Sunday, September 7, 2008

Persecution of Muslims Continues in Canada...

A week ago, I was trying to plan a trip to Ottawa to celebrate my friend's husband's birthday. Moe turned 40 in August. Unfortunately, he was unable to attend his own party. The authorities would not allow it. Why? Because Mohamed Harkat is a Muslim, and has been accused of being a terrorist.

Never mind that those behind the accusations have never charged Moe with any crime. He spent 43 months in prison under a security certificate, and has only been granted bail on the basis of the most draconian conditions. He must wear a tracking bracelet, and must be accompanied at all times by his wife, Sophie, or her Mother. Visitors must have a criminal record check and be cleared before they can visit Moe. A surveillance system at their house was a prerequisite to his bail. He is not allowed to leave the house unless his outing has been previously cleared by CSIS (and even then he is shadowed by CSIS agents). Moe cannot even use a public washroom without being accompanied.

The entire time Moe was in prison, he received no dental work. As a result, he now needs thousands of dollars of work on his teeth. Because of the bail conditions, neither Moe nor Sophie is able to work. They also have mounting legal bills from the years that this case has dragged on.

What kind of country do we live in, that this is allowed to happen to a person? The government sanctions these injustices by allowing them to pass unchallenged. The concept of innocence until proven guilty has long ago ceased to be a guiding principle of our legal system. If there is sufficient evidence to charge someone with a crime, do so. But let us not sit by with apathy while the innocent are harrassed and treated as animals.

I am sending Moe and Sophie a monetary donation (not my first). This time I hope it can help pay for part of his dental work. If you can contribute, please mail a cheque (payable to "Justice for Mohamed Harkat Committee") to:

Justice for Mohamed Harkat Committee
c/o 22 Rue Dalpé, Apt. 6
Gatineau   QC     J8Y 2Y5

I will be posting a more detailed report of the security certificate cases soon. It is imperative that Canadians - and the rest of the world - learn the details of this travesty of justice.


L-girl said...

Thanks for informing us about this. I share your rage! And I look forward to reading more.

wrath of khan said...

Wow, I did not know that you went to Ottawa for Mohammad Harkat's birthday celebration. I think it is appalling that Canada is allowing such racist treatment of Muslims.

Great Blog by the way!

Kim_in_TO said...

As it turned out, I had a conflict and was unable to go. I just hope the next time Sophie and Moe want to have a birthday party, they won't have to ask for permission from anyone!