OP-EDs


Creating a bogeyman

The fuss over Justin Trudeau’s Park Ex mosque visit is unwarranted and disturbing By Ihsaan Gardee Montreal Gazette | August 15, 2014 There are more than 1 million Muslims living in Canada today. Is the community supposed to know what each and every one of them is up to, at any given time? Of course not; the question is both preposterous and offensive. And yet Canada's governing party, encouraged by cheerleaders at Sun News, want Canadians to believe that Liberal leader Justin Trudeau knows what Muslims are up to (no good), and that he supports them anyway. ...

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Fostering hate in the halls of power

By Amy Awad National Post | August 7, 2014 There was a time when Canada was known as an open, fair-minded country, led by level-headed politicians striving to bring about positive change at home and abroad. This reputation transcended the political party in power and set the tone for how Canadians saw themselves. This is no longer the case. Rather than nuance and context, our federal leaders have adopted simplistic notions of “good” and “evil” to drive their policy decisions. Not only has this marginalized certain segments of the Canadian population, it is ...

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Canada lets down its citizens

By Amy Awad LL.B., LL.M. Huffington Post Canada | June 26, 2014 There's something about a Canadian passport that offers its owner a degree of confidence. After all, in the hierarchy of citizenships, Canada ranks near the top. A Canadian passport can get you into 170 countries without a visa. But it can't get you out of jail; even if it's clear that you've been wrongfully accused. Along with the widely-publicized sentencing of a Canadian journalist in Egypt, several other Canadians are currently being held abroad under dubious circumstances and critics say the ...

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Bill C-24 would undermine rights to citizenship

By: Abbas Kassam |  Toronto Star, June 16, 2014 As Canadian citizens, we have a right to justice, equality and fairness under the law. No one is above the law, including those elected to formulate it. Bill C-24, ironically named the Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act, changes these basic assumptions in important ways, most critically by removing decision-making powers from independent courts and replacing it with the entirely subjective discretion of the immigration minister. Under current immigration laws, naturalized Canadians can lose their ...

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Anti-Muslim diatribe promotes false suspicion

By Ihsaan Gardee Winnipeg Free Press | May 16, 2014 In "Terrorists in our midst" (May 12, 2014), Danny Eisen and Tom Quiggin apparently sought to educate the public about the threat of terrorism. Instead, they presented a conspiracy-laden diatribe that, in a sweeping stroke, smeared our long-standing Canadian organization as "terrorists" and despicably suggested we intend to destroy Canada from within. By painting a far-fetched plot of sedition, the writers deliberately avoided the truth and mimicked the documented anti-Muslim cottage industry south ...

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Don’t Separate ‘Honour Crimes’ From Other Violence Against Women

By Amy Awad, Huffington Post Canada | April 10, 2014 Most would agree that with a women murdered every six days in Canada, we need to address gendered violence in all its forms. This cannot be done, tempting and reassuring as it might be, by simplistically attributing the problem to one religious group to the exclusion of others. In the Clarion Project's latest documentary titled Honour Diaries, now making its way around North America, the producers seem bent on doing just that. The documentary claims to expose the paralyzing political correctness that prevents us from ...

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People immigrate. Religions don’t.

By Amy Awad, National Post 27/02/2014 The Macdonald-Laurier Institute (MLI), a national public policy think tank, claims its mission is to make “poor quality public policy unacceptable.” Their first debate of 2014 is tonight. Unlike recreational debating societies, MLI is supposed to be providing real policy alternatives. But the resolution being debated tonight is informed by fear: “Muslim immigration is no threat to Canada or the West.” Can you imagine if the word “Muslim” were replaced by any other religious or ethno-cultural group — say “Jewi...

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Why we are suing the Prime Minister’s Office

By Ihsaan Gardee Toronto Star | February 3, 2015 One would think it unfathomable in Canada that the heart of our democratic government – the Prime Minister’s Office – would use the bullying tactics of undemocratic regimes to silence dissenters, but it has. Our organization, a mainstream Canadian NGO has worked tirelessly to protect civil liberties for over a decade, was recently smeared by the PMO as being affiliated with a banned terrorist group. Why? Because we dared to exercise our right to criticize Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s decision to ...

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Quebec’s values charter would institutionalize prejudice

BY SHIRIN EDARECHI, MONTREAL GAZETTE September 23, 2013 State neutrality is a classic concept embraced by secular and liberal states to address religious and cultural differences. The Parti Québécois government in Quebec isn’t unique in claiming to strive for neutrality, but it is doing so with a twist that adds a certain political charge to the debate. In its promotion of the idea of a neutral Quebec, the proposed Charter of Quebec Values is being portrayed as a knight in shining armour, saving and protecting Quebec’s values and heritage under threat by the ...

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Some hate appears to be acceptable

Ottawa makes no move to block Islamophobe speakers.  By: Ihsaan Gardee | Toronto Star, September 16, 2013 Good Jews lie to advance Judaism. It’s the law. Devout Jews should be prohibited from military service. Would Patton have recruited Nazis into his army? Jewish loyalty supersedes nationalism, and it is impossible to tell where any given Jew’s loyalties actually lie. These statements, read on their own, could easily be mistaken as having come from that oft-recycled anti-Semitic hoax, the Protocols of the Elders of ...

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