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 recently, a novel about Muslim women, Mirrors and Mirages. You can follow her on Twitter @MoniaMazigh or on her blog www.moniamazigh.com

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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Hiding torture from us

Image: Lance Page / t r u t h o u t; Adapted: takomabibelot, Poe Tatum

In my October rabble column, I spoke about the horrible treatment of Abu Wa'el Dhiab, one of the Guantanamo detainees who was abusively force-fed by his American guards to dissuade him from continuing his two-year-long hunger strike. In that article, I wrote that Abu Wa'el Dhiab was another example of the collateral damage of the War on Terror, and indeed he was, as U.S. officials proved recently.

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Ten years after the Arar Inquiry, what has changed?

Photo: Jamie McCaffrey/flickr

This column is adapted from a speech delivered by Monia Mazigh at the conference "Arar+10: National Security and Human Rights a Decade Later" on October 29, 2014.

Let me start with a quote from George Bernard Shaw. The Irish playwright once said:

"Success does not consist in never making mistakes but in never making the same one a second time."

The Arar+10 conference is important for three main reasons.

The ongoing War on Terror: What's it really about?

Image: Jared Rodriguez / t r u t h o u t/flickr
The War on Terror is never-ending. But is it really about a war on ISIL or their barbaric methods or a recapture of what is left of the Middle East after two disastrous wars?

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From 2001 to today: The never-ending War on Terror

Image: Jared Rodriguez / t r u t h o u t/flickr

On October 6, 2014, a U.S. judge decided to make information public about the horrific force-feeding of Abu Wa'el Dhiab, a Guantanamo detainee.

The news didn't make the headlines on CNN or Fox news. The treatment was not denounced over and over by every big or small Muslim organization, as they have done when it comes to the treatment of minorities and journalists by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). In some media outlets, the news was portrayed as a victory for transparency and government accountability.

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A world of fear: Tracking 'terror' in Tunisia

Photo: Chasing Donguri/flickr

While I was visiting my family and friends in Tunisia this summer, I came across a new feeling, or maybe it is an impression -- a feeling or impression that I never encountered before in the country that is proud today to be called the sparkle of the "Arab Spring."  

I grew up there in the '80s. I remember seeing in people's eyes the fear of authority, humiliation, loss of dignity, the sorrow of poverty, suspicion, but I didn't see the "fear of terrorism." Even in the darkest hours of the country, during the '80s, when there were violent incidents attributed to Islamist militants, I didn't hear from people around me that they were afraid.

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Lean In: A fairy-tale in a fantasy land

Photo: ITHACA WONG/flickr

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After reading Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg, I couldn't stop comparing myself to her. After all, Sheryl Sandberg is almost my age. We were both born in 1969. We grew up in a middle-class family and went to business school.

But perhaps the similarities stop there.

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What happened to the Arab Spring?

Photo: Gwenael Piaser/flickr

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I never liked the term "Arab Spring"; it has a connotation of over-optimism that can't be rationally understood in a region that painfully emerged out of French and British colonialism to quickly fall into a new era of cultural and economic colonialism where foreign soldiers were replaced by TV satellite dishes, Coca-Cola and Star Academy-like shows.

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