As members of Intercultural Dialogue Institute (IDI) GTA, we believe that peoples of the world can and should learn to live together in peace, respecting each other’s differences. We unequivocally support the preservation of universal basic human rights for everyone around the world regardless of one’s faith, creed, race, ethnicity, colour or gender. This belief is reflected in all of our activities as we do our part to promote respect and mutual understanding among all cultures and faiths.

With this goal in mind, we have become increasingly concerned regarding the conflicts, wars, and the divisive politics taking place in several parts of the world in the past few years. We are especially concerned to see the beginnings of divisive, populist and unhealthy politics finding support in our neighbour to the south.

Wars, and violent conflicts in many parts of the world unfortunately leave millions of families displaced with no choice but to helplessly seek refuge in other countries, where they hope to live a secure life. We believe that dignified nations of the world should share the burden to make sure that those refugees will not be stripped of their basic human rights regardless of their ethnic or religious backgrounds. With this in mind, we are disappointed to see big numbers of people being affected bitterly, without due diligence, as a result of the new border policies introduced in the US.

We understand that feeling threatened is a normal reaction to terrorist attacks, and that governments have an undisputable obligation to protect their citizens against such threats. However, we strongly believe that the remedy to dissipate this threat is to promote dialogue between people of differences, which in turn will bring understanding and acceptance. We believe that hatred begets hatred. It is with deep sadness that we are already witnessing the reverberations of such openly discriminatory rhetoric employed by the right-wing populist leaders around the world in the form a horrifying mass-shooting that has just taken place at the Islamic Centre of Quebec on January 29th.

It is more important than ever to stand in solidarity against violence, hate, and terror, regardless of what form it may take. As Canadians, we must stand together to support freedom of religion in Canada and to ensure that every Canadian can worship in public without fear.

We strongly believe that the remedy to hatred, bigotry and division is to promote dialogue between different communities, which in turn will bring understanding and acceptance. We believe that extreme partisanship and polarizing policies are a serious threat to social peace. As PM Trudeau emphasized in his statement: “Diversity is our strength, and religious tolerance is a value that we, as Canadians, hold dear.”, and we will continue to work relentlessly to create new venues for dialogue among people of different backgrounds, doing our part to make Canada an even more welcoming, safe and accepting nation.

Intercultural Dialogue Institute (IDI) GTA

2023-10-11T12:28:44-04:00January 31st, 2017|Archive, recent-upcoming-events|