Do cruelty, falsehood and wickedness have known faces and shapes? Only if you have experienced it, you will know it. If so, would you not strive to seek the protection of law and ultimate goal of justice? The quest for justice itself presupposes injustice. In Western democracies, manufactured “suspicion” and individual opinions, not the facts of life, are fast becoming the criterion measurement of legal provisions to prosecute innocent citizens as alleged terrorist across North America and Europe. Guatanama Bay could well be identified as the “Abu Ghraib” of America. The American led “ war of choice”: perpetual war creating perpetual fear contributing to perpetual profits, the mutual alliance of the governments and mass media networks to carve up images of Muslims and Islam as the focused creed of alleged terrorism. Eric Margolis (The Big Lie About ‘Islamic Fascism’ Aug 28, 2006), a distinguished Canadian journalist quotes the observation of Sir Peter Ustinov: “terrorism is the war of the poor, and war is the terrorism of the rich.”
Canadian Maher Arar was the first victim. He was guilty of traveling thru JFK shortly after the 9/11 attacks, but Canadian intelligence agencies identified him as a fundamentalist and security risk. He was suspected to have been involved in something that later on Canadian establishments could not prove except they arranged third party torture and victimize him for long time. The political dictum of “suspicion” was used to imprison Maher Arar in Syria. How conveniently suspicion was transformed into accepted norm to arrest, imprison and torture Muslims throughout the Western world. “Suspicion” became the threshold for police actions, not the societal laws to use force to demonstrate the opinions and preconceived notions of the few minority elite against the citizens.. History was re-enacted not learnt from, when people of Japanese origin were interned in Canada and the US during the 2nd WW. It was suspicion implied as law of the land – a political, moral and legal injustice to the citizens of Canada and America who had no role to play in the making of the WW2.
Half century later, both Canada and the US offered apology to those either in graveyards or their succeeding generations kept the harsh memory of sufferings alive. After the Maher Arar tragedy, it was Dr. Khawaja and his family, the next targeted victims of the “War on Terror.” According to the Globe and Mail (July 18, 2005), President Bush had instructed Paul Martin to “fix Khawaja.” On March 29, 2004, Canadian Intelligence armed brigade attacked the Khawaja family residence in Orleans and at gunpoint arrested his wife and school children were called out of the classroom under the guise of “bomb making” but found no evidence to support the accusation. The newspaper Citizens and CBC were instrumental to falsify the information base and articulated fear mongering fictitious episode to misinform the public. While this stunt was staged near the capital, the agency formally requested Saudi Arabia to detain Dr. Khawaja who was teaching in a university. What were the charges against as per the documentary evidence? He is father of accused Momin Khawaja, who since March 2004 is a political prisoner of conscience at a Canadian detention center without a trial on charges of “terrorism” involvement in the UK case of March 2004. The then Security Minister Ms. Anne McClellan denied ever requesting a foreign government to arrest the scholar. The real world events and documentary evidence provide a different picture that the Canadian Government was lying to safeguard its illegal action against its own citizen. Does a political Minister ever lie? Do agents of intelligence services ever lie? The honorable Judge presiding over the Maher Arar investigation clearly pointed out the history of misinformation and lies involving the official intelligence organizations. Consequently, the Chief of the one of the intelligence agency was asked to resign.
To poison the mindset of soft-hearted Canadian public thru the media screen, young Momin was chained to show the public that he is abnormal and dangerous to public interest, not that he has done anything wrong or illegal. Four years later, his case has not gone to trial because the government has no tangible evidence to prove the accusation in a public court. The prosecution uses dogmas, not facts that a secret trial should be conducted to protect the interest of the state. In a democratic valued society as Canada is, how ridiculous it seems that if the prosecution is sure of its claim, why not have an open public trial? Why to look for escape from the real world? After all, what is so secret about political terrorism? Does it mean that informed public will no longer trust in the official version and realize that it was a political trial, not a criminal case to start with? Consequently, the masses will point finger at the continuing failure of the intelligence services to use “suspicion”, and not the law of the land to prosecute its own citizens.
Now the prosecution insists on a secret trial of Momin Khawaja whereas public opinions are questioning the official dictum. For Four years, Momin has been imprisoned for unproven allegations under the law of suspicion to have participated in some conspiracy to bomb making theory. The defense lawyer Mr. Greenspon argues to have access to secret files on terror suspect and clarifies that “MOMIN KHAWAJA IS AT RISK OF BEING WRONGLY CONVICTED…and “THAT HE COULD BE WRONGFULLY IMPRISONED FOR LIFE IF THE GOVERNMENT INSISTS ON WITHHOLDING CLASSIFIED INFORMATION IT ADMITS IS RELEVANT TO HIS DEFENCE AGAINST TERRORISM CHARGES.”
Contrary to this, the prosecution claims that an open trial would harm the national security and relations with foreign governments. To defy logic and facts, the prosecution contends two distinct orders of TRUTH. Truth is One, not many, that it is a political trial as it is being identified by the Canadian Justice Department to be mindful of “security policy” and relations with foreign governments – as the reasoning to hold the secret trial. In democratic governance, the official opinion is flawed, secret trials are a negation of liberty, human rights, freedom and justice – justice delayed is justice denied. Momin and his family are continued to be punished, not because they are guilty of any crimes except on suspicion; they are being treated as guilty of crimes without committing any crimes. In several communication, Dr. Khawaja asked the Federal Minster, why he and his family are being systematically victimized? The Minister would only reply with “no comments.” Amnesty International asked the Canadian Government the same question but got abstract reply. Would the new Progressive Conservative Canadian Government review its policy and take initiative to apologize from the innocent victims of its inherited policy on terrorism? Would it free Momin Khawaja after four years of harsh ordeal at a detention center? Would the current Minister of Security with first-hand knowledge of the issues initiate action and facilitate measures to deliver justice and compensate the Khawaja family for the state sponsored terrorism against its own citizens? After all President Bush is leaving the White House soon and perhaps Canada needs to see its own policy interest and national priorities rather than blindly follow the American adventures to undo the world peace and harmony.
Eric Margolis sheds more light on the media created images fostered by the governmental policy sponsorship: “In the Western world, hatred of Muslims has become a key ideological hallmark of rightwing parties. We see this overtly in the United States, France, Italy, Holland …and most lately Canada.”
End cannot be assumed based on the notion of “suspicion”, and dogmas cannot replace truth to explain the facts of human life. When facts live in denial, dogmas construct dark illusions to assert the political agenda for encroachment of human rights, dignity and real freedom. The Canadian intelligence apparatus enjoys history of flawed record to victimize people under the “war on terror.” Given the obvious public mistrust, they seem to be overwhelmingly occupied in building castles over moving sand. British author and producer Adam Curtis (“The Power of Nightmares re-awakened” BBC), made attempts to re-awaken the human conscience that the myth of international terrorism is a misleading political phenomenon to embark on American ambitions of global hegemony. Michael Meacher, MP and former UK Minister of Environment of Blair’s Cabinet points out to the same agenda (“This War on Terrorism is Bogus:”): “It seems that the so called “war on terrorism” is being used largely as bogus cover for achieving wider US strategic geopolitical objectives.” On the part of targeted victims of this war of choice is similar to those cases of the 2nd WW internment of people of Japanese, German and Italian origins in North America. The search for justice itself implies the pr-existence of injustice. Justice and societal harmony cannot be preached in the name of illegal detentions and systematic torture of the citizens. Targeted victims look to human conscience to stop the continued political cruelty, violations of human rights and travesty of justice. Those whose lives have been destroyed by the false official claims of terrorism, do ask the living and THINKING People of the globe, could there be two distinct orders of truth? Is there any legal stipulations in Canada to prosecute state sponsored terrorism and wickedness?
Dr. Mahboob A. Khawaja, the author is a political scientist with interests in strategic studies and comparative cultures and civilizations affairs of Muslims and the West, and author of several publications including: Muslims and the West: Quest for Change and Conflict Resolution and “Pakistan: Enigma of Change.”
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