Throughout history, it has been the inaction of those who could have acted; the indifference of those who should have known better; the silence of the voice of justice when it mattered most; that has made it possible for evil to triumph. - Haile Selassie
There is a higher court than courts of justice and that is the court of conscience. It supersedes all other courts. - Mahatma Gandhi
A story has come to my attention in recent days that I need your help in understanding.
I’m not a stupid guy, having IPOd a company while being blessed to count all but one of the Fortune 25 as clients of mine as well as innumerable government agencies, not-for-profits, etc., in multiple countries.
But I am asking for your help to help me understand a story that my mind simply can’t figure out.
Over the course of the past 6 months, the Canadian government has bent over backward to bring 25,000 Syrian refugees to Canada. This is a noble and essential effort and one that Canada has excelled at for years – bringing hope and love to those who lost sight of both in a life of despair, violence and complexity.
Even with the threat that some of these refugees may be terrorists imbedded within a stream of humanity desperately looking for hope, we accept the refugees anyway. We do so because we believe that it is better to accept such a risk – that we will deal with any miscreants should they surface while simultaneously helping the majority of the people who are floundering.
The reality is that if we always insisted that helping someone must always produce a positive result with absolutely no risk, then we would never help anyone at all.
What kind of world would we have then?
How would you feel if you needed help but were rejected because there was a risk involved in helping you?
So help me to understand something.
Some years ago, a Canadian citizen by the name of Alison Azer (her married name) fell in love with and married a man by the name of Saren Nazer. He was an immigrant himself, coming from Iran.
His story is complex and is best told in a National Post article that I will reveal in a moment.
The long and short of the story is that this man, a man who raised so many flags with CSIS that his permanent resident status was constantly held up, married a Canadian citizen and had four kids with her.
This is also a man who was charged by the RCMP for uttering threats against his wife, causing her to seek shelter with her children in a woman’s shelter in Victoria.
He also became more and more radicalized regarding Kurdish independence and was tied by CSIS to potential Kurdish terrorist groups.
In other words, this person sounds like trouble.
It is the 21st century, a time when we allegedly defend battered women and children and protect the safety of Canadians against such people.
And despite all of this, in the custody battle that ensued as their marriage fell apart, this man was granted the right to take the four children out of the country for “a vacation”.
He never came back.
That was over 7 months ago.
Their heart breaking story can be found in the following links:
- ‘There are four Canadian kids being held captive in a war zone and no one seems to be doing anything about it’ (National Post)
- Editorial: The government can save these children (Ottawa Citizen)
- Canadian mom Alison Azer fears abducted kids in Iraq with their dad (CBC – The Current)
- Find Azer Kids Now (public awareness website)
Here is where I need your help.
We are told that our government will go to the ends of the earth to protect us and to help us in times of need.
We have watched our government go to the ends of the earth to bring 25,000 Syrians here to experience real living in a nation built upon peace, love and opportunity.
Four Canadian children somewhere in the world are crying to their mom for help.
A Canadian woman weeps for her children who have been taken illegally from her, with the courts subsequently having given her sole custody of them.
The government knows where the children are.
And yet our government does nothing to help them or her. Maybe it's because many of our elected officials seem to prefer to tackle the easy stuff that generates great PR / feel-good for their own needs rather than take on the important things for their constituents that is also more difficult to solve.
The media does little to carry the message into the light of day, preferring to pontificate ad nauseum about matters more sensationalist but no more important than the safety of Canadian children.
Mayors of major Canadian cities have no comment but tell them that a puppy is lost in their city and they are all over it.
And so my question is ….. why?
Why do we allow this to happen?
If we are a so-called great nation extending a hand of love and understanding to those who are lost in the world, why can’t we do the same to one of our own who merely wants her children back?
Wouldn’t you want your children back if this happened to you?
So why aren’t we doing more to help this woman and her children?
Can you answer that one question for me …..
In service and servanthood,