Kristine wanders

The musings of a wanderer......

Mixed Emotions

I’ve taken a bit of a break from blogging the last couple weeks. I’ve been angry. Things have been churning inside me for the last couple months as I attempted to make sense of the many numerous negative comments and shared images that have been flooding my Facebook news feed. Last month and the month before they mostly had to do with Canadian and American politics, and the European issue with what to do about the refugee crisis. Many status updates and shared links I read were straight-up racist, bigoted, and spoke to the narrow mindedness of people. I read them and let the comments stew inside me. You see I have mixed emotions. I see the world in a global view where every human being is equal. Maybe that sounds naive, but it’s how I interact with others. I am not better, nor am I less than you. I felt conflicted as one of the things that I deeply love about being Canadian is how multicultural Canada is. That to be “Canadian” does not mean you have white skin. We are a broad mix of colours and religions and backgrounds. In my opinion it’s what makes Canada so great. But, at the same time I also believe that if people want to come to Canada they have to follow our laws, learn to speak English and/or French, and that they have to be accepting of our beliefs and freedoms.

Many of the comments and shared links I read had to do with the shared idea that “We shouldn’t help refugees until we help our own people.” Our own people. Yet, this left me wondering if the people who share comments like that are in fact helping our own people. Are they going out of their way to help their neighbour, or the elderly, or that homeless war vet down the street as their message preaches. Are they? Sadly, I’m doubtful of this. Because I don’t even really think the issue is about helping. I think it’s about fear, and changing the imaginary “face” of how they see Canada.

This week Paris was the scene of a horrific terror attack. As was Beirut. And I’ve seen a huge increase in the awful comments about Muslims, and about closing borders, and about the unfairness of the attention the Paris attacks received as compared to Beirut or Baghdad. And again my emotions stewed. And I became more angry. Angry at the people who commit these attacks, but also at the people who lump all Muslims into one category. To paraphrase some of what I’ve read “A Muslim = A Terrorist.” What surprises me the most about these comments is that I’m pretty sure many of the people who post shit like this probably don’t actually know anyone who’s Muslim. Well I’ve met Muslims. Hundreds. Maybe even a thousand. Maybe more. Not only here in Saudi but back when I worked in the states. I’ve met Muslims from the Middle East and from Africa. Men and women. I’ve shared meals with them, and many, many laughs. Some of them have become very dear to me. None of them have tried to kill me. I’m fairly certain none of them are terrorists.

During my time living in Saudi Arabia and traveling in the Middle East I have met lovely Muslims. Don’t get me wrong, I have also met some awful people who also happen to be Muslim during my time here as well. But….. newsflash….. over the years I’ve met a ton of assholes from Canada and America. Some from the UK. Some from Europe. Arrogant selfish people who I would cringe when I found out that we shared the same type of passport. To lump all people into one category is absurd. It only makes sense to do so when your whole world view is so small it only accounts for your safe little western bubble. I guess that’s the end of my rant. There’s so much more I want to say but I’ll just end with a prayer. A prayer for lives lost, for homes and countries lost. A prayer to those who no longer feel safe. A prayer of tolerance and kindness for each other. A prayer for peace.



  1. Hi Kristine,
    I really relate to your blog today. I also know many Muslim people, in fact, one of my daughter-in-laws is Pakistani Muslim and a more dear person you will never meet. Her family are loving and kind and are wonderful people to know. I am sad for the hatred shown since the recent attacks in the world. Thanks for your thoughts.

  2. YES!

  3. well written its same anywhere one lives, here in NZ and Australia as well, so many prejudices, but what was sad about the Paris happening was that things happeneds elsewhere in the world some including natural disasters – earthquakes, and most not getting any mention at all hardly

  4. I am so glad to read this posting. You are so right about everything you said. I’ve had a problem reading what people have been posting. When did our own country become so uncaring. I’ve always been proud how our country has been accepting of everyone. No matter color or religion. I’ve been very disappointed in the last little with comments people have left. Even people I know and thought I knew. When I stand up to them, they inform me that I have rose coloured glasses. I will continue to stand up to them. I will be trying to help people no matter where they are from and who they are. We are all citizens of the world. This has been really bothering me. I also will be volunteering to help with any refugees that come to Kelowna. Thank you Kristine for saying these things and explaining them to everyone on your blog. I totally admire you!!

    • kristinewanders

      November 19, 2015 at 9:32 am


      Thanks so much for your lovely words about the blog post. If I were in Kelowna I would also be volunteering with any refugees they got!

  5. Well said Kristine!!!

  6. Well said sister. Bigotry and hatred has no place in society. Unfortunately, here in the United Sates its the politician and media who are fueling these flames for votes and ratings. Just like you said good and bad comes in all kinds of people unfortunately. To put all people into one box and labeled them bad is just wrong.
    These refugees are just as victims as the innocent lives lost in Paris.

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