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Let's make September 11 a day without war

The ninth anniversary of the September 11 attacks on the United States should serve as a moment to reflect on tolerance. It should be a day of peace. Yet the rising anti-Muslim fervour here, together with the continuing U.S. military occupation of Iraq and the escalating war in Afghanistan (and Pakistan), all fuel the belief that the U.S. really is at war with Islam.

September 11, 2001, united the world against terrorism. Everyone, it seemed, was with the United States, standing in solidarity with the victims, with the families who lost loved ones. The day will be remembered for generations to come, for the notorious act of coordinated mass murder. But that was not the first Sept. 11 to be associated with terror:

Columnists

The marginalization of Muslims in America

Salman Hamdani died on Sept. 11, 2001. The 23-year-old research assistant at Rockefeller University had a degree in biochemistry. He was also a trained emergency medical technician and a cadet with the New York Police Department. But he never made it to work that day. Hamdani, a Muslim-American, was among that day's first responders. He raced to Ground Zero to save others. His selfless act cost him his life.

Rainbow bombing, Western style: The spread of the anti-gay movement

Photo: flickr/torbakhopper

International anti-gay groups have become stronger and more organized than international LGBTI human rights groups fighting for equality, so stated during the WorldPride Human Rights Conference in Toronto, June 25-27.

My reaction: Shock!

I came to the conference as a delegate representing the Conféderation des Syndicats Nationaux (CSN) trade Union from Montreal and as co-organizer of the LGBTI caucus for the People's Social Forum (PSF) taking place in Ottawa, August 21-24. Three days of workshops and plenary sessions changed my whole perspective on LGBTI rights and the frightful impact on our international communities.

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Roma family granted stay of deportation on humanitarian grounds

Photo: flickr/Morgan

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The Buzas family, a Roma family of five that fled from Hungary because of anti-Roma discrimination, was granted reprieve and stay on humanitarian grounds on Wednesday, a day before their deportation date.

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Roma family fights against deportation to Hungary

Photo: flickr/Morgan

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After enduring anti-Roma discrimination and violence in Hungary, a Roma family has fled the country with hopes to settle in Canada. The family is asking the Canadian government to respond to their immigration application for stay on humanitarian grounds before their deportation date on Thursday July 3. 

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Photo: R Orville Lyttle/flickr
| June 13, 2014
Photo: flickr/The City of Toronto
| April 30, 2014

Stopping Use of the "R-Word"

Challenging language is an essential part of activist work. Often, derogatory language is subtle, and can "infiltrate" everday life and common speech without much notice. One of the problematic and highly offensive terms that society seems to be hanging onto is the word "retarded." Using the r-word in place of adjectives such as harmful, annoying, troublesome (or any other negative connotation) is not only extremely hurtful but exclusionary and able-ist.

 

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