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Newsletter Vol. # 28 That's how I see it!

 Hello and welcome to this week's newsletter

What you'll find in this weeks newsletter: two articles written by two great Canadians; Did You Know; and appropriate article for this time of year on Seasonal Affective Disorder; some info on a coffee house; and a little humour with That's When The Fight Started.

What Is Canada Becoming? Is Canada's Tolerance Misplaced?

In light of what's happening in the world today, perhaps these articles by two courageous Canadian Muslims will give us hope that we can all live together in harmony.
     Mahfooz Kanwar

Recently, members of Canada's Pakistani community called on Canada's Immigration Minister to make Punjabi one of Canada's official languages. It makes me angry that such an idea would enter the minds of my fellow and former countrymen, let alone express them to a Minister of the Crown.

A few months ago, I was dismayed to learn that a principal of a school in Springfield, N.B., limited playing our national anthem because the families of a couple of his students objected to it.

As a social scientist, I oppose this kind of political correctness, lack of assimilation of new immigrants to mainstream Canada, hyphenated-Canadian identity, and the lack of patriotism in our great nation.

Increasingly, Canadians feel restricted in doing things the Canadian way lest we offend minorities. We cannot even say Merry Christmas without fear of causing offence. It is amazing that 77 per cent of the Canadian majority are scared of offending 23 per cent of minorities. We have become so timid that the majority cannot assert its own freedom of expression. We cannot publicly question certain foreign social customs, traditions and values that do not fit into the Canadian ethos of equality. Rather than encouraging new immigrants to adjust to Canada, we tolerate peculiar ways of doing things. We do not remind them that they are in Canada, not in their original homelands.

In a multicultural society, it is the responsibility of minorities to adjust to the majority. It does not mean that minorities have to totally amalgamate with the majority. They can practice some of their cultural traditions within their homes -- their backstage behaviour. However, when outside of their homes, their front stage behaviour should resemble mainstream Canadian behaviour. Whoever comes to Canada must learn the limits of our system. We do not kill our daughters or other female members of our families who refuse to wear hijab, niqab or burka which are not mandated by the Qur'an anyway. We do not kill our daughters if they date the "wrong" men. A 17-year-old Sikh girl should not have been killed in British Columbia by her father because she was caught dating a Caucasian man.

We do not practice the dowry system in Canada, and do not kill our brides because they did not bring enough dowry. Millions of female fetuses are aborted every year in India, and millions of female infants have been killed by their parents in India and China.

Thousands of brides in India are burned to death in their kitchens because they did not bring enough dowry into a marriage. Some 30,000 Sikhs living abroad took the dowries but abandoned their brides in India in 2005. This is not accepted in Canada. 

In some countries, thousands of women are murdered every year for family or religious honour. We should not hide behind political correctness and we should expose the cultural and religious background of these heinous crimes, especially if it happens in Canada. We should also expose those who bring their cultural baggage containing the social custom of female circumcision. I was shocked when I learned about two cases of this barbaric custom practiced in St. Catharines, Ont. a few years ago.

I have said it on radio and television, have written in my columns in The Calgary Herald, and I have written in my latest book, "Journey to Success", that I do not agree with the hyphenated identity in Canada because it divides our loyalties. My argument is that people are not forced to come to Canada and they are not forced to stay here. Those who come here of their own volition and stay here must be truly patriotic Canadians or go back.

I am a first-generation Canadian from Pakistan. I left Pakistan 45 years ago. I cannot ignore Pakistan, because it is the homeland of my folks, but my first loyalty should be and is to Canada. I am, therefore, a proud Canadian, no longer a Pakistani-Canadian. I am a Canadian Muslim, not a Muslim Canadian.

I do not agree with those Canadians who engage in their fight against the system in their original countries on Canadian soil. They should go back and fight from within. For example, some of the Sikhs, Tamil Tigers, Armenians and others have disturbed the peace in Canada because of their problems back home. Recently, a low-level leader of MQM, the Mafia of Pakistan, came to Canada as a refugee and started to organize public rallies to collect funds for their cause in Pakistan. On July 18, 2007, the Federal Court of Canada ruled that MQM is a terrorist group led by London-based Altaf Hussain, their godfather. As a member in the coalition government of Pakistan, this terrorist group is currently collaborating with the Taliban in Pakistan. That refugee was deported back to Pakistan.

Similarly, I disagree with newcomers who bring their religious baggage here. For example, Muslims are less than two per cent of the Canadian population, yet in 2004 and 2005, a fraction of them, the fundamentalists, wanted to bring Sharia law to Canada. If they really want to live under Sharia, they should go to the prison-like countries where Sharia is practiced.

I once supported multiculturalism in Canada because I believed it gave us a sense of pluralism and diversity. However, I have observed and experienced that official multiculturalism has encouraged convolution of the values that make Canada the kind of place people want to immigrate to in the first place.
Here, we stand on guard for Canada, not for countries we came from. Like it or not, take it or leave it, standing on guard only for Canada is our national maxim. Remember, 0 Canada is our national anthem which must not be disregarded by anybody, including the principal in Springfield, N. B.

Mahfooz Kanwar, PHD, is a Sociologist and an Instructor Emeritus at Mount Royal College. This very wise, educated gentleman is a first generation Canadian whose parents emigrated from Pakistan. He is also Muslim, but truly understands what it is to be Canadian first, even though he and his parents are from another country.

I would like to include a paragraph written by Sultan Mahmood, whom I also considered to be a courageous Canadian Muslim.

One of the savings of the Prophet Mohammed is that loyalty to your home land is part of your faith, so, if I have chosen Canada to be my homeland, it is my responsibility to be a good member of civic society, to be loyal and to promote Canadian values and culture, and to ask God to protect anything that goes against Canadian interests. Canada Day is one of the examples. We feed about 6000 people at our Canada Day barbecue. We have other activities for the kids; arts, paintings and activities for adults. It's a large community event where the public comes. It's a very important part of demonstrating that, once we've chosen Canada to be our homeland, we have to be thankful. We want to give this message to the community with the and the community at large, that this is our country. We celebrate everything good. For instance, in our mosque, we often have the hockey match going on, we have a big TV in the mosque and people watch the game. We have been putting stickers on our cars: "go Flames, go." We try to promote this, and we tell our youth, we tell our elders, we tell our ladies that we have to be part of Canada, completely part of Canada.

Sultan Mahmood, director of community services, Baitun Ahmadiyya Mosque, Calgary

In my mind, Mahfooz and Sultan are examples of immigrants/Muslims that I welcome to our neighborhood and country. They understand we have something as Canadians and that they are welcome to "It"-- just as it stands. I appreciate greatly that they see the value in what we have and don't want to change it.        

What do you think of these two gentleman and what they stated?

Did You Know

That emotions like anxiety and anger, hopelessness and guilt, are our early warning system about the impact of stress, but were woefully inept about what these signals mean and what we should do about them.

That anxiety/depression is one of the most common reasons why people visit their MD's.

That you can't fully recover from any of these three conditions - anxiety, depression, addiction - by focusing on the symptoms. You have to change the way you live.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

In my practice I have been dealing with depression and SAD for decades and has merely described it as a something that occurs when we don't get enough light in through the retina. However, I just read an interesting paragraph that talks about melatonin being responsible for SAD. I

       Experts think that winters fewer daylight hours increase production of the hormone melatonin, which throws the body's internal clock out of whack,    leading to a host of problems.

       SAD may lead to depression, oversleeping or difficulty getting up, trouble concentrating, fatigue, headaches and cravings for sweets and starches.

       Doctors look for a seasonal pattern. If you have had symptoms for two or more winters in a row, you probably have SAD. People with mild SAD          usually find that their spirits lift with added exposure to light. Natural sunlight is great. Even half an hour a day spent outside or in a sunny window may help. Sufferers with severe SAD can find relief with antidepressants, exercise or sitting in front of a special light box 30 to 60 minutes a day.

Light therapy lamps can be rented from the Mood Disorder Association by the month. The two retail outlets for light therapy lamps in Winnipeg are: Sunnex Biotechnologies, 657-167 Lombard Avenue, 204-956-2476 and
Medigas Manitoba, 150 McPhillips Street, 204-786-4719

True Love

It was a busy morning, about 8:30 , when an elderly gentleman in his 80s arrived to have stitches removed from his thumb. He said he was in a hurry as he had an appointment at 9:00 am. I took his vital signs and had him take a seat, knowing it would be over an hour before someone would to able to see him. I saw him looking at his watch and decided, since I was not busy with another patient, I would evaluate his wound.
On exam, it was well healed, so I talked to one of the doctors, got the needed supplies to remove his sutures and redress his wound.
While taking care of his wound, I asked him if he had another doctor's appointment this morning, as he was in such a hurry. The gentleman told me no, that he needed to go to the nursing home to eat breakfast with his wife. I inquired as to her health.

He told me that she had been there for a while and that she was a victim of Alzheimer's Disease. As we talked, I asked if she would be upset if he was a bit late. He replied that she no longer knew who he was, that she had not recognized him in five years now. I was surprised, and asked him, 'And you still go every morning, even though she doesn't know who you are?' He smiled as he patted my hand and said, 'She doesn't know me, but I still know who she is.'

I had to hold back tears as he left, I had goose bumps on my arm, and thought, 'That is the kind of love I want in my life.'

                True love is neither physical, nor romantic True love is acceptance of all that is, has been, will be, and will not be

                                         The happiest people don't necessarily have the best of everything
                                                   they just make the best of everything they have.

                                 Life isn't about how to survive the storm but how to dance in the rain


Cat Jahinke with Dr. Rage also Amanda Fandych
         Dec. 5, 7:30, 1077 Grant, Tickets $12
                 Grant/Wilton Coffee House

That's When the Fight Started

After retiring, I went to the Social Security office to apply for Social Security. The woman behind the counter asked me for my driver's License to verify my age. I looked in my pockets and realized I had left my wallet at home. I told the woman that I was very sorry, but I would have to go home and come back later.

The woman said, 'Unbutton your shirt'. So I opened my shirt revealing my curly silver hair. She said, 'That silver hair on your chest is proof enough for
me' and she processed my Social Security application.

When I got home, I excitedly told my wife about my experience at the Social Security office. She said, 'You should have dropped your pants. You might have gotten disability too.'

That's When the Fight Started!

Have a great week-remember your in charge of it!