Khadr out on bail, ignorant masses lament

khadr-2015

Khadr is free, for now. Image courtesy Edmonton Journal.

“Mr. Harper is a bigot. Mr. Harper doesn’t like Muslims. When you put your children to bed, ask yourself if you’d want your children to be abused the way Omar Khadr was. He [Harper] wants to prove he’s tough on crime, so who does he pick on? A 15-year-old boy.” –Dennis Edney, Khadr lawyer

Omar Khadr. Few topics bring out the most awful Sun TV-esque, hate-wing Internet commentors than mention of what the papers dutifully refer to as a “convicted terrorist”. Scant few publications never fail to incite ignorance, Islamophobia and just general neanderthalic behavour with the mere mention of his name.

Here’s what we know: he was a goddamn 15-year-old in the middle of a violent war with an imperial nation (that’s the USA for those keeping score at home); he was coerced into a confession and then spent a decade being tortured at Guantanamo Bay.

To the cretins who shout, “He’s a convicted terrorist! He should rot in jail forever”, you have neither the intellectual inability nor the desire to think critically .

Omar Khadr’s story is a tragedy. Just like the all the lives lost in America’s endless march across the Middle East.

To everyone out there who shows no sympathy for people different than you, let me ask: if you were a 15-year-old in the midst of a civil war, if you were illegally detained, if you were tortured for years, would you expect forgiveness?

And here we are in Edmonton, a city that has now played a role in Khadr’s surreal trip from teenager to torture victim. Hopefully this is a journey towards a brighter future for Mr. Khadr.

The federal conservatives have predictably come out against Mr. Khadr’s bail agreement, with all the typical ignorant xenophobic base-pandering we’ve all come to expect from Steve Harper, the world’s most uninspiring Lego man.

I’ll let Mr. Khadr’s longtime lawyer respond.

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