…Iranian diplomats are no longer welcome in Canada…
…Will this lead to war? Prime Minister Harper is quoted as saying…”
I’m listening to the radio as I drive from work to my son’s daycare, and it’s full of the news about Canada and Iran. Canada has withdrawn their diplomats, kicked out the Iranian diplomats, and we’re basically on the brink of war with this Middle Eastern nation. And as I drive, I think about the warm, gentle, loving people who care for my son each day.
All of them are from Iran.
There are a lot of Iranian expats in Vancouver, and I wonder what they think of this news. Are they worried for their family back in Iran? No doubt. Are they upset with Canada for causing such problems? Are they fretting about how hard this will make it for them to go home? Or are they supportive of Canada’s decision?
It must be hard to live in a country that is on the brink of war with your own.
But then, many Iranians are living in Canada for a reason. The Islamist government, political turmoil…? Most of what I know about Iran I know from reading Persepolis, so I’m sure my perceptions are out of date. I know that they don’t call themselves Iranians – they call themselves Persians, so that’s what we call them, too.
Which makes it easy to forget that they are even from Iran.
Maybe that’s why they do it. I’ve never asked.
All I know is that when I get to my son’s daycare, we don’t talk about whose country might bomb whose.
We don’t talk about whose leader is a bigger idiot.
We don’t talk about politics at all.
We talk about more important things, like the fall my son took on the concrete this afternoon, when to potty train, whether or not he slept well last night, and how many helpings of lamb shank with saffron rice he asked for at lunch time.
I don’t think my Daycare Lady is ashamed of her country. The one time we touched on local news, the time Iran brought down that American plane, she was proud of her people’s brilliance in doing such a thing.
I also don’t think that it really matters whose country does what to whose.
It doesn’t matter that she is a devout Muslim, and that she is helping me raise my agnostic/atheist/Christian son.
It just… doesn’t factor in.
In the U.S., I see a lot of anti-Islamic sentiment. That stupid film, for example. I have spoken to Indian (Hindu!) men stopped at U.S. airports, and there was a lot of outrage at that Mosque which was built down the road from Ground Zero.
In the Middle East, U.S. flags are burned and protests against the West rage.
I’ve never seen much of that in Canada.
We went to war with Afghanistan after September 11th, but it was really just a show of solidarity with the States, not because we had anything against Afghanistan. We flat-out refused to go to Iraq.
Now Canada is stirring things up with Iran, but I don’t think your average Canadian is going to care. We’ll just keep putting our kids in Persian daycare all the same, because people are people, and children are children, and we are all living and loving together, here.
They say Canada is not a melting pot, it’s a salad bowl. We all mix together but retain our personal cultures, languages, and nationalities.
My child’s caretaker can be a religious Muslim, loyal to her country, and proud of her people. My country can go to war with her country, and we’ll still mix together just fine, because none of that is important compared to this:
How did my son get that scratch on his face, and does it need ointment?
What political issues don’t affect your daily life, even when it seems like they should?
This is an original post for World Moms Blog from mother of one, Carol @IfByYes.
Photo credit to A. Davey. This image has a creative commons attribute license.