On January 26, 2012 this article was published in the paper in response to a note (see below) I published on Facebook (on January 25, 2012) going viral. The note simply encouraged Tasmanians to be compassionate rather than critical toward refugees and asylum seekers. Tony’s recent comments on “the boats” as always get my blood boiling, so I thought it might be time for a re-share….
If this sparks your interest let me know! I am always happy to talk more on this topic! Additionally, you may enjoy reading “Ocean of Tears” the story of a Faili Kurd who came to Australia by boat…. you can find this story under the link “Stories for People with No Names.”
Compassion Not Criticism
Until recently I worked in the Pontville Immigration Detention Centre, and I must say, meeting the men detained there was a great privilege. When I worked there I worked among teachers, engineers, professors, doctors and fathers who would do anything to build better futures for their children. Men who loved their homelands, love their families and who worked hard but due to circumstances beyond their control were forced to flee their homelands.
Knowing that so many of these men suffer from unimaginable nightmares, depression and loneliness tears out my heart. I know some of the men who have been on hunger strikes… they need out support, our prayers, our compassion and friendship… they don’t need criticism and prejudice.
I have never run from a war, been shot at, seen my children starve, my wife raped or been tortured… but by Christ if this ever happened to me or my brothers I pray that we would handle it with the level of dignity our brothers in Pontville are.
January 26 in Australia Day – make it the day to act with compassion towards asylum seekers and refugees.