Tuesday, June 20, 2006

"Goodwill and generosity" 

Harper gets it --"Canada's diversity, properly nurtured, is our greatest strength" he said at the opening of the UN World Urban Forum.
I was thrilled to hear him say this. Harper didn't take the political path, one which seems to be particularly easy for conservatives, and particularly easy for Bush-bots, of blaming immigration for social problems, amplifying fear and divisiveness, pandering to people who want to slam the door and keep out everyone black, brown or yellow.
Instead, Harper has turned the terrorist arrests into an opportunity to lead Canada toward a broader vision -- perhaps also recognizing that some of the members of his own party are most in need of this leadership:
Some commentators have blamed Canada's open, multicultural society for spawning the alleged terrorist network, Mr. Harper added. "They have said it makes us a more vulnerable target for terrorist activity." But rather than shutting out those from other countries with different ethnic backgrounds and religions, Canada should maintain its long-standing, open-door policy, he said.
"It is true that somewhere, in some communities, we will find . . . apostles of terror, who use the symbols of culture and faith to justify crimes of violence . . . the terrorists and their vision will be rejected "by men and women of good will and generosity in all communities," Mr. Harper affirmed to loud applause.
A great speech -- and, perhaps for the first time, I can be proud that the man who made it is Canada's prime minister.

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