OP-EDs


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...

Read More


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 ...

Read More


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 ...

Read More


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 ...

Read More


The ‘other’ has no place in PQ’s charter of values

Only ‘pure laine’ Quebecers would seem to have a stake in Pauline Marois’ province.  By: Amira Elghawaby | Toronto Star, September 3, 2013 It wasn’t too long ago in Quebec’s storied history that a miffed separatist leader blamed “money and the ethnic vote” for stealing the dream of a separate nation-state. It seems that those “ethnics” haven’t stopped the sabotage and that the time has come to put them in their place. At least that’s the narrative Quebec Premier Pauline Marois is not-so-subtly portraying with her ...

Read More


Standing up for religious freedom abroad but not at home

Ottawa's policy on prison chaplains discriminates against non-Christians. By: Amira Elghawaby | Toronto Star, March 31, 2013 When it comes to promoting religious freedom, the government could do with a little more fairness right here at home. Less than a month after the Conservative government officially established the Office for Religious Freedom, a multi-faith flock of Canadians is taking the government to court for violating the very freedoms the government pledges the new office will promote abroad. In a united front that ...

Read More


Putting ‘radicalization’ in context

By Amira Elghawaby, Special to the National Post | January 8, 2013 In a January 3 news item, the National Post profiled a Canadian Security Intelligence Services (CSIS) report released under the Access to Information Act. The report concludes that Islamist extremists are radicalizing Canadians at “a large number of venues.” The heavily redacted document offers a few general examples of “non-traditional venues” where this radicalization allegedly is happening — including prisons, and within families. However, what we do not find is any evidence to justify ...

Read More