David Ali wants the safety of Canadians to come first as Metro Vancouver’s diverse Muslim population prepares to sponsor Syrian refugees.
“We are strong believers in security. It’s our No. 1 priority. If Canadian officials feel any possible refugee is suspect … they must do due diligence,” said Ali, a spokesman for the B.C. Muslim Association, which represents more than 40,000 Sunni Muslims.
After French politicians said two suspects in the devastating attack in Paris took advantage of Syria’s refugee crisis to slip into France, Ali worries the emergence of any more terrorists in Canada will “give the backlash to all Muslims.”
“We don’t want the wrong people to come to Canada to create problems for us.”
There are more than 74,000 Muslims in Metro Vancouver.
Ali and his wife, Farida Bano, are helping organize a fundraising banquet for the first week of December, when Muslims and non-Muslims will be asked to donate generously to bring as many Syrian refugees as possible to the city.
Barry Cartwright, senior lecturer in Simon Fraser University’s criminology department, believes the worry that David Ali is expressing about Canadian security is well placed, since it’s impossible to properly screen 25,000 refugees from war-torn Syria in a couple of months.
Bano said the number of refugees who will be sponsored by the city’s wide-ranging Muslim population “depends on how much money we collect. It won’t be a hundred, but it should be a sizable number.” So far, $30,000 has been raised.
Muslims are among many religious groups in the city gearing up to sponsor Syrian refugees. Most will be Sunni Muslims. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised during the election to bring 25,000 Syrian refugees to Canada before the end of the year, with roughly 3,000 slated for Metro Vancouver.
Barry Cartwright, senior lecturer in Simon Fraser University’s criminology department, believes the worry that Ali is expressing about Canadian security is well placed, since it’s impossible to properly screen 25,000 refugees from war-torn Syria in a couple of months.