Academic, author and human rights advocate
Monia Mazigh is an academic, author and human rights advocate. Mazigh was born and raised in Tunisia and immigrated to Canada in 1991. Mazigh was catapulted onto the public stage in 2002 when her husband, Maher Arar, was deported to Syria where he was tortured and held without charge for over a year. She campaigned tirelessly for his release. Mazigh holds a PhD in finance from McGill University. In 2008, she published a memoir about her pursuit of justice, Hope and Despair, shortlisted for the Ottawa Book Award. In 2014, she published her first novel Mirrors and Mirages. It was short listed for the Book Trillium Award and for the Ottawa Book Award. Her second novel, Hope has two daughters will be published in January 2017 by Anansi House.
In his mandate letter to Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau included the creation of an Office of the Community Outreach and Counter-radicalization Coordinator. But there is a lack of consensus among academic experts that these counter-radicalization programs are scientifically reliable.
Internationally, Canada is portraying itself as an open country, accepting refugees from war ravaged countries like Syria. However, amidst this atmosphere, there is a dark cloud that keeps the rays of the sun from reaching everyone.It is time for the Canadian government to act swiftly and let the sun shine on Omar Khadr's life.
04/12/2017 05:08 EDT
The world is changing rapidly. We have witnessed the success of the Brexit campaign in the UK, and the victory of Donald Trump in the U.S. Amid the social and political turmoil, some political groups and social movements are emerging to exploit this climate of tension and fear and make political and financial gains out of it. Canada has not been immune of this.
12/06/2016 01:38 EST
News last week about the two-year study of the traffic stop data collected by the Ottawa Police were quickly dismissed by the same researchers who conducted it, as "not necessarily indicative of causation, and it doesn't prove racial profiling." So what is the point of conducting such a study if those results cannot be used to speak about racial profiling, admit its existence and thus dealing with it?
11/02/2016 04:08 EDT
Canadians have spoken out loudly against Bill C-51. Last year, hundreds of gatherings took place across Canada, and Canadians clearly showed and expressed their concerns about its contents and the extensive, unjustified powers it grants to security agencies. So, why is the Liberal government conducting consultations?
10/25/2016 04:08 EDT
The case of three Canadian citizens: Abdullah Almalki, Ahmad El Maati and Muayyed Nureddin, resurfaced this week in the media bringing back the dark side of Canadian complicity with regimes that routinely use torture and forced disappearance in their so-called "war on terror."
09/22/2016 03:04 EDT
It seems that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau likes to describe himself as a feminist. He might be right but he might also fail to be what he really wants to be known for. One thing we can say for sure is that so far he was not able to "save" Professor Homa Hoodfar from Iran and bring her back to Canada.
08/30/2016 04:18 EDT
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.
08/16/2016 05:54 EDT
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.
08/03/2016 05:23 EDT
Police accountability has never been a strength on the federal, provincial and local levels. We are still lacking independent civil and independent bodies that would investigate the actions of law enforcement when such tragic incidents happen.
07/28/2016 11:26 EDT
Leaving it up to the minister in charge to decide what is acceptable and what is not, or what is lawful and what is not, is far from a democratic and accountable model. We need review mechanisms with the necessary autonomy, independence and structure to create true accountability.
07/21/2016 02:17 EDT
Today, the political landscape has changed. We have a government that promised to conduct public hearings on several issues and to listen attentively to the demands of the population. Nevertheless, when it comes to solid gestures and courageous actions, there seems no political appetite to tackle Bill C-51.
07/13/2016 11:43 EDT
With additional extraordinary powers granted to CSIS since the passing of Bill C51, one only can wonder whether these visits are becoming the norm rather than the exceptions. The disruption powers included in Bill C-51 allow CSIS to seize documents or computers, enter people's properties, spy on them without a judicial warrant.
07/05/2016 02:16 EDT
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.
06/09/2016 11:50 EDT
It has now been five months since we started hearing and reading about the Canadian kids affected by additional security screening measures when they try to board a plane, and unfortunately, the situation hasn't improved much since.
05/13/2016 11:50 EDT
The Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister, Stéphane Dion, recently declared that Canada "should join this important protocol" -- the United Nations' Protocol against Torture. More than a decade after it was initially passed, Canada is still sitting on the bench and watching cases after cases of torture happening.
05/04/2016 12:24 EDT
It is now almost a pattern: every time we, as a human right organization or activist, write to government agencies inquiring about cases of Canadians detained abroad or of Canadians subject to abuse or possible discrimination, the governmental response will certainly contain somehow the issue of "privacy."
04/21/2016 03:50 EDT
"Responsible conviction" is a strange combination of words that summarizes the guiding principle that the new Foreign Affairs Minister Stéphane Dion is proposing to follow in order to fulfill his mandate. However, Mr. Dion didn't say a word on how the "responsible conviction" can help cases of Canadians detained abroad.
04/06/2016 02:36 EDT
Immediately, after the Brussels attacks, an engineering student from the University of Waterloo was arrested by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). Even if the Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale went out publicly and declared that Canada isn't under any additional or specific terrorist threats, the RCMP decided to choose to arrest the suspect during a time of fear.
03/31/2016 11:18 EDT
Immediately, after 9/11 attacks, the Arab and Muslim communities started receiving the "visits" of RCMP officers and CSIS agents asking them about their opinions on the Middle-East, about their religious beliefs, about their friends and what they know about them. Some of these "visits" were conducted at the workplace. At that time, no body spoke about radicalization, as if it was assumed that the targeted individuals came to Canada already "radicalized." The Muslim community was perceived on the "bad" side of the fight. They were always considered as not doing enough.
03/23/2016 03:57 EDT
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