4 Syrian refugee families have been sponsored by a mosque in Dorval

The Dorval Mosque has already received one family, and it’s waiting for four more that have been approved.

Alfadel Mofti's family made journey from Syria, Lebanon, Turkey and finally Canada

Mehmet Deger of the Dorval Mosque sorts clothing donations that will go to refugee families the mosque has sponsored. (CBC News)

As the debate over whether or not to accept Syrian refugees carries on, one mosque in Dorval is busy preparing to welcome families it has helped sponsor.

The Dorval Mosque has already received one family, and it's waiting for four more that have been approved.

"There's a war going on in Syria and there is hunger, destruction, cities are destroyed," said Mehmet Deger, president of the mosque. "They are in a desperate situation so we try to save one life. If we save one life, we save the whole humanity," he added, quoting a verse from the Koran.

Deger has been busy organizing the donations the mosque has received. The basement is full of winter coats, books and toys.

Alfadel Mofti and his daughter Ghina are members of the first Syrian family sponsored by the Dorval Mosque. They are already living in the Montreal area. (CBC News)

One family that will receive some of the donations is already safe and settled in the Montreal area. For two years, Alfadel Mofti's family made the journey from Syria, to Lebanon, to Turkey, and finally Canada.

There is only one channel on the family's television set. Keeping up with the news from back home is not easy. And whatever they do hear is not good news.

"We ran because I was afraid, I took my children and brought them here," Mofti said in broken English. "We were running from things like this, many thieves, many murders."

But they're doing fine here. Mofti has found work at a factory and his children are learning French in school.

Donated toys and books sit in the Dorval Mosque's basement. They will be given to five refugee families from Syria. (CBC News)

Not everyone welcomes refugees like Mofti's family. Since the weekend, more than 70,000 people have signed a petition calling on the Canadian government to suspend the arrival of immigrants from Syria, for reasons of national security.

Deger says there's no reason to fear refugees.

"There's a security checkup and the Canadian government is very careful on that. I don't think any terrorists will come to Canada," he said.


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