Journalist & Communications Director at the National Council of Canadian Muslims
Amira Elghawaby is a journalist and human rights advocate in Ottawa. Follow her on Twitter at @AmiraElghawaby
Even after the Conservative government buckled to pressure to amend the anti-terrors laws, Canadians can still be deemed too dangerous to travel by airline and won't be allowed to challenge the "evidence" against them. As lawyer and author Faisal Kutty puts it, Canadian Muslims can be considered "too guilty to fly, but too innocent to charge." Bill C-51 is a reckless attempt to win over an understandably fearful electorate under the pretense of fighting terrorism. Marginalizing the very Canadians who are on the front-lines of this struggle is worse than poor policy -- it's a threat to all of us.
Canada, along with other democratic nations, is against mob rule. So why is it so difficult for Canada to ratify a document that ensures the type of horrific actions perpetrated by these groups -- including torture -- are stamped out? What is preventing Canada from fulfilling its commitment to ratify the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention against Torture?
12/19/2014 06:02 EST
Global attitudes on spying shift dramatically when the targets of the state's vast monitoring apparatus are suspected terrorists. Not surprisingly, a majority agree that it's acceptable to scrutinize the communications of those who would potentially do harm. Unfortunately, though, our governments have failed to show that they are capable of doing the job with care and precision.
07/29/2014 05:22 EDT
If young women and girls can't find role models within the pages of typical teen magazines, or in most mainstream books and film, then where can they find them? The answer should be: within their communities.
05/07/2014 12:51 EDT
After four years of production and grassroots fundraising, the story of Canada's secret trials is finally hitting the big screen. <em>The Secret Trial 5</em> will be premiering at the Hot Docs Canadian International Film Festival in Toronto.
04/25/2014 05:12 EDT
The fact is our student populations are becoming more diverse, though that's barely mirrored in the staff make-up of most urban schools. And while there is recognition of a need to hire teachers that better reflect the student population, reaching that goal remains a long way off considering the comparably low number of teachers who self-identify as visible minorities. In the meantime, we need to foster culturally sensitive and inclusive schools where student engagement leads to higher graduation rates, the de-glamorization of gangs, and the nurturing of productive citizens of all backgrounds.
03/31/2014 08:55 EDT
Recently, a former Quebec journalist argued that Canada's mainstream broadcasters were hypocritical for seeming to lend a sympathetic ear to those opposing the proposed Charter of Values. "Not a kippa, hijab, cross or turban in sight. Religious symbols are, quite simply, not part of the TV news uniform; never have been," wrote Micheal Dean in the <em>Globe and Mail</em>. And while he's right in that there are few Canadian journalists sporting symbols of their faith, the premise for his argument needs to be turned on its head. Rather than justify the Parti Québécois's bid to limit freedom of religion in its public institutions, the media's lack of representation of diverse communities must be called out for what it is: a letdown for democracy.
03/21/2014 05:24 EDT
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