Goodale must investigate racism allegations against CSIS

By Faisal Kutty
Toronto Star | July 30, 2017

By now many people have heard about the $35-million lawsuit against the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) filed earlier this month. The 54-page statement of claim on behalf of five intelligence officers and analysts allege a toxic workplace where some managers and supervisors discriminate against Muslim, Black and gay employees. The pleadings (yet to be tested in court) also accuse the spy agency of Islamophobia, racism and homophobia.

While conceding that there are bad apples in every bunch and that it must be dealt with if the allegations are proven, national security analyst and former CSIS agent Mubin Shaikh says, “We should not judge all of CSIS by the actions of a few.” I can’t argue with that, but here are a few critical points to note in addressing the concerns raised.

First, this is not just any bunch. As Ihsaan Gardee of the National Council on Canadian Muslims points out, the allegations should be even more concerning given that “in the context of intelligence gathering Canadian Muslims already face disproportionate scrutiny.”

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