Hassan: Canadian government should have power to revoke citizenship of terror suspects
By Farzana Hassan, Special to QMI Agency
Friday, February 8, 2013 5:54:35 EST PM
Immigration Minister Jason Kenney has stated what many have been thinking for some time: He has proposed that Canadian passport holders who commit acts of terror abroad or in Canada may have their citizenship revoked.
The scope of the private member’s Bill C-425 proposed by Conservative MP Devinder Shory will therefore be expanded to include the right of the Canadian government to revoke citizenship of individuals with dual nationalities who commit terror abroad or against Canada.
Bill C-425 will also include the provision to speed up immigration for permanent residents who serve in the Canadian Armed Forces. Perhaps this incentive will instill in migrants some loyalty toward Canada. The bill also includes serious penalties for those who commit acts of terror against Canadian Armed Forces.
Kenney has done the right thing in proposing expansion of the bill. The alleged Canadian connection in the recent attack on the Algerian gas plant justifies reigniting the debate about who is entitled to keep Canadian citizenship. The earlier alleged involvement of a Canadian passport holder in a terrorist attack on a bus in Bulgaria had also sparked debate on revoking Canadian citizenship.
Putting it plainly: Anyone who gives allegiance to an entity outside Canada that threatens the values we hold dear or seeks to harm our citizens must forfeit the privilege of Canadian citizenship. After all, surely no one so hostile to Canada would want to live here.
Muslim organizations fighting to eradicate the curse of terrorism from Canada must support this bill. Thus far, only the Muslim Canadian Congress, of which I am a board member, has endorsed it. MCC president Salma Siddiqui said in a statement recently “a number of Canadians have been training in terrorist camps in Pakistan and plan to return to Canada to carry out their global jihad. We must ensure these men and women are stripped of their citizenship before they can re-enter Canada.”
The brave stance the MCC has taken needs to be embraced by all Canadian Muslims if a strong message is to be sent to the jihadists that there should be no violence in the name of Islam — or in the name of Canada.
Canada’s generosity, freedoms and opportunities must not be exploited to further any murderous plans based on skewed morality or unfounded contempt for the West or those who support Western ideals. Jihadists who commit acts of terror have no loyalty to Canada or to the marvellous opportunities it affords them. They speak only one language, that of hatred for all things deemed un-Islamic.
Members of the political opposition who are upset about the hasty handling of bill C-425 will certainly get a chance to debate it, yet they must support Kenney’s proposed amendments.
Canadian law used to allow citizenship to be revoked. If it could do so once, in more innocent times, it needs to have this power again now. We must ensure neither toothless laws nor porous borders can facilitate terror within our borders or in our name.
Farzana Hassan is the author of Unveiled: A Canadian Muslim Woman’s Struggle Against Misogyny, Sharia and Jihad.