There have been others — Abousfian Abdelrazik, for instance — who languished in Sudan for five years on the false charge that he was an al-Qaeda operative. He was tortured by the Sudanese government and when the charges proved false, he was let go. He sought refuge in the Canadian embassy in Khartoum but the government would not issue him a passport. Ottawa was finally ordered by the court to produce him. Abdelrazik returned to Canada last June. The cases of Maher Arar, and that of Abdullah Almalki, Muayyed Nureddin and Ahmad El Maati also stand out shedding particular light on the egregious behaviour of successive Canadian governments. All were tortured overseas with the complicity of their own government. And all happen to be Muslims. With the exception of Maher Arar, no apology or compensation has been offered to any of them. There is persistent stonewalling by the government. Each of the three individuals was falsely labelled as alleged threat to Canada’s “national security,” and ended up in Syrian torture chambers (and, in one case, Egyptian torture chambers as well) where they were interrogated and tortured based on questions that came from Canada. A problematic secret federal review of their cases (The Iacobucci Inquiry, which unfortunately excluded the men, their lawyers, the press, and public from participating) nonetheless found that Canadian agencies were complicit in the men’s overseas detention, interrogation, and torture.
Last June, the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security of the House of Commons called for an immediate apology for all thee men, along with compensation “for the suffering they endured and the difficulties they encountered.” The committee released a report that also called on the federal government to “do everything necessary to correct misinformation that may exist in records administered by national security agencies in Canada or abroad with respect to” the three men and their family members.
The pattern of mistreatment and abuse of Muslims is so persistent and the callousness of the Canadian government, indeed successive governments, is so glaring that one cannot but conclude that Muslims are the target of a deliberate campaign. Not only Muslims but even fair-minded mainstream commentators have concluded that there are different classes of citizens in Canada today. In a stinging critique of government policy, Christopher Hume of the Toronto Star wrote in his August 12 column titled: “Is citizenship now defined by the colour of your skin?” It is worth quoting Hume at some length,
“But it is a point worth remembering, especially in the face of mounting evidence that Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s regime is determined to create different categories of citizenship. According to the administration’s new meaning of Canadian citizenship, the main qualification is not residence, place of birth, oath of allegiance or passport — it’s the colour of your skin.
“And in Canada today, God help you if you’re not white, because the federal government sure won’t. Indeed, that government creates these problems in the first place.
“This isn’t just another political scandal; this is cause for deep national shame. This smacks not just of prejudice, but of apartheid.”
Only a few years earlier, Brenda Martin, a white Canadian woman was convicted and imprisoned in Mexico on drug trafficking charges. The Canadian government not only intervened with the Mexican authorities but a federal minister sent his private plane to fetch her from the Mexican jail. In the case of Suaad Mohamud, Maher Arar, Abousfian Abdelrazik, Abdullah Almalki, Muayyed Nureddin, Ahmad El Maati and Omar Khadr, the government has a very different attitude. In fact, it has been complicit in their abuse and torture.” http://usa.mediamonitors.net/content/view/full/66863