Source: Muslim Wake Up!
As the Canadian government forges ahead with its cleverly named Passenger Protect Program, the timing could not be better to seriously reconsider what is for all intents and purposes a no-fly list.
The attention to the issue of watch lists generated by the struggles of Maher Arar (the Canadian citizen detained by Americans and shipped off to torture and interrogation in Syria) to clear his name should make us all sit back and reflect. There are many lessons to be learned from the Canadian government’s recent apology and financial settlement with Arar for its role in his “extraordinary rendition.”
One of these lessons is that hasty and ill considered national security initiatives which are essentially aimed at managing perceptions more than they are in really addressing legitimate and manageable security concerns are not harmless. In fact, they cause disproportionate harm in return for very minor gains in terms of intelligence and law enforcement. The innocent and unintended victims of such initiatives are real human beings with lives, rights and dignity. When not properly designed to address the negative impacts such initiatives can significantly disrupt and even destroy lives.
Another lesson from the Arar saga is that religious and racial profiling, no matter how vigorously it is denied, is too often the reality for a growing number in Canada’s Muslim and Arab communities at least in the national security context. In fact, this was confirmed by none other than the Department of Justice in a report leaked a couple of years ago.