The wedge politics and fearmongering of the Conservatives in the last election were resoundingly rejected by Canadians. Whether it is Kellie Leitch playing to xenophobia with her values test or Tony Clement gleefully trampling our rights, it seems the Conservative Party still hasn't gotten the memo.
I prepared for this trip months before, but not in the way I should have. With the recent bombings and terrorist activity in the countries I was about to visit, it seemed we couldn't go a month without an attack in Europe making headlines in Canada. This put me and my husband on high tourist safety alert.
Canada is a young country and we lack the long history and cultural heritage like European countries. We do not share the American Dream nor America's melting-pot culture. Thus, we provide better ground for multiculturalism to flourish; we let refugees and immigrants from around the world preserve their culture and heritage.
Militaries come and go, regimes rise and fall. But the social change that comes from education is irreversible. Every teacher capable of inculcating curiosity in a young mind, every individual who persists in questioning, every student who learns new ideas and spreads them to others, is a menace to the Taliban's plans.
Aaron Driver died in obscure and tragic circumstances, and we may never know what really happened to him. Nevertheless, asking questions and demanding answers can help us to learn from the past and move forward. Linking the case of Aaron Driver to the question of radicalization is a simplistic and misleading narrative. Demanding answers about the FBI's role in his death, however, is more crucial than ever.
I have full confidence in the ability of our authorities to protect us from those who intend to harm us and hold them to account. But one thing worries me about the way today's authorities locate, arrest or even kill terror suspects, and it was recently highlighted in a B.C. judge's argument against the RCMP.
Last week, Justice Catherine Bruce, a judge from British Columbia, made history in Canada and in North America in general. She ruled that John Nutall and Amanda Korody, two Canadian convicted on terrorism charges, were instead entrapped by the RCMP. The unusual factor here isn't that entrapment was used, but the decision of the judge to accept it as one.
Among the signatories, we find distinguished members of international law community as well a younger researchers and assistants. The objective of this collective initiative is to challenge the invocation of the legal argument of self-defence by several States in the context of the war against ISIL or ISIS.
Donald Trump's apocalyptic acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland was easily the scariest political event I've ever witnessed outside of 1930s newsreels. As CNN's Anderson Cooper summed up: "He painted a dark and frightening picture of America, he talked about people being attacked by criminals, attacked by terrorists, betrayed by their leaders, the game is fixed. And he said he can be their voice." The thing about this tactic -- a far cry from conservative saint Ronald Reagan's inspirational "shining city on a hill" much less Obama's hope and change optimism -- is that it captures (and, yes, fuels) the zeitgeist of white America.
There's a growing number of people who think ending news reporting on acts of terror will somehow #SilenceTerror. And I could not disagree more with this all-too-convenient answer to a complex issue. Proper news reporting may seem to give credence to terrorist organizations who actively court such media attention, but it will never truly further their cause -- not when reporting often counters and negates the narratives spun by extremist organizations. Amid the shouting of social media, professional reporting offers fact, reason and, most importantly, context.
If our social media profiles can tint in support of Paris, Belgium, and Orlando, then why not change for Turkey, Bangladesh, and Iraq? Innocent lives taken in Turkey airport, and no vigils, or landmarks, but when an attack of similar degree took place in Brussels we did all of the above. I'm often asked why Muslims don't speak out enough, but perhaps this is something we all need to work on.
Is it too much to ask in the 21st century to self-identify based on the beliefs you hold so dearly? After all, who has the right to tell me who I am and who I'm not? Apparently the Pakistani government does, who have declared the Ahmadiyya community "infidel" and non-Muslim since the infamous ruling in 1974.
Instead of seeing this man as a radicalized religious terrorist, we could consider the possibility that his ambivalence about his sexuality and his shame about his preferences made him despise and want to punish those people whom he desired. It certainly wouldn't be the first case of this happening.
Last federal budget, the government announced the plan to create a counter terrorism office. This new initiative named as the Office of the Community Outreach and Counter-radicalization Co-ordinator would cost Canadian taxpayers $35 millions dollars. With an initial funding of $3 million in 2016-2017 and a $10 million a year in the subsequent years.