THE BLOG

Canada Should Strip Terrorists of Citizenship

04/03/2013 12:02 EDT | Updated 06/03/2013 05:12 EDT
CBC News

Should Canada not worry about acts of terrorism by Canadians occurring in different parts of the world, or hostile sentiments against Canadian armed forces? The debate revolves around the new proposed member bill tabled by Conservative MP Devinder Shory in the Parliament Hill.

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.

The bill proposes to amend the Citizenship Act in two ways:

• Speeding up Canadian citizenship for permanent residents who serve in the Canadian Forces.

• Triggering the renunciation of Canadian citizenship for those who engage in acts of war against the Canadian Forces.

On the other hand, Citizenship and Immigration Minister, Jason Kenny said recently in the wake of learning a Canadian of Lebanese descendent involved in the 2012 bombing of Israeli tourists in Bulgaria, "I think that perhaps we should consider working with Shory to broaden the scope of his bill to include not just acts of war against Canada by Canadian citizens, but perhaps we should also consider acts of terrorism."

From 1999 case of Algerian Ahmed Rassam to a 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.

Ahmed Rassam, who in 1990s used Canadian passport in order to bomb Los Angeles International Airport but caught red handed while crossing the U.S. border ultimately. Two Canadians, Ali Medlej and Xristos Katsiroubas's bodies along with their burnt passports were found after Gas Plant siege in Algeria last January.

Canadians haven't forgotten University of Toronto student Salman Hossain who alerted Canadian law enforcement institutions and media through his terrorism provoking statements. He suggested a fellow student on Facebook back in 2010, "Go back to Pakistan or wherever you are from and arrange with other nations ways to invade the United States and Canada."

In another incident last November, two Afghan Canadian girls disrupted the Remembrance Day ceremony which took place at an Old City Hall Toronto. Both ladies were holding the banner that read "We Remember Operation Medusa. 512 Afghans Killed by Canadian Military."

Operation Medusa was a Canadian-led offensive in which The Royal Canadian Regiment Battle Group participated, supported by the Afghan National Army. Its goal was to take control of Panjwaii town that could strengthen Afghan government over Taliban in the province of Kandahar. In this operation about a dozen Canadian soldiers died, 200 suspected Taliban killed. There were reports of dead civilians and Afghan troops too.

But those Afghan-Canadian girls were concerned over Taliban killing not about Canadian soldiers. So where did their loyalties lie?

In short, there are all sorts of Islamic radicalization going on in Canada that would jeopardize our security in coming times.

Considering the reality, President Muslim Canadian Congress Salma Siddiqui and myself as Secretary General appeared in front of Citizenship and Immigration Standing Committee to present our presentation supporting the Devinder Shory Bill C-425, An Act to amend the Citizenship Act (honouring the Canadian Armed Forces).

We were joined by Associate Professor Grazia Scoppio, Canadian Defence Academy and Royal Military College of Canada as well as Mr. Asif Khan and Imtiaz Ahmed from Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamat Canada.

They all supported Bill C-425. Our president, Salam Siddiqui, while endorsing the proposed bill said very clearly that "Some Canadians use their very citizenship and the passport that comes with it to engage in activities that are nothing short of absolutely contradictory to our strong Canadian values. Canadians who are opposed to the values of our society should not be allowed to abuse the privileges that come with holding Canadian Citizenship. We must act to strip Canadian Citizenship from those that seek to exploit it for violence and illegal activities."

In the wake of Canadians being involved in terrorist activities in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, Mali, Bulgaria, Algeria, Syria and elsewhere, we should act now. Otherwise growing Islamic radicalization in Canada could lead to more horrific incidences.

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