AlJazeera: Islamophobia Sells In Canada | loonwatch.com

Posted: March 21, 2015 in Canadian Politics, Elections, Racism, Religion, War

March 2, 2015 2:00AM ET

by Davide Mastracci

Canadians will vote in the country’s 42nd general election on Oct. 19. In the lead-up to the vote, Prime Minister Stephen Harper has made several calculated decisions to capitalize on popular Islamophobic sentiments to secure another victory for the Conservative Party.

Harper has latched onto international events to marginalize Muslims for voters. For example, on Jan. 8, Harper responded to the attacks in Paris on the French satirical magazine, Charlie Hebdo, by claiming that an “international jihadist movement has declared war.” He then pledged to propose a new anti-terrorism legislation once the parliament resumes regular session in late January.

His bill, the Anti-Terrorism Act 2015 or Bill C-51, will transform Canada’s spy agency, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), from an information gathering service to one that proactively attempts to thwart terrorist plots in Canada and abroad. The act will also lower the threshold for monitoring suspected national security threats, including adding a vaguely defined category called terrorist “sympathizers.”

The bill passed in the House of Commons on Feb. 23 and is now being sent to Committee. In an open letter to Harper, several civil liberty organizations, former CSIS employees and former Canadian prime ministers have expressed concern about the lack of oversight and effective review mechanisms for the law. If Canada’s past anti-terror legislations are any guide, Muslim communities will likely see increased surveillance and profiling under Bill C-51. Previous counterterrorism laws have resulted in the infringement of Muslims’ civil liberties through arbitrary detention and inclusion in no-fly lists, as well as secret surveillance. Harper is not even pretending Bill C-51 will be any different…

Con’t at:  AlJazeera: Islamophobia Sells In Canada | loonwatch.com.

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