Welcoming Newcomers

I have received a message from Prof. Yahya Kharrat about a recent event at the London Muslim Mosque. An edited version appears below:

The new Canadians that sought refuge in Canada from Syria are arriving. So far, around 500 individuals arrived in London and more are expected by the end of March. [The Cross Cultural Learner Centre] CCLC, along with London Muslim Mosque, are doing a wonderful job in taking care of them.

I was asked to deliver our weekly Friday sermon in Arabic (because no refugees understood English) at the place they are staying… I went there and presented my sermon (Khutba). The theme was “Be Sincere and Loyal to Canada”. I elaborated on the Quranic verses and the sayings of Prophet Muhammad that are commanding Muslims to show appreciation, allegiance, and kindness to those who are offering help. Moreover, I talked about how Canada is now their new home; and how Islam taught us to integrate into a new society, and respect its laws and remain honest, hard-working and appreciative. Moreover, I also encouraged them to become active citizens and show faithful willingness to help others that way Canada helped them.

London Muslim Mosque is planning to make a public dinner for them and invite the Mayor of London and other government officials.

The new Canadians that I met after Khutba are so gracious to all the individuals and organizations that helped them to come to Canada, and who are now supporting them with the resettlement process. They send a special thanks to everyone that contributed, and hope that one day they can contribute back to this great country.

I should add that Prof. Kharrat’s brother and his family are presently refugees in Turkey, and colleagues here at Western are raising funds to sponsor them. If you can lend a hand, please contact Prof. Laurence De Looze at <ldelooze@uwo.ca>.

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