This is a blog dedicated to a personal interpretation of political news of the day. I attempt to be as knowledgeable as possible before commenting and committing my thoughts to a day's communication.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Two-Tiered Citizenship?

"If somebody goes on Facebook and posts, 'I’m going to Syria to fight in jihad,' then we’re going to have a discussion over whether this qualifies as evidence. I think, yeah [it does]. Should we wait to arrest somebody? Or release him to go and do something like what we’ve just seen? I mean, come on."
"This is what pisses me off.  I’ve been going to governments telling them we need something, on-the-ground counter-radicalization programs, something. Instead, they’re giving money for academic research on what causes radicalization. I mean, we’re eight years after the Toronto 18, 13 years after 9/11 and we’re just starting to look into what causes this? While all this other s–t is going on?"
"They’ve realized, hey, if our intent is to scare the s–t out of people—to trigger heavy-handed responses by government, to force isolation of the Muslim community, pushing them to more radicalization—what do you have to do? Take two guys into a mall, shoot it up, and you’re done. You’ll be out of there in 15 minutes, and we’ll be talking about it for days and weeks and months."
Mubin Shaikh, former RCMP informant in Toronto 18 case

"The bill creates second-class citizens. No elected official should ever have the exclusive power to revoke Canadian citizenship. Under a Liberal government there will be no two-tiered citizenship."
"A Canadian is a Canadian is a Canadian."
Justin Trudeau, leader, Liberal Party of Canada

"[The Toronto 18 plot was] spine chilling. The potential for loss of life existed on a scale never before seen in Canada. It was almost unthinkable without the suggestion that metal chips would be put in the bombs."
"Had the plan been implemented it would have changed the lives of many, if not all, Canadians forever."
Justice Bruce Durno

Passenger, Canadian Passport, ID

When the Toronto 18 were arrested and jailed and prosecuted, their arrogance and that of their supporters and family members was astounding in their defiance and claims of Islamophobia. The 2006 al-Qaeda-inspired plot to conspire to detonate explosive truck bombs in downtown Toronto was apprehended before any actual harm was done, as a result of intelligence following the would-be perpetrators' activities.

Now, one of the plot leaders, Zakaria Amara, born in Jordan likely with Palestinian parentage and holding dual Canadian-Jordanian citizenship, has received due notice that his Canadian citizenship is being revoked. On his release from prison he will be in a position to return to Jordan through deportation proceedings. "He's Toronto 18. They plotted terrorist attacks against downtown Toronto, they were convicted. They should not be citizens", stated a source inside Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

New legislation that became effective in May makes it legal for the Government of Canada to revoke citizenship from Canadians convicted of terrorism offences, if they also hold dual citizenship in another country. Dual citizens convicted of treason, and of spying for foreign governments, members of armed groups at war against Canada, are all ripe for citizenship revocation. A half-dozen Canadians have now been notified that revocation of their citizenship is being considered.

The Toronto 18 conspirators made no effort to travel outside Canada back in 2005 in preparation for their attacks on Canadian soil. But they did converge on a rural property north of Toronto to begin training and planning attacks to convince the government it should withdraw its military troops from the Afghanistan mission. Components to build large truck bombs  to be detonated during morning rush hour outside the Toronto Stock Exchange and the Canadian Security Intelligence Service office along with an Ontario military base, was the special task of Zakaria Amara.

Toronto 18

Toronto police are seen arresting Zakaria Amara, a Jordanian-Canadian and member of the so-called Toronto 18, in 2006. Amara is the first person to have their Canadian citizenship revoked under the Conservatives' Bill C-24.

The leader of the Liberal Party of Canada, Justin Trudeau, is by no means the only one denouncing the removal of citizenship rights from Mr. Amara. Trudeau, aspiring to win the upcoming general election to become Prime Minister of Canada, obviously has values and concerns that don't reflect those of the general Canadian population. He appears to feel that citizenship rights must never be revoked, even for those planning terrorist attacks against other Canadians and government agencies.

The British Columbia Civil Liberties Association has teamed up with another Toronto 18 member, Asad Ansari, to challenge in Federal Court the revocation of citizenship. Their argument is that it is unconstitutional and the process creates "two-tiered" citizenship, treating naturalized Canadians as inferiors to those who were born in Canada. Their feeling, obviously, is that even those whose intention it is to maim and murder have constitutional rights that must be honoured in this country.

Just as well they can only contest legislation, not write it.

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