Israel-Hamas ceasefire

The following letter was published in The Toronto Star, on Dec 14th, 2023.

Canada votes for UN resolution calling for Israel-Hamas ceasefireDec. 12

I am extremely thankful that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has advocated for international efforts toward a sustainable ceasefire in Gaza. I am not a Palestinian, nor am I an Israeli. However, I am a father and seeing the devastating loss of innocent lives, especially of children, and that has shaken me for the past two months. I cannot imagine the pain of those mothers and fathers who have had to endure the pain of burying their children.

Judaism and Islam both strongly condemn the killing of innocent people. In the Old Testament, it states that the Lord hates “hands that shed innocent blood” (Proverbs 6:17). Similarly, the Holy Qur’an states that whoever killed an innocent person “shall be as if he had killed all mankind; and whoso gave life to one, it shall be as if he had given life to all mankind.” I hope Trudeau’s words are not merely empty words, but rather accompanied with tangible efforts. Should the conflict continue to go unchecked, I like many, fear that it could take the entire world in its grip. Mirza Masroor Ahmad, the current leader of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, called on the major world powers to be “granted right-mindedness so that instead of taking the world towards destruction, they try to save it.” I hope Canada can heed these important words and works towards lasting peace.

Sinwan Basharat, Ottawa



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