Letters to the editor, August 21, 2014

These are the letters and comments from the print edition

Still missing

I am so grateful for your honesty ("The missing, the mourned," Cover Story by Annie Margaret Clair, August 14). This is so important for people to understand. When we do not protect kids from useless emotions such as guilt and shame we create trauma that extends into the fibre of our identity. Speaking is the first step to action. —posted by loriannmikmaq at thecoast.ca

I cried reading this. Your words can reach and touch people. These are words that need to be told. Thanks.—posted by Naava Smolash

Wela'lin for this writing and sharing these powerful stories Annie! Educating people about our histories, traumas and realities helps them understand why we're more susceptible to losing our brothers and sisters this way. At a young age, our parents tell us constantly to be careful. We're warned that if we go missing or our siblings go missing, that the police won't bother to look for us. As adults, we witness many of our brothers and sisters going missing, and sadly, we see their warnings coming to fruition. As people, we deserve the same treatment as anyone else. Hillary, Loretta, Chris and their families are in my thoughts and prayers and I honour you for sharing the truth and their stories. —posted by Shelley A. Young

Dog day

I am concerned that a Nova Scotia MLA prayed over hot dogs at the Fairview Annual Community BBQ last weekend to "make them halal" ("Patricia Arab serves hot dogs to Muslims, says it's halal," The City online by Jacob Boon, August 18). Can Patricia Arab turn also water into wine and make lobster kosher or are her powers confined to turning haram into halal?

While there is a halal grocer across from the park where the BBQ was held, people were pleasantly surprised that the food was halal. Usually, there is nothing for us to eat at community events and it was good to see multiculturalism embraced. But these hot dogs did not taste like halal hot dogs.

Then people at the barbecue assured Muslims that while the package indicated the hotdogs were not halal, MLA Patricia Arab "said a prayer" to make them halal. This is upsetting to Muslims who take our faith seriously.

Muslims are taught that all animals should be treated with respect and well cared for. The goal is to limit the amount of pain it will endure when killing the animal. Otherwise, the animal is "haram" (forbidden). A prayer by a politician cannot change how the animal was killed.

While my family has not lived here for generations, it was easy to understand why Liberal MLA Joachim Stroink should not celebrate Christmas by posing for photos while sitting on a man wearing blackface. Although this was a part of his Dutch heritage, even in Holland it is offensive.

But the solution to that ugly event is not to act as if culture, language and religion are not important. Liberal MLAs should also not pretend to be halal butchers.

I harbour no ill will toward the Fairview Community Association, and welcome them to learn more about all cultures that make up the community. Next year, the community can come together and truly offer something for everyone. —Ayan, Fairview

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