Should Canada not worry about acts of terrorism by Canadians occurring in different parts of the world, or hostile sentiments against Canadian armed forces? In the recent case of three Canadians found involved, and two dead, in a gas plant attack in Algeria last January, Canadian passports were used by the culprits to facilitate their free mobility across the globe. MP Devinder Shory's Bill C-425 proposes to strip the citizenship of those Canadians of dual citizenship who engage in acts of war against the Canadian Forces. In the wake of Canadians being involved in terrorist activities in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, Mali, Bulgaria, Algeria, Syria and elsewhere, we should act now.
One of the most frustrating things about watching a story like the one surrounding The Innocence of Muslims unfold is knowing that there are a whole lot of people set to profit on the chaos. These puppet masters of public opinion know that in both the west and the Islamic world, most people will have knee-jerk reactions that are fueled primarily by hate and mistrust of the other.
An 11-year-old Pakistani girl with Downs Syndrome might be put to death for blasphemy. Killing people for expressing negative and/or dissenting views on religion, for burning Qurans, for writing letters -- is this Islam? No. In Islam, a law that penalizes a person for challenging or disparaging the religion -- is blasphemy itself.
Is domestic terrorism, instigated by white supremacists, such as Breivik, on the rise? Recently, more incidents of hate crimes are reported to be taking place, with alarming frequency. There have been at least seven reports of hate crimes targeting Muslims and mosques in the last 10 days in the United States. Here in Canada we look down at the U.S. and say, "well, everything is worse down there, more guns, more violence, more racism." Not so fast. According to Statistics Canada figures from 2009, the frequency of hate crimes are up.
As Harper dilates on the virtues of Calgary, and the United States slogs into one of its dullest and nastiest presidential campaigns between two of its least impressive candidates ever, the West may take some comfort from the relative tranquility around their major office-holders. As dismal as things can seem over here, we should be aware of how bad things can get, and in some countries, generally are.
In what can only be described as an act straight from the "theatre of the absurd," comes news that Syria is running for a seat on the UN Human Rights Council. That Syria is able to even nominate for the UNHRC in the first place, let alone be in a strong position to win a seat, is reflective of the endemic problem with the body -- the fact that observance of human rights is no barrier to becoming a member.
Earlier this month, the Supreme Court of Canada began hearing an appeal from Mohammad Momin Khawaja, a former Ottawa software developer convicted of several terrorism-related offences. Whatever the court's decision, defining "terrorism" and its related terms will continue to be controversial in Canada and across the globe.
We now see every week the crumbling of foreign policy of the United States. The War on Terror was not without mistakes, but the War on Drugs has been a disaster in every respect. Only 20 years ago, the U.S. bestrode the world, the only super power, strong by any measurement. Today it is quavering, waffling, semi-bankrupt, lurching from one mistaken and often hypocritical policy to the next.
The UN Committee Against Torture recently recommended that Omar Khadr receive redress for any human rights violations he may have experienced during his imprisonment at Guantanamo Bay -- $10-million worth. Should Canadian taxpayers pay millions of dollars to a person who left Canada to join al-Qaeda and fight coalition forces in Afghanistan? Why does a convicted terrorist deserve millions of dollars, while terror victims languish?
Among the many global trends are the two Big Nasty Elephants of modernity -- terrorism and pandemic spread. These two challenges to mankind share a common set of unassailable facts: they will both kill on a wide scale; and, for reasons I do not understand, the public is naïve as to the inevitability of such events.