I became the lead defence counsel for several men of Libyan origin who were disappeared by the United Arab Emirates' (UAE) State Security Service (SSS) in 2014. I knew at the time that our position was a just one, but I didn't realize how much the fate of my clients would impact the conduct and reputation of nations.
Right-wing commentators are calling Justin Trudeau's decision to withdraw fighter jets from Syria-Iraq "un-Liberal" and unfortunately they're right. But, by citing the Liberal sponsored Responsibility to Protect (R2P) to justify Canadian participation in the U.S.-led bombing, these pundits are revealing the essence of this "humanitarian imperialist" doctrine.
What's going on in Libya is not trafficking, but a large-scale effort to smuggle migrants into Europe by men who are often greedy and unscrupulous. In the vast majority of cases, they are smuggling these migrants at their own request. A similar confusion with nomenclature applies to the debate over sex trafficking. There's a problem with calling something by the wrong name.
The number of deaths have been mounting over the years. The International Organization of Migration estimates that somewhere in the range of 20,000 women, men and children have drowned in the Mediterranean between 2000 and 2014, while trying to reach safety and new lives in Europe. Canada can and should be central to international efforts to address the underlying crises in Syria, Eritrea and other countries, propelling the displacement that leads to the Mediterranean. This is not a crisis that Canada should simply observe and lament.
The Government of Canada has just given new meaning to the word "chutzpah". Adel Benhmuda tried to claim refugee status in Canada; he failed. When he said he'd be tortured if deported back to Libya this country didn't believe him. After all this country put them through, it should be Canada reimbursing the Benhmudas.
I don't know anything about bulls, and bears, candlesticks or hanging men, but as a resident of the Middle East I can testify that green technologies make nations and communities proud to be part of them. Green technologies make places better. Solar projects change people too: they bring jobs, and sweep away pollution. They give security to people without energy security.
Adel Benhmuda is owed an apology from this country, as are his wife, Aisha, and their four children. After living in Canada for several years their refugee claim failed and Benhmuda's assertions that he would be tortured in Libya were dismissed. In 2008 the family was deported. Upon arrival in Libya, Adel was arrested and tortured. What I would like Minister Kenney to do is stand up in the House of Commons, admit that his beloved asylum system made a grave error and most importantly, apologize to the Benhmudas for what their family was forced to go through.
I was one of the lucky few who was invited to attend a rare opportunity to have a roundtable discussion with former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan who was in Toronto for an exclusive speaking engagement as part of an ongoing speakers series. Annan answered our questions which covered various hot button topics including the ways towards a successful society, Iran, Romney and China. Here is what he said.
The stage was set at Boca Raton's Lynn University. The desk dusted, chairs put in place and zingers primed and ready for volleying. Oh, and it was supposed to be about Foreign Policy. Right? Well it kind of was. Kind of. According to Romney, American grade school teachers are part of American foreign policy. Confused? Wait, there's more...
Last night Obama needed to win. There really was no other option. Obama was so on (and then some) that you could feel Bill Maher's elation when he tweeted about the return of the "Black Ninja." Then it got seriously real when the issue of energy and drilling companies motivated both to pretty much get into each other's grills creating one of many unexpected and unforgettable moments. Moments such as a woman named Lorraine. Or was it Lorianne? In fact, there was a binder full of women. Romney attempting to spike the ball by asking Obama repeatedly if he has in fact checked his (much smaller) pension. And Michelle and Ann's fashion blunder.
Let's get one thing straight: Abubakar Kasim is not advocating for "tolerance, respect and harmony" in his latest piece for the Huffington Post. He's advocating for the banning and censorship of "Innocence of Muslims." While "Innocence of Muslims" contributes nothing whatsoever to the discourse surrounding "one of the world's greatest religions" to ban it would be to ban the understanding of an inciting force that has had gut-wrenching consequences.
I should start by admitting I was only 15 months old when Peter Lougheed concluded his highly transformative tenure as ruler of Alberta, so my memories are a little hazy. But I seem to recall there was a time when this nation's editorial pages weren't quite as overflowing with praise of the late Conservative premier as they are today.
To my fellow Muslims -- the 99 per cent who are peaceful -- here is my message. Online articles, information and resources, including amateur video productions, are everywhere. "Policing" opinions on religious matters is unrealistic in most instances. But some of you say "Innocence of Muslims" is a special case and should be banned. Personally, I disagree. The video should not be banned, nor should any video that one finds disturbing because of its anti-Islamic, anti-Semitic, anti-Christian or anti-religious content. Why? For a number of reasons.
Those emotionally-charged hooligans who went ballistic in their protests probably know little about the prophet they claim to defend. They most likely know more about movie stars like Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie than they know their own prophet. Had they known a little about his character, they would not have gone wild as they did in their protest.
The man who "wrote" and "directed" Innocence of Muslims -- the same movie which has led to the deaths of four U.S. diplomats, up to 10 Libyans, four Yemenis, and one Lebanese in Tripoli -- in is fact Nakoula Bassley Nakoula, an Egyptian Coptic Christian living, or rather, hiding, in California. But what may help one better understand this artiste is to look at the company he keeps, namely, Pastor Terry Jones and Steven Klein.
The film the Innocence of Muslims has recently been thrust into the spotlight and has played the willing role of firestarter to what can be seen as a tinderbox which harbours the sensitive feelings of my Muslim brothers and sisters. You, my dear Muslim brothers and sisters, fell for it. You have played right into the hands of this hate-monger filmmaker and into the hands of his bigoted friends who view Muslims as "crazy," "intolerant," "violent" all in the same breath. And thanks to you we have handed them another high profile example. On a big fat shiny platter.
There is no justification for the murder of U.S. Ambassor Chris Stevens and three other U.S. diplomats in Benghazi last night. But at the same time, there is no justification for the movie that led to these attacks. The murder of those four Americans is the cause of the recklessness, ignorance and hatred of two parties: extremist Muslims and the film's writer and director, Sam Bacile. Maybe there is no work of art that is worth the loss of life, but at the very least, when individuals are killed over their work, we hope to be able to learn something from the creation in question, we hope that there is some consolatory value in an unnecessary sacrifice. Such is not the case here.