The Islamic State, also known as ISIS, ISIL, and (to me) The Balaclava Appreciation Club of Iraq and Al-Sham, has granted Canadians with the highest honour there is: a shout-out in their jihadist propaganda video. Finally, after years of death-to-America-this and death-to-America-that, it’s Canada that gets to feel the wrath of Allah, along a list of some the best infidels. IS spokesman Abu Muhammad al-Adnan said in the video, “if you can kill a disbelieving American or European—especially the spiteful and filthy French—or an Australian, or a Canadian, or any other disbeliever from the disbelievers waging war, including the citizens of the countries that entered into a coalition against the Islamic State … kill him in any manner or way however it may be.” I wonder if French Canadians count towards the “spiteful and filthy French” mentioned. That would mean double the points for Canada!
The Islamic State, whose conquest of Iraq and Syria is reminiscent of their imperious Islamic predecessors hundreds of years ago, has been deemed a threat by Canada, as well as other Western nations who have joined in a coalition with the U.S. to fight this terrorist organization. The prime minister’s director of communications, Jason MacDonald, said in a response to the video, “ISIS represents a threat not just to stability in the Middle East, but to global security. We will continue to work with allies to push back against this threat. Like our allies we will not be cowed by threats while innocent children, women, men and religious minorities live in fear of these terrorists.” The Canadian Government recently announced it will be sending 69 special forces personnel to serve as advisers to the Iraqi forces struggling to combat The Islamic State. While I have the utmost gratitude for our brave men and women fighting for Canadian values on the desert planet Tatooine, how’s all this hullabaloo affecting us at home?
Well, ‘home’ will soon be a word some people won’t be able to describe Canada as. The government has announced it will be beginning to revoke passports of citizens suspected to be in cahoots with The Islamic State. This move has already been criticized by human rights lawyer Lorne Waldman who described it as “pretty vague and pretty broad.” Waldman, the head of the Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers, says he’s worried the government might use its powers arbitrarily. “The Passport Order gives the minister the right to deny passports if there were issues of national security […] the minister is going to have to justify it in some way or another.”
Now, this is a completely reasonable thing to request of the government and I have total confidence that the government will not use this power to marginalize Muslims completely. That being said, I do think that the government will use this power to marginalize Muslims completely. In fact, marginalizing Muslims sometimes seems like the Canadian Government’s favourite hobby, considering the five people imprisoned in the wake of 9/11 for seemingly no reason other than being Muslim. These five individuals were detained for a combined near 30 years and without due process. It’s doesn’t help that Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander has refused to reveal any data backing the decision, such as the number of passports seized since 2002. “It’s an administrative issue, it’s an operational issue,” he said in response to reporters. “There are privacy considerations. We will not be saying how many have been revoked…but we have the power to do that.”
Yes, we live in uncertain times, especially for Canadian Muslims. Though, if there’s one thing Achmed, the immigrant from Algeria, can be certain of, it’s that he’ll be chosen for his fifth “random” airport security check in a row next time he’s at Pearson. Having an airport security guard get way to close to your nuts—no wonder we made it onto a Jihadist death list.