Canada's War on Islam: The Case of Mohamed Harkat - by Stephen Lendman
Like in America post-9/11, Canadian Muslims have been victimized, vilified, and persecuted for their faith, ethnicity, prominence, and activism. They've been targeted, hunted down, rounded up, held in detention, kept in isolation, denied bail, restricted in their right to counsel, tried on secret evidence, convicted or incriminated on bogus charges, given long sentences and incarcerated as political prisoners or deported to certain torture, imprisonment or death by so-called democratic countries that, in fact, mock the rule of law and judicial fairness.
Victims are pawns in the war on terror - how rogue states intimidate populations to accept foreign wars and homeland repression to mask their more sinister agenda. Today, it reflects unbridled militarism, permanent wars, imperial conquest, and planned economic crises causing lost jobs, homes, benefits, futures, and the greatest ever wealth transfer to the rich, largely below the radar.
In her 2005 paper, "Securing Canada: Muslims and the Myth of Multiculturalism in the post-911 World," Samantha Arnold discussed the environment as defined by Canada's Anti-Terrorism Act and the Canadian-US Smart Border Declaration, saying:
"....Arab and Muslim Canadians have been 'painted with the bin Laden brush,' cast as terrorists, interrogated and detained on the basis of secret evidence, subjected to hate crimes, denied passage across international borders, represented in racist and demeaning ways in the media, and constructed as 'aliens' in Canada notwithstanding their citizenship (or legal residency) status."
It flies in the face of the country's image as a tolerant, compassionate society, embracing diversity and multiculturalism - the very "foundational myth of this country, a mythical heritage of tolerance that turns on the historical reconciliation of French, English, and Aboriginal peoples." In fact, the reality unmasks the mythology, Mohamed Harkat one of many prime examples, an innocent man victimized for political advantage, so far denied due process and judicial fairness.
Detailed information about him can be found at justiceforharkat.com.
Algerian born, he emigrated to Canada in 1995 at age 28, settled in Ottawa, worked as a gas station attendant and pizza delivery man, met his future wife, and now together seek justice and an end to their ordeal.
In 1997, he got refugee status after successfully arguing that Algerian authorities would persecute him. Could he have imagined in Canada as well - nominally democratic with its Charter of Rights and Freedoms stating:
"Everyone has the following freedoms:
a. freedom of conscience and religion;
b. freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication;
c. freedom of peaceful assembly; and
d. freedom of association."
Its Article 7 assures everyone "the right to life, liberty and security of person and the right not to be deprived thereof in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice."
By persecuting the innocent, Canada like America, defiles its principles, laws, and fundamental human rights and values - a clear sign of emerging fascism under which all rights are lost. No one is safe when state power goes unchallenged, the fast track both countries now pursue, inventing threats to advance it while destroying civil liberties and freedom.