"We live in a world where there are always risks. And the question is how much do you want to live in fear of those risks. The best counter to the kind of radicalization and marginalization that we've seen in other parts of the world is to create an inclusive society where everyone, including and especially Muslim Canadians, have every opportunity to succeed just like anybody else." — Justin Trudeau on "The Daily Show with Trevor Noah"
The Daily Show with Trevor Noah played up its story on Syrian refugees in Canada as the "Battle of North America" with Hasan Minhaj vs. Justin Trudeau. We definitely saw parallels to the "60 Minutes" story on Trudeau.
An interview in the Parliament library, just like when Lara Logan talked to the prime minister in the library. The battle involving Minhaj and Trudeau with boxing gloves and trunks, just like Logan's trip to the Montréal gym where Trudeau boxes and showing highlights from the charity fight with Conservative Senator Patrick Brazeau.
The Daily Show doing a story on the Syrian refugees is nice, but a bit surprising. With Trevor Noah as host, Canada has drifted into the ether on The Daily Show. Noah did say earlier this month that he is "completely in love" with Trudeau. Maybe this is a turning point.
Minhaj highlighted the paranoia that passes for "information" on Fox "News" Channel. "There's very very little that we can do to prevent the problem of refugees permeating our border and coming in. It's very very scary," said Andrea Tantaros. "Thousands of Syrian refugees entering Canada will sneak across the U.S. border. Some of them will be ISIS supporters," said an unidentified FNC contributor.
The refugees running from the Syrian civil war are against ISIS because of the damage to their lives. Canada understands this; some in the U.S. do not. In Canada, there was a backlash because the Liberals weren't fast enough in getting 25,000 refugees to come by Christmas, settling for February to reach the goal. Minhaj pointed out that the 25,000 mark is roughly 23,000 more than the U.S. has brought into the country.
Minhaj talked to a few Canadians who were "more pissed off than any Canadians I had ever seen." Of course, they were upset because they feel more refugees should be coming into Canada. He noted the Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program allows groups of 5 of more people to raise money to bring in refugees. Private sponsorship has accounted for about 10,000 of the refugees.
In true Daily Show style, Minhaj played up the exaggerated threat. One of the women in the group responded, "We wouldn't blame all Syrians for that one Syrian. We don't blame all Americans for Donald Trump." That line got applause from The Daily Show studio audience watching the story.
The false perception that the Canadian border was a concern after 9/11 was slammed by Minhaj's facts. He said since 9/11, 0 terrorists have been caught crossing the border. If you go back almost 20 years: 2 have tried, and 1 of them was a refugee. Sure, he was caught and is serving 2 consecutive life sentences. Minhaj said instead of a 0% chance, the chances went up to 0.00019%.
"One of the great things about Canadian culture is we figured out that it's done by addition. So you take flavors and perspectives and experiences of the world and you create something better than the sum of its parts," said the prime minister during the interview.
Minhaj also talked to a Syrian refugee family in Ottawa. He is a dentist, his wife studied English literature. "I want to say thank you to Canada," said the wife. "Canada is my dream come true. The biggest difference is the safety we feel here."
She explained that not everybody in Syria is a terrorist. There are many good people in the country who don't like the war and don't like ISIS.
We saw clips of Trudeau greeting Syrian refugees and an exchange in a Tim Hortons with Canadians welcoming the refugees to Canada. That would have been a good detail for the segment to mention since that might not have been clear from the clips.
Minhaj borrowed a bit from the Barack Obama script for when Trudeau visited Washington for the White House State Dinner. He came up with a fake Stanley Cup as an incentive to promise not to accept any more refugees. Trudeau stated the obvious that it wasn't the Stanley Cup but "we're going to earn this fair and square next year."
The segment made an analogy with a "terrorist threat" since Nickleback released the album "Silver Side Up" on September 11, 2001. Trudeau mildly defended the band, a subject of scorn on both sides of the border.
The best/worst stereotype probably had to go with the idea of terrorists riding moose in an attempt to cross the border.
The Daily Show with Trevor Noah runs on Comedy Central in the United States and the Comedy Channel and CTV in Canada.
videos credit: The Daily Show with Trevor Noah
photo credit: The Daily Show with Trevor Noah