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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:


No justice for Maher Arar in U.S. court

"Extraordinary rendition" is White House-speak for kidnapping. Just ask Maher Arar. He's a Canadian citizen who was "rendered" by the U.S. to Syria, where he was tortured for almost a year.


Harper tries to intimidate us into perpetual war

Photo: pmwebphotos/flickr

Stephen Harper insisted last week that we will not be intimidated by terrorism. He then did everything he could to ensure we will be intimidated by terrorism.

I've always been confused by the assertion that we won't be intimidated by terrorism. Has anyone ever suggested that we should be intimidated by terrorism, that because a man ran into the Parliament buildings brandishing a rifle, we should abandon parliamentary democracy?

Obviously not.

| October 27, 2014

Canadians imprisoned abroad: There are more of them than you think

photo: flickr/Daveynin

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There's something about a Canadian passport that offers its owner a degree of confidence. After all, in the hierarchy of citizenships, Canada ranks near the top. A Canadian passport can get you into 170 countries without a visa.

But it can't get you out of jail; even if it's clear that you've been wrongfully accused.


Photo: flickr/Bird Eye
| June 19, 2014
Photo: Michelle Weinroth
| June 2, 2014

Does Ottawa believe the Salvadoran government is terrorist?

Photo courtesy of Matthew Behrens

It was down to the wire, but last week, Salvador Sánchez Cerén emerged as the next president of El Salvador on behalf of the FMLN (Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front). A legal political party since 1992, the FMLN, under which Sánchez Cerén was himself a commanding general, had previously been a political-military coalition resisting the Salvadoran death squad dictatorships whose brutal U.S.-sponsored wars of the 1980s claimed over 75,000 lives.

PEN Canada concerned for journalist Mohamed Fahmy facing terrorism charges in Egypt

Photo: wikimedia commons

Today PEN Canada voiced concern for the Canadian journalist Mohamed Fahmy who has been referred, to trial, along with 19 of his colleagues, on charges linked to terrorism. News reports indicate that this is the first time journalists in Egypt have been referred to trial on such charges.

On December 29, 2013, Fahmy and his colleagues -- Australian Peter Greste and Egyptian Baher Mohamed -- were taken into custody after authorities raided the offices of Al Jazeera English. On January 29, 2014, after being detained for one month, Fahmy was charged with allegedly "assisting a terrorist organization" and "spreading false news that endangers national security." His colleagues face similar charges for allegedly belonging to or assisting the Muslim Brotherhood.


Chuck Strahl
| January 8, 2014
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