Turn PM’s words into action for peace

The following letter was published in Ottawa Sun, on Dec 16th, 2023

I am thankful that the prime minister has recently 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, has shaken me. I cannot imagine the pain of those mothers and fathers who have had to bury 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 Quran states that whoever killed an innocent person, “it 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” (Chapter 5: Verse 33).

I hope the prime minister’s words are not merely empty words, but rather accompanied with tangible efforts. Should the conflict continue unchecked, I, like many, fear that it could take the entire world in its grip. His Holiness, Mirza Masoor Ahmad, the Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, remarked at the onset of this conflict, “May the major world powers of the world also 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 work towards lasting peace.

Sinwan Basharat, Ottawa



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