Letter to the Editor
Ottawa Citizen

The Ottawa Citizen has been publishing the Arar story for days, if not for
months now. All the published letters and commentaries were in favor of Mr.
Arar and his side of story condemning the inaction of the Canadian
Government to take Mr. Arar out of Syria earlier. There has been a strong
voice in favor of an inquiry into the Arar case. PM and the Foreign minister
of Canada, as well as all parties in the House are on the highest alert due
to the pressure exercised by the Muslim community in Canada.
It is remarkable that the Citizen does not want to publish any latter that
would express any opposite opinion to the Arar frenzy.

The story of Maher Arar, a Syrian-born Canadian, who was extradited by the
American authority to Syria under the suspicion to have close ties to
Al-Qaeda members, has occupied the Canadian media for couple of months now.
After being tortured in Syria and after spending months in jail there, Mr.
Arar was released and sent back to Canada. 

The Ottawa Citizen carried the whole front page on Mr. Arar, telling us his
side of the story under a very ambitious title:" Now, let me tell you who I
am."(The Ottawa Citizen : Nov. 5, 2003 -
40f4-9c12-a4b331f95ad6 )

I sympathize with Mr. Arar for injustice done to him, but I can not stop
asking myself why would the mainstream media and the politicians suddenly
become interested in justice and the rightness? 

Just four years ago the current Canadian Government decided illegally to
bomb Serbia, contrary to the international law and the UN Charter. In the
course of 78 days eighteen Canadian P-18 Hornet jet fighters took part in
the air strikes, accounting for about 10% of the 6,700 sorties flown by war
planes of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Canadian planes and
Canadian pilots were ordered to bomb a helpless civilian population in
Serbia, to destroy their homes and property, and to poison their
environment. The result is compounded human misery, a dangerously polluted
habitat, expansion of terrorist activity, billions of dollars damage and a
destabilization of the Balkans. 
Members of the Serbian community in Canada had requested, unsuccessfully,
from the members of the Parliament to vote on Canada's undeclared war.

Nobody to date has publicly requested any inquiry into these unjust war and
the  crimes of enormous proportions perpetrated by the Canadian Government.
No Canadian politician, or media outlet was outraged. Muslim community was
galvanized in support of bombing of the innocent civilians of Serbia at that

Why suddenly such an urge for justice among the members of the same Muslim
community and the same Government and the media? Why would then Mr. Arar's
case be so important?

The answer is to be found in the powerful Muslim lobby and its influence on
the Canadian government. 

It is a selective justice that we have today, not an universal justice for
all  that Canada was so proud of log time ago.

Boba Borojevic
ON, Canada


Majority of Muslims agree with Malaysian PM
Qasem Mahmud
The Ottawa Citizen 

November 7, 2003

Re: Speak up before evil words turn to evil deeds, Oct. 21.

In his opinion article, Keith Landy, national president of the Canadian
Jewish Congress, attacked Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad,
accusing him anti-Semitic views. He urged Canadian Muslim associations and
leaders to denounce what he considered Mr. Mohamad's expression of

In my opinion, Mr. Mohamad has expressed the views shared by the great
majority of Muslims all over the world. They denounce the Israeli actions
against the Palestinians and the U.S. foreign policy, characterized by
Sunera Thobani, a former president of the National Action Committee on the
Status of Women, as "soaked in blood." It is mostly Muslim blood.

I urge readers to read the full text of Mr. Mohamad's speech by going to the
web site www.oicsummit2003.com (page 5), to see that the accusations of
anti-Semitism are not founded.

I believe that Mr. Mohamad and Muslims say that Zionist Jews and evangelical
Christians have been waging a war on Islam for some time.

Muslims have been urged to defend their religion and themselves by being
patient and by resorting to non-violent means. These means will eventually
convince their oppressors to stop the carnage and to live together in peace.

Qasem Mahmud,

Ottawa, Vice chairman,

Muslim Community Council of Ottawa-Gatineau

C The Ottawa Citizen 2003


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