peace to a divided world. We’ve seen women (Finally) standing behind other women, having their backs, saying “I hear you,” and “I’ll fight for you,” and most importantly, “I believe you.”

We’ve seen what happens when women with common purpose and very powerful determination come together.  This is what changing the world looks like. That it had to come about as a response to horrendous abuses of power and privilege is unfortunate. That it’s here now is necessary. It’s universe-shifting; it’s the answer to the prayer of every woman who has found herself in the situation of “who will believe you?”

To every man and woman out there who participates in misogyny, I say to you: Times Up.

To every man and woman who support, stand by, love, and believe, I salute you. I honour you. I embrace you.  I thank you.

To all the people who make me stronger, better, more – to say thank you is a monumental shortfall. I shall say it anyway:  Asante Sana! Thank you. Merci Beaucoup. God Bless.

Happy International Women’s Day to all the phenomenal women of our little blue planet!

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Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir….

thank you

and congratulations to all Canadian Olympic Athletes!

If it walks like a duck, and squaks like a duck… it must be terrorism

Let me preface this post by stating that my heart is broken for all those affected by the heinous act of terrorism that took place this past week in Las Vegas, Nevada.  My thoughts and prayers are with all those who have lost friends and loved ones, all those injured and all those traumatized by this event.  May God bless each and every one of you…

It seems to me that the world has been going crazy.  Every time I turn around, there is another violent, gruesome attack of some sort.  And every time I turn around, Muslims are being blamed.  A whole group of people, being blamed for the barbaric actions of a few.  I cannot even begin to tell you how wrong that is.

But what really concerns me is this:  when a “dark-skinned follower of ‘Islam’ perpetrates a hate crime, he/she is a terrorist.”  However, when a Caucasian commits a barbaric act, he is a “gunman.”  This DOUBLE STANDARD is a hate crime in and of itself.  It is a targeted, deliberate act of prejudice.  Western Media outlets have their own agenda and will only refer to Muslims as terrorists.

How many people have to be slaughtered before the person(s) committing the crime can be called a terrorist?  The challenge with how terrorism is defined in the West is that the term itself is directly correlated to a “religious” ideology rather than the very personal nature of the crimes themselves.  All we have to do is look at what Israel is doing to Palestine and one can see deliberate, political, religious acts of hatred being perpetrated in the name of “self-defense.”  The other challenge with defining terrorism is that it is tied in to a “political” ideology.   So if the ‘gunman’ in Las Vegas was settling a personal score, where does that fit in to the above definitions?

It doesn’t.   The definitions themselves have to be redefined.  Stop blaming an entire segment of the world’s population for the actions of a few.  Do your own research; don’t let the biased, bigoted news you see portrayed by Western media outlets be your entire basis of evidence.  Seek knowledge for yourself.

This man in Las Vegas doesn’t fit the “criminal profile,” of a terrorist.  However, he committed a brutal, terrifying act of violence which struck fear into the hearts of everyone in a given location.  Why is that not called “terrorism?”

Earlier this year, when Muslims in London coming out of a mosque after prayers, were rode down by a Caucasian male in a white van, it still wasn’t called terrorism, even though that ‘man’ was shouting hateful words towards the Muslim group.  Even though he said he wanted to “kill all Muslims,” he was still referred to as a “deranged lunatic.”  He committed an act of terrorism, shouted political ideology as he was dragged away by police and it took three whole days before British broadcasters began quietly using the term “terrorist.”  An off duty reporter with the BBC, who was speaking with a group of young Muslim Youtubers, turned off his camera and his microphone and said to the group, “look guys, I’m going to be honest with you.  The media outlets have their own agenda and won’t say what you want them to say.”

At least he was honest.  So here’s what I say to the Western Media outlets:
“Sac up. Grab yourself by the parts that matter and stop being biased by what your producers are telling you is truth.”  YOU KNOW BETTER.

To all the people who are so quick to blame Muslims when something goes wrong in the world, stop.  If you want to know Islam, speak to a Muslim.  If you want to know the truth about how Muslims are treated, look at the Rohingya.  As of 2015, 61% of hate crimes in Canada were against Muslims.   (as per the Canadian Human Rights commission.)   If you really want to know what prejudice feels like, speak to a member of the First Nations.

What the world needs to do is love.  Love is the key to all things.  Love is stronger than hatred.  Love is stronger than bias.  Love is stronger and more powerful than darkness.  We are one human race.  We share one planet.  And the same God made us all.

We must be louder than those who make headlines by their acts of hatred. We must call out acts of intolerance no matter how small, because even small acts can embolden the hatred and anger that lead to devastating consequences. Our diversity is our greatest strength.”
~ Marie-Claude Landry