CAIR-Can is the Canadian sister of the American Terrorist Supporting organization CAIR. (pictured on the left a CAIR-Can) The Canadian Group is saying that the present Canadian Government is Anti-Muslim because it not making it easy for terrorist suspect and Guantanamo detainee Omar Khadr to come back into the country.
Khadr, raised in a fundamentalist Muslim family in Toronto, the child of Egyptian and Palestinian parents, was only 15 when he was taken into custody and transported to the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo. Omar is the youngest in a family of al-Qaeda sympathizers who considered being a suicide-bomber, as a supreme calling.
Omar’s father, Ahmed Said Khadr, was an associate of Osama bin Laden and a reputed financier of al-Qaeda operations. He was killed in October 2003 by Pakistani forces. One of Omar’s older brothers, Abdullah Khadr, is in jail in Toronto and is fighting a U.S. extradition request for alleged terrorism-related crimes.
A Rolling Stone article says Omar’s father used to tell his children, “If you love me, pray that I will get martyred.” He urged his sons to be suicide-bombers, saying it would bring “honour” to the family. He actually warned his son Abdurahman, “If you ever betray Islam, I will be the one to kill you.” (Source),
The Pentagon alleges that after a July 2002 attack by U.S. soldiers on a suspected al-Qaeda compound, Khadr threw a grenade that killed one of the soldiers, Sgt. Christopher Speer, and wounded another. His charges include five war-crime charges, including murder, spying and providing material support for terrorism. Khadr’s defence team has argued that he was a child soldier and should be treated as a victim.
Read more of the story below:
Harper government anti-Muslim, letter charges
OTTAWA —Advocates seeking the return of Guantanamo detainee Omar Khadr sought to pressure the Conservative government today with the release of a letter signed by 185 groups and individuals, representing a range of Canadian community leaders, academics, human rights advocates and civil liberties organizations.
Khadr, a Canadian citizen charged in the death of a U.S. army medic during a gunfight in Afghanistan, is the only remaining Westerner still imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay, the military prison that U.S. President Barack Obama is shutting down.
An open letter released today by the Canadian Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR-CAN) urges Prime Minister Stephen Harper to respond to the move by Obama with an offer to repatriate Khadr in order to rehabilitate him and re-integrate him into Canadian society.
The letter is copied to the leaders of the three Opposition parties as well.
Signed by Muslim and non-Muslim lawyers, academics, and public policy commentators, the letter says Harper’s silence and inaction on Khadr’s case is much different than his approach to other cases, and suggests it is motivated by a lack of regard for Muslim Canadians.
“Silence is no longer an option. We believe that your inaction with regards to this important case, compared to your active involvement in other cases (such as the repatriation of Brenda Martin from Mexico), has been, rightly or wrongly, interpreted by the Muslim community as indicative that your government considers Canadian Muslims to be second-class citizens.”
The letter, signed by CAIR-CAN’s executive director Ihsaan Gardee on behalf of a long list of signatories, says Harper should counter the “growing perception within the Muslim community” and seek Khadr’s return.
The signatories to the letter say there is “no doubt” Khadr was a child soldier at the time he was captured on the battlefield in Afghanistan.
They counter the government’s repeated insistence that the allegations against Khadr are “very serious” with the observation that “revelations about the evidence against him cast more and more doubt as to the veracity of those allegations.”
The letter says it is “now clear that Omar Khadr has been tortured and abused, in Afghanistan and at Guantánamo Bay, by his American captors for over six years.”
With an executive order that the Guantanamo Bay detention camp will close, and offers by European countries to take individuals who are non-citizens, the signatories state the Harper government’s stance is “in stark contrast to that spirit of generosity.”
“We do hope that your government will reverse its position immediately and ask for Omar Khadr’s repatriation to Canada without any further delay. He deserves rehabilitation and justice and he can only receive them in his country of citizenship.”
Among the groups which signed are Arab Canadian Lawyers Association, Canadian Arab Federation, Canadian Islamic Congress, Canadian Muslim Civil Liberties Association, International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group and the Salaheddin Islamic Centre.
Individual signatories include: Amnesty International Canada’s Alex Neve, and three of four other Canadians once detained and tortured in Syria – Ahmad Abou-Elmaati, Maher Arar, and Muayyed Nuredin.
Also signing the letter are NDP MP Libby Davies, former UN ambassador Stephen Lewis, University of Windsor law professor David Tanovich, Queen’s University professor Don Stuart, former B.C. Human Rights commission director Kathleen Ruff, and several lawyers involved in other national security cases.