Monia Mazigh

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Monia 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, Hope and Despair, about her pursuit of justice, and in 2011, a novel in French, Miroirs et mirages.

From Congo to Guantanamo: Omar Khadr, the invisible child soldier

From Congo to Guantanamo: Omar Khadr, the invisible child soldier.
My daughter is being taught about child soldiers from Africa and nothing about the horrors faced by a Canadian teen in Afghanistan and Cuba.

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From Congo to Guantanamo: Omar Khadr, the invisible child soldier

From Congo to Guantanamo: Omar Khadr, the invisible child soldier.

Last week, when my teenage daughter came back from school, she proudly showed me her newly bought t-shirt. This t-shirt had an intriguing slogan: "The invisible children."

After asking her few questions and to my incredulous look, she told me the following: "An organisation from the U.S. came to our school and spoke to us about child soldiers in Congo and other African countries. This organisation is on a school tour in North America. It sells crafts and other items in order to help raise money that will be used to award these kids scholarships... Isn't that great?" She was very enthusiastic.

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Who is the next terrorist? Your neighbour next door!

The recent arrest of four young men in Ottawa has been portrayed by the media and by some security analysts as a brand new threat: the radicalization of youth. The typical terrorist is no longer a sombre looking foreigner or an immigrant with a heavy accent immersed in martial arts -- instead he is a middle-class family man, funny, "well integrated," and well educated that you can never detect or almost never...

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Au revoir, Pauline: Goodbye to Quebec's time of division

Photo: Parti Québécois/flickr

As a francophone, a North African and a veil-wearing Muslim woman, I felt deeply concerned by the debate around the Charter of Values that created turmoil in la belle province since last fall. This debate suddenly died after the crushing defeat of Pauline Marois and the Parti Québécois.

Moreover, as someone who first migrated to, then lived and studied in Quebec, I always had a special place in my heart for Montreal. I have emotional memories there. Somehow I left my heart there in one of its streets.

Last fall, I even started writing a regular column in French for the Huffington Post Quebec where I shared with readers my worries, my opinions, and even good advice that Pauline Marois chose to ignore...

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From Rabaa to Maidan: Political hypocrisy travels far

Photo: H. Elrasam for VOA/Wikimedia Commons

Last August, Egyptian Security forces raided Rabaa Al-Adawiya Square to clear it of protesters who organized sit-ins to denounce the ousting of President Morsi by a military coup.

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Forget government corruption, it's raining Olympic medals

Photo: Val 202/flickr

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The sky is raining medals on Canadian and Quebec athletes. This is excellent news for all Canadians, but definitely more so for the Harper government and for the Parti Québécois government of Pauline Marois.

Both governments are plagued with corruption scandals but the Winter Olympic Games of Sochi seem to be giving them a free, long and happy ride.

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Who's watching the CSE? A call for national security accountability

Photo: Thomas Hawk/flickr

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Imagine your boss putting a hidden camera in your office or a spying device in your telephone recording your conversations. Imagine the reaction when, after rumours spread about his misbehaviour or after some whistleblower leaks documents about his actions, he admits that he "did it" but quickly adds that he did it only "incidentally"! Are you going to believe him and are you going to trust him again? Of course not! Well, this scenario isn't a simple assumption or a fictive statement.

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Closing the income divide: The time has come to limit CEO over-compensation

Image: Voxphoto/flickr

Balsillie, Stronach, Desmarais, Thomson, Asper. Do these names sound familiar?

Indeed, they are the names of some of Canada's most successful business executives. It is undoubtedly true that their companies are vital to the Canadian economy. Together they are employing hundred of thousands of Canadians and competing with other companies internationally.

But what about their compensation? What about their responsibilities to make Canada a more "ethical businessplace"? What about their contributions to a less divided Canada where the rich are getting richer and the middle-class is losing its share of the economic pie?

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Science, ethics and torture

Image:  Lance Page / t r u t h o u t, Adapted From: bright-political / flickr

Growing up in Tunisia during the '80s and early '90s, I sometimes gleaned information from adults around me who whispered that the opponents of the regime -- first the Communists and then the Islamists -- were tortured in secret chambers where the services of a doctor were used, sadly, in an evil way.

People at that time said that the role of the doctor was to make sure that during the torture session, the prisoners are harmed severely but not enough to be killed. In a nutshell, the doctors were there to make sure that the torturers didn't send the prisoners to the "other world." Ignoring all the details around these stories, I felt horrified.

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Islamophobia or anti-Muslim sentiment? Uncovering the roots of anti-Muslim discourse

Photo: Asterio Tecson/flickr

Recently, I watched an interview on French TV involving the controversial Muslim thinker Tariq Ramadan. The French journalist intentionally refused to use the word Islamophobia. She wrongly equated Islamophobia to one's right to criticize Islam, or its values, insinuating that Muslims have thin skins and can never accept freedom of speech (remember the controversies around the Danish cartoons or the Innocence of Muslims movie).

Personally, I never liked the word "Islamophobia" per se. It reminded me of a strange condition or a syndrome like claustrophobia or arachnophobia. The term is heavy, difficult to pronounce, and is totally ignored by the mainstream media for good or bad reasons.

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