Jul 21 2008
Canadian Islamic Congress president Mohamed Elmasry says Prime Minister Stephen Harper couldn’t possibly have any reason to avoid speeding Canada’s Al Queda family’s celebrity son home in time for Ramadan other than pure filthy racism (Canadian Press: Harper ‘playing politics’ with Khadr because he’s brown-skinned: Muslim leader).
From Elmasry’s odd perspective, any other Canadian who agrees with the Prime Minister’s stand is automatically a racist. That Omar Khadr is alleged to have killed an American soldier on a foreign battlefield where Canadian forces could just as easily have been the victims couldn’t possibly be a factor. The fact that Canada may not even have the legal apparatus to deal with Khadr any more effectively than the Americans… also not a factor. That Khadr is the son of a woman who proudly declares, “We are an Al Queda family“… also, not relevant.
Why Canadian Muslims don’t petition to have this slanderous demagogue removed from his position may in fact say more about Canadian Muslims than it does about Elmasry, sad to say.
Funny thing is, I actually agree with Elmasry on his side objective: bring Khadr home (His main objective being tarring Canadians with the sticky tar of racism so as to prevent them from speaking out against a creeping shift in this country’s values). I’ll let the erudite and Agreeable Lyle Neff take over from here with some solid reasoning on the Pith and Substance blog. Mr. Neff writes from Vancouver:
Ms T., although I grudgingly agree that Awful Omar Khadr should be pulled from Gitmo and put into Ontario clink for some less-hard years (because he was just a kid at the dawn of the war; because he may not have killed; because of his father’s malignancy), Canadian public opinion is quite right to hold the boy and his clan in contempt, as one does traitors.
It is also not “two-faced” in the least to devoutly wish that such people, who in theory are Canadians but in practice are enemies of this country, would just fuck off and be somebody else’s problem. (Consider his sister Nayzab’s statement: “We are an Al-Qaeda family. And we demand our rights as Canadians.”
OK: give ’em their rights. Admittedly, we must. Even though the JTF2 was fighting in the same Afghan neighbourhood as the US unit young Omartyr K. encountered in ’02; and it could as well have been a fellow Canuck killed in the battle.
There’s nothing hypocritical about hating the Islamist enemy, Marnie; we are at war with their fanatic ideology, after all. And when the paper Canadians now fighting for the Taliban, Hezbollah, and the Islamic Courts Union start making demands on the nation and system they have explicitly sworn to destroy, one ought to be circumspect about who’s being “two-faced.” Yeah, little O. should be treated fairly and lawfully; but as in the case of the despicable Aussie David Hicks, it should stick in decent peoples’ craw when totalitarianism’s volunteers claim the same chances and protections they have fought to deny to their fellow citizens.
We do have a grim duty to bring this kid “home”; no one need be happy about it, though, and it’s an odd thing to make a, kof, crusade of.
Hey, remember when Jean Chretien interceded with Pakistan to get Omar’s murderous zealot dad sprung — ’96, wasn’t it? No apology from the Grits as of yet…
I expect we’ll be waiting for that apology for some time, Neff. And now Paul Martin seems to have found his own 10-foot pole (Globe and Mail).