Why Should Canadians Care About Omar Khadr?
Because Canadians value equality…
- Our Charter of Rights and Freedoms is universal; it applies to every Canadian citizen equally. 8
- “Omar Khadr is a citizen of this country. What you think of him doesn’t matter. He is a citizen. And if the government can do this to him, it can do this to any citizen. ” – Dan Gardner, Ottawa Citizen 9
- As soon as we start picking and choosing who deserves “universal rights”, we begin to question the humanity of others around us, which can lead us to become inhuman ourselves.
Because Canadians value the rule of law…
- The value that Canadians place upon the rule of law is clearly demonstrated in the first line of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms; “Whereas Canada is founded upon principles that recognize the supremacy of God and the rule of law...”
- Our government should be subject to the same laws as its citizens. The government cannot simply ignore the Canadian courts or the laws and charters that are in place.
Because Canadians value integrity…
- Confidence that people and institutions will keep their promises to one another is foundational to our society and our economy.
- We need to make it clear to the government that we expect honesty and transparency. Was the promise they made to Omar Khadr empty?
- In October 2010, Omar Khadr entered a guilty plea based upon a promise by the Canadian government that he could return to Canada after one year. The refusal of the Canadian government to fulfill its promise reflects poorly on the integrity of each and every Canadian citizen that it is supposed to represent.
- A deal is a deal.
“First thing I tell them is not to fear me. I’m a peaceful person and to give me a chance in life and don’t believe what you’ve heard and believe what you see with your eyes... I will build my future with the (w)right bricks.”
- Omar A. Khadr in a letter written to CBC DocZone producer Nazim Baksh May 2008