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Thread: Canada News

  1. #1
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    Default Canada News

    Sweden tops European rape league

    27 Apr 09

    Sweden has the highest incidence of reported rapes in Europe - twice as many as "runner up" the UK, a new study shows.

    Researchers behind the EU study, which will be presented on Tuesday, conclude that rape appears to be a more common occurrence in Sweden than in continental European countries.

    In Sweden, 46 incidents of rape are reported per 100,000 residents.

    This figure is double as many as in the UK which reports 23 cases, and four times that of the other Nordic countries, Germany and France. The figure is up to 20 times the figure for certain countries in southern and eastern Europe.

    The study, which is financed by the Brussels-based EU fund Daphne II, compared how the respective judicial systems managed rape cases across eleven EU countries. Sweden is shown in an unfavourable light, according to the study.

    The high figures in Sweden can not it seems be explained purely by an increased tendency to report rapes and other more minor sexual offences.

    Rape simply appears to be a more common occurrence in Sweden than in the other EU countries studied, the researchers argue.

    Over 5,000 rapes are reported in Sweden per annum while reports in other countries of a comparable size amounted to only a few hundred.

    The figures can however be somewhat distorted as it is often only assault rapes by strangers and aggravated acquaintance rapes that are reported in many of these countries - as was the case in Sweden 40 years ago.

    The high incidence of rape in Sweden has a strong connection to nightlife and partying, specifically after-club parties in private homes.

    Early sexual debuts, high alcohol consumption, "free sexuality" and the "right to say no" quite simply results in more rapes, the study concludes.

    The Daphne II fund ran from 2004-2008 and was set up by the European Parliament as a specific programme to prevent and combat violence against children, young people and women and to protect victims and groups at risk.

    In 2007 Daphne III was launched to continue the work and is funded up to 2013.

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    Webcam Pedophile sentenced to eight years

    27 Aug 09

    A 33-year-old man has been sentenced to eight years in prison for raping a teenager and engaging in a series of webcam-related sex crimes involving 60 girls.

    The man was sentenced by Uppsala district court for a list of 65 charges of sexual offences including aggravated child exploitation through sexual posing, child rape, and sexual coercion.

    The 33-year-old father of two was also ordered to pay a total of 1 million kronor ($140,400) in compensation to the girls.

    The court found the man guilty of the charges in the beginning of July but his sentencing has been delayed due to him undergoing a month's psychiatric examination.

    The examination has led to the conclusion that the man is not suffering from any serious psychological impairment.

    The case came to light after the man was accused of raping a 14-year-old girl from the Stockholm area who he had known previously, rather than through an encounter on the internet.

    A girl from western Sweden contacted police shortly thereafter to report that a man had contacted her on the internet and forced her to perform sex acts in front of a webcam and threatening to kill her if she did not comply.

    Police were then able to trace the man's IP-address and discover that the accused rapist and the webcam offender were the same man.

    The 33-year-old was arrested in December 2008 and was charged by the Uppsala court at the end of May. He has remained in custody throughout the duration of the investigation.

    Pedophile sees jail term cut to five years

    5 Aug 09

    A 62-year-old man found guilty of sex crimes perpetrated against eight girls over a period of several years had his sentence reduced on Wednesday from seven to five years.
    The case against the man began to unfold when police looked into allegations that he had treated one of the girls to alcohol. His victims ranged in age from 11 to 16 at the time of the abuses.

    The man was convicted in May in a district court in southern Sweden on several counts of rape, child rape, sexual exploitation of a minor, child sex abuse and sexual harassment.

    But the Court of Appeal for Skåne and Blekinge on Wednesday cleared the 62-year-old on one count of sexual harassment and two counts of child rape, cutting his sentence to five years.

    In May, the district court found the 62-year-old guilty of nine instances of child rape. But the appeals court ruled that the prosecutor had in fact only proved beyond doubt that the man had perpetrated six cases of child rape.

    In the case of the charge of sexual harassment, it was a "single incident that lasted a short time," the court wrote in its verdict. The court added that the man in this case had voluntarily broken off his advances, which had not been of a particularly intimate nature.

    The appeals court found the 62-year-old guilty of rape on two counts, six counts of child rape, as well as seven counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, child sex abuse and sexual harassment. The court also reduced the level of compensation payable to the victims from 455,000 to 266,000 kronor ($37,000).

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    Default Afghanistan mission a total failure

    The real reason we’re fighting the war?

    Afghanistan sitting on a gold mine.

    Real reason is Greed.. plain and simple

    The US Geological Survey estimates there are 700 billion cubic metres of gas and 300 million tons of oil in Afghanistan. Afghan Mining Minister Mohammad Ibrahim Adel said there are also significant deposits of copper, iron, gold, coal -- as well as emeralds and rubies. Already in the pipeline is the exploitation of one of the world’s biggest copper deposits 20 miles east of Kabul. Adel said a 30-year lease with the China Metallurgical Group is being finalized to mine more than 11 million tons of copper worth $88 billion that would create 5,000 jobs five years from now. However, the colossal Aynak project represents only a fraction of Afghanistan's unexploited resources. The USGS is carrying out a nationwide survey of mineral wealth and oil and gas deposits that is expected to be completed in a year. Adel said: "In 10 years Afghanistan will be the richest country in the region." Source

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    Default Afghanistan mission a total failure

    Allow Afghan women to give massages: army adviser

    14 Dec 09

    In a written internal document submitted from Swedish headquarters at Camp Northern Lights, Gender Field Adviser Captain Krister Fahlstedt of Afghanistan force FS17 took exception to an army contract specifying that on-base massage services should be provided exclusively by men.

    "The agreement specifies, with no further explanation, that the physiotherapists (masseurs/masseuses) should be men," wrote Fahlstedt in his November submission.

    The captain's investigations showed that the recommendation was followed to the letter, as two men were brought in to perform massages.

    "It is the opinion of FS17 that there are no reasonable grounds for gender to be one of the profile requirements," he wrote.

    Fahlstedt further stressed that his force was committed to strengthening the position of women in society by helping create the conditions in which they could become self-sufficient.

    "It's not important as such whether women eventually get the job, what's important is that there's equality of opportunity and they are treated on the same terms as men," Fahlstedt told The Local.

    "Contracts of this kind must always be gender neutral, and this is actually the only time I've seen an army contract worded in this way," he added.

    Fahlstedt, active in both the Centre Party and the Swedish Federation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights (RFSL), returned earlier this month to Sweden from service with the FS17 force. He remains hopeful that the army will rectify the situation and begin considering the possibility of employing Afghan masseuses.

    "I haven't received a formal response yet but I have been led to believe that the necessary changes will be made to the contract," he told The Local.


    This is the liberation they wanted to bring to the country! where the Muslim women have to massage these foreign invading men. The pervert's idea of "strengthening the position of women" is to have them oil and massage naked foreign invaders.

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    And let's not forget about all the opium.

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    Default Real Face of India

    12.63 lakh (6.8 million) sex workers in India, Delhi red-light capital

    Dipak Kumar Dash, - , Jul 21, 2010

    NEW DELHI: There are a whopping 6,88,751 "registered" sex workers in the country and it's not mandatory for them to have a health certificate on sexually transmitted diseases. Put together, these two pieces of information -- revealed by the government in an RTI reply -- should send the alarm bells ringing as unprotected paid sex is the main driver of the HIV epidemic in India.

    The reply by the ministry of health and family welfare also reveals that the southern states have the largest number of sex workers, at least on government records. Andhra Pradesh leads the list with more than one lakh registered female sex workers while Karnataka has 79,000. These two states are followed by Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and West Bengal.

    Interesting, there is not a single sex worker as per government records in Dadra and Nagar Haveli as well as Daman and Diu. Jammu and Kashmir has the least number of registered sex workers -- 259.

    Among the metros, Delhi leads the list. Though the capital has only one known red light area, GB Road, there are 37,900 sex workers -- more than those in India's financial capital, Mumbai.

    Experts say a large number of sex workers in the country go undetected in government records. Naco estimates the total number of sex workers in India to be 12.63 lakh.

    The ministry in its reply says that the calculation of the total number is based on information from state AIDS Control Societies. "The numbers are based on listings done under targeted interventions in the states and may change as per new registrations," the reply says.

    Ved Pal, a resident of Delhi, who had filed the RTI, said that though he had sought information on what steps government was taking to rehabilitate the sex workers and to bring them back to the mainstream, he did not get a satisfactory reply. "The government must find a way to identify women who have entered this profession for financial compulsions and they must be rehabilitated," Pal said.

    Meanwhile, the annual report (2009-10) of the health ministry's Aids control department states that India has the third largest number of people living with HIV/AIDS -- 22.7 lakh, as per the provisional HIV estimates of 2008-09.

    The report says though sex workers are 0.5% of adult female population, they account for 7% of HIV-infected women. "Sex work continues to act as the most important source of HIV infections in India due to the large size of clients that get infected from sex workers... Men who buy sex are the single most powerful driving force in India's HIV epidemics and constitute the largest infected population group in the country," the report adds.

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    Default Canada's War on Islam

    by Stephen Lendman

    Canada, like other Western countries and Israel, is partnered in America's War on Islam - a post-9/11 "war on terror" scheme to vilify Muslims as culturally inferior gun-toting terrorists for political advantage. As a result, thousands of innocent victims have been lawlessly persecuted, bogusly charged, imprisoned, tortured, and in some cases extrajudicially murdered in cold blood.

    Mahboob Khawaja, his son Momin and family, are Pakistani Canadians, bogusly targeted for alleged involvement in terrorism.

    Dr. Khawaja is an "academic specializing in Strategic Studies with special interests in Western-Islamic Civilizations, Change and Conflict Resolution." His books include "Muslims and the West: Quest for Change and Conflict Resolution," as well as many published articles, his latest titled "Fallacy of the 'War on Terrorism.' " Accurately described as a "self-defeating," inhumane, "cynical framework of greed and tyranny," it shamelessly perceives Muslims "as the culprits waging war against the Christian West."

    In fact, the opposite is true. It's been longstanding, then intensified post-9/11 globally, claiming millions of innocent victims, thousands as political prisoners, Canada as culpable as America.

    Mahboob explained how he and his family were persecuted, saying:

    "It was a combined (American/Canadian/UK) project, my wife and children arrested at gunpoint in Ottawa while I was working in a university in Saudi Arabia. My family home was attacked by 50 - 60 armed (Royal Canadian Mounted Police - RCMP) without any formal search warrant, looking for a bomb," but found nothing.

    In fact, Mahboob's door was blown open. Masked RCMP burst in, telling his family to get down on the floor, then asking "Is your house booby-trapped? Where are the explosives?" Of course, there were none nor any booby or other traps.

    "Simultaneously, I was arrested in Arabia and jailed for two weeks. The Saudi Intelligence showed me the formal Canadian request, but (Security) Minister (Anne McClellan) and the Government in Ottawa denied" sending it. "The documentary evidence," however, refutes "this public lying." No matter. The damage was done. Canadian and global media reports destroyed his "professional career as a professor in global politics," as well as his son, Momin's, as a software developer.

    Government-sponsored media ads and reports vilified him, his wife and children as "terrorists," the same fate as for hundreds of others bogusly portrayed, their lives grievously impaired as a result. A family friend and president of the regional Canada-Pakistan Association, Qamar Masood, believed at the time it was a case of mistaken identity. Importantly, "Just imagine how they're going to live through this ordeal," he said. "And after that, living in a neighborhood with so many eyes looking at them, it's very hard," because of the entire cross they'll forever have to bear.

    Mahboob's son, Momin, was falsely accused of a UK bomb plot, a March 31, 2004 Canadian Broadcasting Company (CBC) report saying he "became the first person charged under Canada's (2001 Anti-Terrorism Act on March 30) when police accused him of terrorist activity in Canada and in England."

    Though acquitted on that charge, he was held without trial for over four years, then convicted on October 29, 2008, and sentenced on March 12, 2009, after a bench trial, to ten and a half years (over and above time served) for donating $859 to an Afghan refugee charity, and two other changes, including:

    -- "making a device" that, in fact, "was to stop cell phone signals in mosques, academic institutions, hospitals," and other facilities from being identified; and

    -- "attending some (alleged) unknown camp during a visit to Pakistan," the same bogus charge against other innocent victims traveling abroad to Muslim countries, some to visit families, then linking their visits to terror plots or training for involvement in future ones.

    Despite the gross injustice, the CBC reported on April 14, 2009 that Canada's federal government appealed the sentence for a longer one, possibly for life on least one of the charges. At trial, "The Crown had sought two life sentences plus an additional sentence of 44 - 58 years," while the defense argued for seven and a half years with "double credit for time already served."

    However, Judge Douglas Rutherford called Momin "a willing and eager participant" in a terror plot, despite no evidence whatever for proof. Nonetheless, he accused him of "assist(ing alleged terror plotters) in many ways," adding that "It matters not whether any terrorist activity was actually carried out," stopping short of questioning if any were, in fact, planned.

    Surprisingly, he said authorities hadn't proved beyond a reasonable doubt that Momin had any direct knowledge, let alone involvement, an admission that should have mandated acquittal, yet he cowardly refused to release him.

    Mahboob said these issues are being appealed, but after six years, Momin is still imprisoned, victimized by Canadian state terrorism like thousands of others in America and globally. In earlier writing, he explained how Canadian Intelligence Agencies and their complicit media terrorize innocent civilians. More on that below.

    First, on March 12, 2009, the BBC updated earlier Momin reports, headlining its account "Khawaja: The Canadian connection," saying:

    He conspired with four other men "jailed for life in April 2007 for a UK bomb plot linked to al-Qaeda, receiv(ing) a sentence of 10 years and six months" for his alleged role.

    A software developer, he "worked in the technical support department of the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs and had a good knowledge of electronics. Of Pakistani origin, he became fascinated by radical Islamist politics, and its focus on conflicts in the Muslim world." He allegedly "traveled to Pakistan in 2003 and met members of a loose network of jihadi sympathizers - men who believed that violence was legitimate."

    These and other charges were alleged at trial, the BBC, like Canadian and US media, accepting them on faith - no matter that they're entirely bogus and should have been thrown out because no credible evidence was presented, only the usual unsubstantiated government version of events, some based on secret evidence unavailable to counsel.

    Yet BBC accused Momin of terrorism, saying he returned to Britain "intent on building a bomb," his role being "to help to build the detonator." In fact, a sting, a setup, targeted him at a claimed Heathrow Airport meeting with Omar Khyam, the accused "ringleader." MI5 and London police allegedly monitored it. UK authorities informed Canada's RCMP who arrested Momin on March 29, 2004, claiming they "found documents and papers sympathetic to violent jihadi courses of action" in his home, besides whatever information UK authorities provided, all of it contrived and bogus.

    As a result, on October 29, 2008, an Judge Douglas Rutherford "ruled that (Momin) had knowingly participated in the (alleged) foiled plot against several British targets, including a shopping center, nightclub and the gas work." Though bogusly charged and convicted, he's now imprisoned and falsely branded a terrorist, an accusation that will haunt him forever.

    It explained the following, a technique used repeatedly in Britain, Canada, America, and elsewhere. A government cooperator was paid to entrap and testify against targeted Muslims. The so-called London plot (called the Fertilizer Case) used Juniad Babar, a dubious character nicknamed "Supergrass" by Britain's media.

    In 2004, he agreed to cooperate with FBI agents after being indicted in June. He then pled guilty to four counts of conspiring to and providing and attempting to provide material support or resources to terrorists. A fifth count involved providing funds, goods, or services to benefit Al-Qaeda. In return for a reduced sentence, he copped a plea, requiring him to provide "substantial assistance," including entrapping and testifying against targeted Muslims, ones authorities want to frame and convict.

    London's Fertilizer Case involved a half-ton of ammonium nitrate, allegedly to blow up a London shopping center, nightclub and other targets - bogus charges that nonetheless got targeted "bombers" convicted and imprisoned, including Momin, even though there was no plot and no crime. In his case, "two hired agents of the Canadian intelligence services (charged him) with two counts of 'bomb making' (involvement) in (Britain)," where the other alleged plotters were brought to trial, not him.

    Writing earlier about media complicity with authorities, Mahboob quoted British author Adam Curtis saying, "international terrorism is a fantasy that has been exaggerated and distorted by politicians" for political advantage. It's "a dark illusion that has spread unquestioned through governments around the world, the security services and the international media."

    To advance American, UK, Canadian, and Israeli imperialism, their "ruling elite(s) invested heavily to institutionalize animosity towards Muslims and the Arabs. The new 21st century colonial masters view humanity in numbers and digits, not as living moral beings with rights and dignity."

    In America, extremist neo-cons "use racism and religious fanaticism to fuel hatred towards Muslims and Islam, and engulf the world with horror of military conquests (and occupations) to further the dictum of" global dominance.

    In America, Britain, Canada, Israel, and other Western states, Muslims are treated like sub-humans, vilified as dangerous villains unfit to co-exist with superior Judeo-Christians, a subtle and overt government/media spread message. As a result, nominal democracies act tyrannically, serving privileged elites, not popular interests, and needing enemies to justify expansionist policies, including imperial wars and state-sponsored terrorism to further them.

    In an earlier article, Mahboob asked:

    "What did Canada achieve (by) destabiliz(ing) the Khawaja family, drain(ing)-out their human energies in arrest, torture and (persecuting them for years) as 'Muslim terrorists'...?" The "demonstrable record (shows) Canada had no incidents of extremism or terrorism at all," putting a lie to government accusations based on an alleged plot that never existed. Authorities even claimed they never raided the Khawaja home even though family members were terrorized and arrested. Possessions were seized, damage done, and hundreds of neighbors saw it.

    The plain truth is that Western nations face no Islamic threat. Claiming one is a US-concocted lie. Authorities and media reports viciously spread it to justify state-sponsored terrorism against innocent victims like Mahboob and his family, including son Momin, now imprisoned for being Muslim at the wrong time in Canada.

    It’s immoral and wrong to demand from the victims not to resist the oppressors

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    Default Quebec Mosque Terrorist Attack

    Suspect in Quebec Mosque Attack Quickly Depicted as a Moroccan Muslim. He’s a White Nationalist.

    Glenn Greenwald
    Murtaza Hussain


    A mass shooting at a Quebec City mosque last night left six people dead and eight wounded. The targeted mosque, the Cultural Islamic Center of Quebec, was the same one at which a severed pig’s head was left during Ramadan last June. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called the episode a “terrorist attack on Muslims.”

    Almost immediately, various news outlets and political figures depicted the shooter as Muslim. Right-wing nationalist tabloids in the U.K. instantly linked it to Islamic violence. Fox News claimed that “witnesses said at least one gunman shouted ‘Allahu akbar!’” and then added this about the shooter’s national origin:

    Suspect in Quebec mosque terror attack was of Moroccan origin, reports show https://t.co/oRzxGHEXDm pic.twitter.com/aEsEtccMvi
    — Fox News (@FoxNews) January 30, 2017

    White House press secretary Sean Spicer exploited the attack to justify President Trump’s ban on immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries. “It’s a terrible reminder of why we must remain vigilant and why the president is taking steps to be proactive rather than reactive when it comes to our nation’s safety and security,” Spicer said at this afternoon’s briefing when speaking of the Quebec City attack.

    But these assertions are utterly false. The suspect is neither Moroccan nor Muslim. The Moroccan individual, Mohamed Belkhadir, was actually one of the worshippers at the mosque and called 911 to summon the police, playing no role whatsoever in the shooting.

    The actual shooting suspect is 27-year-old Alexandre Bissonnette, a white French Canadian who is, by all appearances, a rabid anti-immigrant nationalist. A leader of a local immigration rights group, François Deschamps, told a local paper he recognized his photo as an anti-immigrant far-right “troll” who has been hostile to the group online.

    The Globe and Mail added that he “was known in the city’s activist circles as a right-wing troll who frequently took anti-foreigner and anti-feminist positions and stood up for U.S. President Donald Trump.” And Bissonnette’s Facebook page — now taken down but still archived — lists among its “likes” the far-right French nationalist Marine Le Pen, Islam critics Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens, the Israeli Defense Forces, and Donald J. Trump (he also “likes” the liberal Canadian Party NDP along with more neutral “likes” such as Tom Hanks, the Sopranos, and Katy Perry).

    It is usually the case that there is significant confusion in the wake of attacks of this sort. And local police did apparently arrest two suspects at first: Bissonnette along with Belkhadir. And until the investigation is complete, one cannot know for certain what the motives here were. One should be careful about trying to infer too much from a hodgepodge of Facebook “likes” and, this early, even anecdotal claims about Bissonnette’s political views. As for reports that someone yelled “Allahu akbar,” it is perfectly natural that someone in a mosque would say that upon seeing a homicidal killer randomly shooting people, or it’s possible that the shooter said it mockingly.

    But this is exactly why no responsible news organization, let alone the White House, should rush to depict the shooter as Muslim and of Moroccan descent when so little is known about what happened. Yet not only did Fox and the Trump White House do exactly that, but worse, neither has retracted or corrected their claims long after it became clear that they were false:

    Hour & a half after tweeting out false info on #QuebecMosqueAttack Fox News has still not corrected or retracted. @ggreenwald https://t.co/IppNZrXxHH
    — Derrick O'Keefe (@derrickokeefe) January 30, 2017

    The inflammatory effect of this sort of reckless, biased “reporting” is as predictable as it is toxic. All day long, people around the world cited these reports to justify Trump’s ban as well as their own ugly views of Muslims:

    Quebec gunman 'is Muslim Moroccan' https://t.co/UxI42LAY1X via @MailOnline

    I fully condemn the shooting in Quebec City. But remember the shooters weren't yelling "Trump" they were yelling "Allahu akbar"

    — Seven (@StocksAlotTEMP) January 30, 2017

    The only part of any of this that’s true is that it was an act of terrorism: terrorism aimed, yet again, at Muslims by someone who has apparently been indoctrinated with a great deal of hate toward them. Media outlets and the White House led people all over the world today to believe exactly the opposite.


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    Quebec mosque attack suspect liked Trump, Israeli army, French far-right

    by Ali Abunimah - 30 January 2017

    The Facebook account of the man charged in the shooting attack that killed six persons and injured several more at a Quebec City mosque on Sunday evening indicates he was a fan of US President Donald Trump, French far-right leader Marine Le Pen, the Israeli army and other far-right groups.

    A fellow student of the suspect has also confirmed he had strong pro-Israel, anti-immigration and pro-Trump views.

    Alexandre Bissonnette, 27, was arrested as a suspect in the slayings several miles from the mosque, after he called police himself, the newspaper Le Soleil reported.

    A source close to the investigation, told the newspaper La Presse that during the hours-long interrogation following his arrest, Bissonnette did not conceal his hostility toward Muslims.

    Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau condemned the shooting as a “terrorist attack on Muslims in a center of worship and refuge.”

    Bissonnette appeared before a judge in Quebec City on Monday afternoon and was charged with six counts of premeditated murder and five counts of attempted murder.

    Pro-Israel, pro-Trump

    Bissonnette studied political science at the University of Laval.

    Jean-Michel Allard-Prus, a fellow student, told Le Journal de Quebec that he often talked politics with Bissonnette.

    “He has political ideas on the right, pro-Israel, anti-immigration,” Allard-Prus said. “I had a number of debates with him about Trump. He was obviously pro-Trump.”

    Initially, police said there were two suspects and media named the other as Mohamed Khadir, reportedly in his 30s. He was detained near the mosque minutes after the shootings that took place when the building was packed for evening prayers.

    But on Monday Quebec police said said only one of the men was a suspected shooter and the other was a witness.

    Bissonnette is the suspected shooter.

    The other man initially arrested and held over night before being released – his name is actually Mohamed Belkhadir – told La Presse that he had been been at prayers in the mosque on Sunday night, and then went outside to shovel snow on the steps. A short time later, he heard the gunshots that lasted 15 to 20 seconds. He then went inside to call emergency services. He saw an injured person and tried to assist. He then saw an armed man and ran away, not knowing the armed man was a police officer. “I thought it was someone who had come back to shoot,” he said.

    Police evidently thought Belkhadir was a fleeing suspect and arrested him.

    “I understand and respect that they caught me,” Belkhadir added. “They saw me run away and thought I was a suspect.”


    On Monday evening Quebec authorities confirmed the names of the six persons killed.

    They include Azzeddine Soufiane, 57, a Moroccan native and pillar of the local Muslim community who ran a grocery store near the mosque; Algerian native Abdelkrim (Karim) Hassane, 41; Mamadou Tanou Barry, 39, an accountant and married father, originally from Guinea; and Ibrahima Barry, 39, who worked for the public health system and had also immigrated from Guinea.

    Also killed were Khaled Belkacemi, a professor of agriculture at the University of Laval and pharmacist Aboubaker Thabti.

    Thabti had emigrated to Quebec from Tunisia in 2012 with his wife and three young children.

    Well-wishers have left floral tributes and gathered near the mosque.

    On Monday night thousands of people held a solidarity vigil near the mosque.

    Far-right affinity?

    Quebec media have pointed to the Facebook page of Bissonnette. The Facebook page became inaccessible some time after The Electronic Intifada made copies of it.

    The Facebook page showed that Bissonnette has “liked” a number of political figures and entities which, if taken as signs of his views, may indicate far-right leanings.

    His “likes” include the official Facebook pages of Trump, Le Pen, the “Israel Defence Forces” and a group called “United with Israel.”

    He “liked” Richard Dawkins, a leading proponent of “new atheism,” which often veers into strident Islamophobia.

    Bissonnette also “liked” the nationalist Parti Québécois which ran a losing general election campaign in 2014 on a “Charter of Values” that was widely seen as promoting intolerance of Muslims. The party has strongly condemned the attack.

    Most of the postings on his personal page showed Bissonnette engaging in mundane activities, including fishing and enjoying cheese pairings.

    But the Quebec publication La Presse reported that Bissonnette was known as a troll to members of a Facebook group called Bienvenue aux réfugiés – Welcome to Refugees.

    According to the group’s administrator, Bissonnette often posted comments attacking foreigners in general and feminists, who he termed “feminazis.”

    Trump’s false news

    Meanwhile, the far-right outlet Fox News initially focused on Belkhadir – about whom next to nothing was known except his name and his reported Moroccan ancestry. It later updated its story, but only after disseminating the ultimately false impression that a Muslim man had been the shooter.

    The Trump administration itself used the false information from Fox News to justify its ban on travelers from certain Muslim-majority countries.

    This follows a familiar pattern of downplaying threats of right-wing violence and the possible political motives of suspected attackers when they are not of Arab ancestry or Muslim.

    It ultimately turned out that Belkhadir is not a suspect at all.

    Fox News headline emphasized Moroccan ancestry of man who turned out not to be involved in shooting.

    Authorities have termed the shooting a “terrorist” attack but have yet to reveal any other motives.

    While social media postings can’t tell the whole story, the US government clearly thinks they are relevant to discerning people’s beliefs or intentions.

    The Trump administration is considering asking foreign visitors for their social media accounts, a policy that actually started under Obama.

    In September, a man arrested for burning a Florida mosque had shared extreme pro-Israel and anti-Muslim propaganda on his Facebook page.

    Dylann Roof, who was sentenced to death for murdering nine people at an African American church in Charleston, South Carolina, had similarly used the Internet to spread his white supremacist creed.

    The Quebec killings come at a time of heightened tension, amid protests over Trump’s ban on refugees and travelers from seven Muslim-majority countries.

    An archived copy of Alexandre Bissonnette's Facebook "Likes":


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    Quebec City mosque shooting: At least five reportedly killed

    Terrorists Kill 5 Muslims in a Canadian Mosque

    Six people have been killed and another eight wounded in a shooting at a mosque in Quebec City, Canada.

    Shots were fired at the Quebec Islamic Cultural Centre on Sunday night, where dozens had gathered for evening prayers.

    Police confirmed the death toll and are treating the incident as a terror attack.

    Two people are in custody, and officers do not believe there are others suspects at large.

    Police said the area was secure and the situation was "under control". Dozens of people left the mosque safely, they said.

    A spokesperson said there was no information about the suspects in custody, saying their probe had just started.

    Earlier Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also described the shooting as a "terrorist attack".

    Mr Trudeau said he heard of the news "with tremendous shock, sadness and anger".

    "We condemn this terrorist attack on Muslims in a centre of worship and refuge," he said in a statement.

    "While authorities are still investigating and details continue to be confirmed, it is heart-wrenching to see such senseless violence. Diversity is our strength, and religious tolerance is a value that we, as Canadians, hold dear."

    Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard also referred to the shooting as a terrorist attack, condemning it as "barbaric violence". He expressed solidarity with Muslims in Quebec.

    Earlier, a witness had told Reuters news agency that up to three gunmen had been involved. The news agency also reported that a "heavily armed police tactical squad" had been seen entering the mosque.

    The shooting happened at the mosque on chemin Sainte-Foy, one of two operated by the Islamic centre.

    On its Facebook page, the centre thanked the public "for the hundreds of messages of compassion" and asked people not to spread unconfirmed rumours.

    The president of the mosque, Mohamed Yangui - who was not inside when the shooting happened - said the injured had been taken to hospitals across Quebec.

    "Why is this happening here? This is barbaric," he said.

    The same mosque had a "gift-wrapped" pig's head left on its doorstep in June last year, with a note reading "bonne appetit". Muslims do not eat pork.


    We must not forget to mourn the victims of the Quebec mosque attack in the midst of Trump's travel ban furore

    Bearing in mind the passions on both sides of the debate, it is no surprise that a terrorist incident in neighbouring Canada should be closely examined for what it might tell us about President Trump’s novel approach to America’s highest office

    With protests against President Trump’s immigration ban in full swing, the news of an apparent terror attack in Quebec City seemed impossible. A tweet from @realDonaldTrump would surely follow, pouncing on validation for his bombastic “anti-terrorism” measures. Yet before the President was able to tap out 140 characters it became clear that the attack had taken place at a mosque, targeting Muslims. Was it, in fact, an extremist attack inspired by alt-right ideals?

    One eye witness in Quebec is reported to have heard a shooter shout “Allahu akbar” as the attack was carried out. Another described suspects speaking with a “Quebecois accent”. Two suspects were initially identified, then Canadian police indicated that only one suspect was under arrest - said to be a local student. But as yet we don’t know what motivated this foul deed.

    As for the victims of the massacre, we know that six were killed – aged it is said between 35 and 65 – and a similar number of others remain in a critical condition. Yet amidst all the speculation about the incident, we have yet to hear the stories of those who were gunned down. We can assume perhaps that they had families who loved them and who will miss them; that they had jobs, or worked to contribute to their communities; that they were faithful people who did not expect their devotions to be interrupted, permanently, by violence.

    In due time, the authorities must do all they can to determine the motives of the person or persons who became killers in Quebec; and we should consider whether President Trump’s policy towards Middle Eastern immigrants played any role whatsoever. But let’s not forget the individual lives of those who died; nor allow ourselves to be overly distracted by anything the Donald happens to tweet about this tragedy.


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    Trump Silent As Quebec Mosque Terrorist Is White Christian Pro-Trump Fanatic

    By Colin Taylor - January 30, 2017

    Canadian police have just identified the lone gunman who attacked a Quebec mosque during prayers last night, killing five praying Muslims and injuring eight. Alexandre Bissonnettte, a Quebec native, has been taken into police custody.

    Not surprisingly, Bissonnette's Facebook page (since taken down) shows that he "likes" Donald Trump and far-right, Islamophobic French politician Marine Le Pen. He also likes the Christian site Reasonable Faith. Here's a screenshot from Bassinet's Facebook page, taken before it was deleted, according to Heavy.com:

    Bissonnettte is ardently pro-Trump and anti-Islam,
    according to a former classmate of his from Université Laval, who told Heavy.com that Bissonnettte "has right-wing political ideas, pro-Israel, anti-immigration. I had many debates with him about Trump. He was obviously pro-Trump."

    Furthermore, a Facebook group called "Welcome to Refugees - Quebec City" posted that it was familiar with Bissonnettte, and that he is "unfortunately known to several activists in Quebec City for his pro-Le Pen and anti-feminist identity positions at Université Laval and on social networks." Le Pen is an ardent anti-Muslim French politician who has been closely linked to Trump in the past.

    So let's recap: one day after Donald Trump bans Muslims from several countries because, he claims, they pose a threat to the West, one of HIS deranged followers shoots up a crowd of Muslims whose only crime was peacefully practicing their faith.

    Obviously, religions do not create terrorism, only terrorists do. But will Donald Trump now ban Canadian Christians from entering the United States? This tragic incident perfectly illustrates why blaming entire religions for violence is not only hateful and bigoted, but stupid and counterproductive.

    Donald Trump's Twitter has been uncharacteristically silent since the identity of the gunman was revealed. Hypocrisy, thy name is Donald Trump!

    Here's another screenshot from Bissonnettte's since-removed Facebook profile:


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    Quebec mosque attack: All genocides start with words

    by CJ Werleman - 1 February 2017

    On Sunday night, Alexandre Bissonnette, a French-Canadian university student, walked up to a mosque in Quebec City, armed with an AK-47, and murdered six Muslims in cold blood.

    Described by friends as a “Trump-loving conservative” who hated immigrants and loved apartheid Israel, and by a refugee advocacy official for his “anti-multiculturalist, pro-nationalist” views, Bissonnette was also known as an “internet troll” who’d often cite New Atheists Richard Dawkins and the late Christopher Hitchens when expressing his anti-Muslim bigotry.

    So here we are – firmly and observably fixed in a climate of reactionary, right-wing extremist-driven fear of an imaginary external enemy. History has been here before. In Hitler’s Germany, the Jewish people were viewed as the main threat to the state. All across the Western world today, Muslims are viewed as a threat to Western civilization itself.

    Al-Qaeda prediction comes true

    We are exactly where deceased American-born al-Qaeda propagandist Anwar al-Awlaki, who was killed in a US drone strike in 2011, predicted we would be. In a 2010 sermon, he prophesied, “The West will eventually turn against its Muslim citizens.”

    Indeed the West already has. Trump rode to the White House on the back of anti-Muslim hate. Marine Le Pen threatens to do same in France; likewise Pauline Hanson in Australia, Geert Wilders in the Netherlands; while political parties across Europe have made anti-immigrant policies the cornerstone of their respective platforms.

    Moreover, actual the incidences of actual violent and threatening hate crimes against Muslims is off the charts – with the FBI reporting a 89 percent surge in the past year.

    “The Quebec massacre is the realization of every Muslim's greatest fear in the post-9/11 era,” Imraan Siddiqi, executive director of the civil rights group CAIR (Phoenix) told me. “We've seen the landscape change from mere harassment, to vandalism - to armed mosque protests.

    "Each step of the way, we've been saying, ‘Look! Islamophobia is real’ – but to seemingly deaf ears. What happened in Quebec, just as what happened to Sikhs in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, was really a question of ‘when’ and ‘where’ they would happen, as opposed to a question of ‘if.'”

    Alexandre Bissonnette, charged with six counts of murder (Reuters).

    Mosques in Texas are being set alight. Muslims are being threatened, bashed or murdered by right-wing vigilantes. I use the term “vigilante” intentionally for, in the mind of a terrorist, he is exactly that, no matter how demented the logic. The terrorist sees his violence as noble, just, heroic and as necessary to protect his imagined or real community.

    Dylann Roof, the white nationalist who executed nine black Americans at a church in South Carolina, believed he was defending the white race from “other peoples”. Anders Breivik, the right-wing extremist who murdered 69 students in Norway in 2011, believed he was defending Europe from Muslim migrants. It appears the Quebec City mosque terrorist shares identical views.

    This is not coincidence

    It is no accident we find ourselves here, with an increasing number willing to inflict violence upon Muslims, and a US president who is willing to portray Muslims as a threat to Americans. “I think Islam hates us,” Trump said in a recent interview. We are here because of the political discourse that has followed the attacks of September 11.

    Trump video: http://viewpure.com/C-Zj0tfZY6o?start=0&end=0

    Prior to 9/11, national security discourse rested upon security of the sovereign state. In other words, protecting the national border was the reference object of securitisation. The “War on Terrorism” has changed this logic.

    Since 9/11, Muslims have become the object of securitisation. Not only has discourse portrayed Islam as a threat to Western values or incompatible with liberal democracy, but also we have carried out mass surveillance against Muslim communities, infiltrated mosques with informants, profiled and passed legislation that identifies Muslim as suspicious actors.

    When you see Islam as a threat, then you see Muslims as a risk. When you see Muslims as a risk, you see Muslims as a group that needs to be securitised. When a vast slice of the electorate views Muslims in these terms, political action inevitably follows, while counter-terrorism policy follows that.

    It’s this logic that underpins Trump’s self-defeating and unconstitutional ban on Muslim refugees and immigrants.

    In a climate of hyper-reactionary, right-wing driven hysteria against Muslims, however, there will always be those who believe the authorities aren’t doing enough to mitigate or manage said threat. There will be extremists and the mentally unstable who rationalize to themselves: "The government isn’t doing enough. I need to do something.”

    Armed protesters demonstrate in front of a Texan mosque in December 2015 (AFP)

    Chris Hedges, a Pulitzer Prize-winning war correspondent, told me that in all failing states he had observed, out-groups were enthusiastically scapegoated by political elites. When the citizenry didn’t feel the state was doing enough to suppress the identified out-group, he explained, right-wing vigilantes and militias ended up performing what he called the “dirty work of the state”.

    Echoes of history

    We are now living in very dangerous times. While Nazi Germany metaphors are usually lazy and boring, it’s not a stretch to compare today’s climate of anti-Muslim bigotry with the early stages of anti-Semitism that swept Western Europe in the early part of the last century.

    If you pull Nazi propaganda from the 1930s and replace “Jew” with “Muslim,” then you’re effectively seeing a return of Nazi-style propaganda, but against Muslims, on social media.

    Each time you share or like a "Ban the burqa" or "Ban sharia law" post on Facebook, you're helping create another anti-Muslim terrorist, like Bissonnette, and helping elect a racist opportunist like Donald Trump.

    All genocides start with words - and these words quickly become conspiracies. These conspiracies portray a specific group as a threat. When a specific group is seen as a threat, violence follows, and occasionally genocide follows that violence. This is how genocide took place in Germany, Bosnia, Kosovo, Darfur and Rwanda.

    Muslims living in the West do not wish to enact sharia law.

    Pretending otherwise only serves to help these conspiracies take hold. Spreading these conspiracies is how you're contributing towards a climate where someone like Bissonnette believes he did a noble and heroic thing, and helps usher someone like Trump to power.


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    Canada shows the world what solidarity with Muslims should look like

    Thousands poured in to pay their respects to Muslims that fell in the white supremacist terrorist attack last week.

    By Jason Lemon - 2017-02-03

    Canadians have just shown the world what solidarity with Muslims looks like in a big way.

    Thousands of Canadians, including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Quebec politicians, paid their respects on Thursday to three of the six men killed by a white supremacist terrorist while they prayed in a mosque in Quebec City on Sunday.

    Trudeau's speech focused on solidarity between Canadians in the face of the vicious attack.

    "Our country was united," Trudeau said, according to Al Jazeera. "It is an entire country that is joining the families of the victims."

    "Together, we will rise from this darkness stronger, more unified, than ever before," he said.

    Unity and solidarity was the message promoted by all those who eulogized the victims.

    "I want to tell Muslim Quebecers: you're at home here, we are all Quebecers," Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard said, according to the Montreal Gazette.

    "We feel your pain, we share your pain. When one of us suffers, we all do," he said.

    "Through death, these brave men ... united people from different nationalities, colours, genders and religions," Chayma BenHaj, who presided over the funeral, said. "They united all of Canada."

    The service was specifically for Khaled Belkacemi, Abdelkrim Hassane and Aboubaker Thabti. A separate service will be held on Friday for the other three victims of the terrorist attack.

    Trudeau's approach to the attack contrasts greatly with that of Canada's southern neighbor, the US.

    Under the new administration of President Donald Trump, US policy has taken a strong position against Muslims. With Trump's ban against refugees and immigrants from several Muslim majority countries, the new administration has positioned itself against the Muslim community.

    Trump also plans to ignore the rising threat of white supremacists, anti-government fanatics and Christian fundamentalists, choosing to only target "Islamic extremists." This decision comes despite the fact that these other extremist groups were responsible for more American deaths than self-proclaimed jihadists between the end of 2001 and mid 2015.

    The white terrorist who attacked the Quebec mosque, 27-year-old Alexandre Bissonnette, had previously expressed support for Trump and other far right leaders in Europe.

    Trump reportedly called Prime Minister Justin Trudeau following the attack to express his condolences, but he has not commented publicly.


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    Police investigating after 2 Muslim men, copies of Qur'an, sprayed with urine

    'I came home and took a shower but my jacket and everything smelled,' said Quazi Islam

    Toronto police are investigating after two Toronto men who hand out copies of the Qur'an and books on Islam to passers-by every weekend at St. Lawrence Market say they were sprayed with urine last Saturday.

    "I didn't see who sprayed it but I smelled it and came to my table, and [I saw] the whole table, table-cloth and Qur'an ... was sprayed and smelled," Quazi Islam told CBC Toronto. "I came home and took a shower but my jacket and everything smelled."

    Islam said it happened around 11 a.m. and caused them to put away their damaged flyers and Qur'an in plastic bags.

    He filed a police report the next day alongside his friend, Gerges Hamad, who was also there at the time of the incident.

    The two men say they have been talking about Islam to passers-by from the same spot at St. Lawrence Market for just under two years and though they've been on the receiving end of many abusive comments, nothing like this has ever happened before.

    "We experienced similar things a couple of times ... Someone has spit on our face and the floor. From time to time people comment, very few people, stuff like, 'Don't bring this garbage into our country.'" said Islam.

    "Generally, if something big happens, such as when [the attack in] Paris happened last year, then we experience these things."

    Toronto Police investigating

    Toronto police have confirmed they are investigating the incident but are not classifying it as a hate crime until they have more evidence.

    Islam and Hamad are not affiliated with any Islamic organization or mosque. They say they're simply there to dispel misconceptions about Islam and point out what the religion has in common with Christianity and Judaism.

    "We are not there to convince people to change their beliefs," said Hamad. Both men said they are afraid that the perpetrator, who approached their table from behind, may return and that something more violent could happen.

    "We're really scared about our life and after what happened in Quebec ... it can escalate to a more violent thing. That's why we reported to the police," Hamad said.

    'People stand up for us'

    Islam says the incident is not representative of the wider community. Despite the odd comment here and there, people usually regard them with respect even if they don't agree with their message.

    "Many people stand up ... Couple of people stand up for us and say they're helping us. People are saying, 'I don't believe in your religion but I am supporting you and what you're doing,'" he said.

    "People say, 'We don't believe your religion, we don't practise, but we want your voice to be heard.' Those are the things that keep us going."

    The two men say they debated going home early that day because they weren't feeling safe but decided to continue.

    "This incident ... is not keeping us away. We're scared ... but we are not violent people. We don't have anything to fight back," Hamad said.
    "We'll just leave it to the police to give us safety."


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    Masked suspect sought after Ontario Muslim student, 11, subjected to death threats: police

    Police say a suspect wearing ski mask threatened an 11-year-old Muslim student’s life at an Oshawa, Ont. public school.

    Durham Regional Police responded to the Woodcrest Public School, near Stevenson Road North and Adelaide Avenue West, around 10:20 a.m. Thursday.

    Police said the suspect approached the schoolyard and shouted anti-Muslim comments and threatened a Muslim student’s life.

    The student then reported the incident to school officials and police launched an investigation.

    “We believe in and embrace equity, diversity, and inclusive practices. We do not tolerate or accept this type of behaviour toward our students,” Terry Simzer, spokesman for the Durham District School Board, said in a statement.

    “The safety of our students remains our top priority and while this incident is certainly an isolated one that could have occurred at any school in the GTA, we are taking extra precautions to ensure that our students are not subjected to threats of this nature.”

    Police describe the suspect as a man standing 6′, approximately 30 to 40 years old, wearing a black sweater, black pants and a ski masking hiding his identity.

    Const. George Tudos said there had been at least six similar anti-Muslim incidents in the Durham Region since the beginning of the year.

    Tudos said two bus stops in Oshawa and another in Ajax, Ont. were vandalized with “anti-Muslim graffiti” and police are appealing for witnesses to come forward.

    The Durham District School Board was not immediately available for comment.

    Anyone with information is asked to contact Det-Const. Hartry of the Central East Criminal Investigations Bureau at 1-888-579-1520 ext. 2732 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).


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    Canada 150 is a celebration of Indigenous genocide

    This year, the federal government plans to spend half a billion dollars on events marking Canada's 150th anniversary, prompting a great deal of debate about its historical treatment of Indigenous peoples. The majority of Canadians don't have all the facts about that, while First Nations continue to live the crisis-level effects of that legacy. Perhaps Canada should cancel its celebrations and undertake the hard work necessary to make amends.

    by Pamela Palmater
    March 29, 2017

    The Scream, on the cover, The Subjugation of Truth, by Kent Monkman.

    For many Indigenous peoples on Turtle Island (North America), it's difficult to imagine Prime Minister Justin Trudeau – who has said that "no relationship is more important to Canada than the one with Indigenous peoples" – celebrating the last 150 years of brutal colonization and the foundation of what is now known as Canada.

    This year, the federal government plans to spend half a billion dollars on events marking Canada's 150th anniversary. Meanwhile, essential social services for First Nations people to alleviate crisis-level socio-economic conditions go chronically underfunded. Not only is Canada refusing to share the bounty of its own piracy; it's using that same bounty to celebrate its good fortune. Arguably, every firework, hot dog and piece of birthday cake in Canada's 150th celebration will be paid for by the genocide of Indigenous peoples and cultures.

    Many places are struggling with the nation's genocidal origins.

    In Halifax, the school board voted to change the name of Cornwallis Junior High because its namesake, Edward Cornwallis, was responsible for putting bounties on the scalps of Mi'kmaw people, causing many deaths.

    Likewise, in Toronto, Ryerson University has come under scrutiny for its namesake, Egerton Ryerson, a strong supporter of residential schools, where thousands of Indigenous children died violent, torturous deaths.

    Even the "Famous Five" women long celebrated as champions of women's rights have had their hero status questioned because of their support for sterilization of Indigenous women. Celebrating genocide is not what most would consider a modern Canadian value.

    While use of the term "genocide" to describe Canada's treatment of Indigenous peoples has created a great deal of debate, there has always been a recognition that, at minimum, Canada was guilty of "cultural genocide," even if individuals couldn't bring themselves to accept more sinister intentions.

    Former prime minister Paul Martin told the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) that it was time to call the residential schools policy what it was: "cultural genocide."

    Supreme Court of Canada Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin weighed in on Canada's dismal human rights record, saying that residential schools were attempts to commit "cultural genocide" against Indigenous peoples.

    While these comments were made before the TRC report was tabled in late 2015, they did raise questions in the public sphere about how to recognize genocide when it's not part of something like the Holocaust or the war in Rwanda.

    Despite the sensitive nature of making the claim of genocide, the TRC went further after investigating the historical record, stating that the totality of policies toward Indigenous peoples amounted to cultural, biological and physical genocide.

    The difficult part about public discourse related to genocide is that the majority of Canadians don't have all the facts.

    Most mistakenly believe genocide only occurs when millions of people are killed in concentration camps. They're not taught in school about the real history of the atrocities committed against Indigenous peoples that over time resulted in millions dying. Some universities teach genocide studies without any mention of the lethal colonization process in Canada.

    The real history, however, shows that even after signing peace treaties with First Nations, laws were enacted in Canada offering bounties for scalps of Indigenous men, women and children. The treaty negotiation process itself was conducted under conditions of starvation or threats of violence. While some argue that these acts were committed pre-Confederation, it must be kept in mind that they are in fact how Canada became Canada.

    "Indian policy" was based on acquiring Indigenous lands and resources and reducing financial obligations to Indigenous peoples. The primary methodology was either assimilation or elimination. These acts included confining Indigenous peoples to tiny reserves and forbidding them to hunt, fish or provide for their families, forcing them to live on unhealthy and insufficient rations that caused ill health and starvation.

    It didn't stop there. Other genocidal acts included the forced sterilization of Indigenous women and little girls and the mass theft from families of Indigenous children, many of whom were physically and sexually assaulted, experimented on, tortured and starved at residential schools – leading to the deaths of thousands.

    This is how Canada cleared the land for farms, mining, oil extraction and development. It simply would not be the wealthy country it is, one of the best countries in the world to live and raise a family, were it not for the removal of Indigenous peoples from the source of Canada's wealth.

    The real crime, however, is not only Canada's failure to take steps to right the wrongs of the past.

    Today, more Indigenous children are taken from their families – now put into foster care – than at the height of the residential schools cruelty. The over-incarceration of Indigenous men, women and children continues at alarming rates. Even though Indigenous people represent only 4 per cent of the population, some prisons contain nearly 100 per cent Indigenous inmates.

    The federal government and law enforcement agencies have allowed the crisis of murdered and missing Indigenous women and girls to continue with little intervention – suggesting complicity in the deaths.

    The prime minister spoke at National Aboriginal Day ceremonies in 2016 about "the importance of reconciliation and the process of truth-telling" in healing Canada's relationship with Indigenous peoples.

    He has no right to speak about reconciliation before he takes the necessary steps to make amends. Canada has no right to ask any one of us to talk about moving forward until the prime minister and all premiers take responsibility for what their institutions have done – and continue to do – to Indigenous peoples. No amount of token showcasing of Indigenous art, songs or dances in Canada's 150th celebration will stop the intergenerational pain and suffering, suicides, police abuse, sub-standard health care, housing and water, or the extinction of the majority of Indigenous languages.

    Perhaps Canada should humble itself, step back, cancel its plans and undertake the hard work necessary to make amends for its legacy. Then we could all celebrate the original treaty vision of mutual respect, prosperity and protection envisioned by our ancestors. Until then, I'll pass on the cake.

    Pamela Palmater is a Mi'kmaw citizen member of Eel River Bar First Nation. She has been practising Indigenous law for 18 years and is currently an associate professor and the Chair in Indigenous Governance at Ryerson University.

    How the United Nations defines genocide

    According to the United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, genocide is defined in Article II as acts "committed with the intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group." Described by the UN as an "odious scourge" (repulsive evil causing great suffering), genocide can be committed in any one of following ways: killing members of the group; causing serious bodily or mental harm; inflicting conditions of life meant to bring about their destruction; preventing births within the groups; and/or forcibly transferring the children of the group to another group.


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    Two Canada Day photos that show two very different realities in the country

    Indigenous communities took to the streets to protest at 150 years of mistreatment, while celebrations also took place across the country to mark its 'birthday'

    People across Canada came together this weekend to celebrate the country’s 150th anniversary of confederation.

    Prime Minister Justin Trudeau kicked off celebrations outside the country’s parliament in Ottawa, joined by as many as 25,000 revellers.

    However, the celebrations were dampened not only by rain, but also by the reminder that for Canada’s Indigenous community, the anniversary represents little more than 150 years of oppression and is considered a celebration of brutal colonisation and genocide.

    Protests in the country’s major cities drew attention to the stark contrast between the idealised version of Canada that its leader strives to represent and the lived realities of Indigenous communities still suffering the consequences of a history of abuse.

    Some 100 protesters marched through the streets of Toronto, holding Canada’s flag upside down – a symbol of opposition.
    Activists also erected a teepee on Parliament Hill earlier in the week.

    The protest group had originally clashed with police, who arrested nine people, according to CTV news. Eventually, all nine people were released however, and the structure was permitted to be set up.

    Mr Trudeau visited the teepee on Friday morning, meeting with activists for roughly 45 minutes.

    The Prime Minister admitted the Canadian government has a history of neglecting Indigenous communities and failing to strengthen its relationship with them.

    “It is important that even as Canadians celebrate Canada 150 we reflect upon the experiences and the importance of folding in and hearing the stories and experiences of Indigenous Canadians,” Mr Trudeau told reporters when asked about the teepee protest.

    “We recognise over the past decades, generations, indeed centuries, Canada has failed Indigenous peoples ... I can understand the impatience from many people.”

    Indigenous groups have made it clear for months that they believe the 150th anniversary celebrations gloss over a history of abuse committed against members of their communities.

    Activist group Idle No More issued a call for a “national day of action” dubbed “UNsettling Canada 150” to “celebrate our Indigenous and human rights to self-determination, our lands, territories, and resources”.

    The day was also meant to “educate Canadians about how their constitutional framework, first established 150 years ago ... illegally confiscated our lands, territories, and resources, spawned by the post-confederation Indian Act and attempted to write Indigenous jurisdiction – and Indigenous Peoples – out of existence,” the group wrote on its website.

    Canada has a long history of abuse towards Indigenous communities that has had a lasting impact on the welfare of millions of people today.
    Historically, the country attempted to force assimilation of Indigenous communities through repressive policies, including residential schooling. Today, Indigenous communities suffer from higher levels of poverty, as well as a shorter life expectancy than other Canadians.

    Many communities also do not have access to safe drinking water and several more remote communities, such as Attawapiskat in northern Ontario, have been plagued by suicides in the past year.

    Mr Trudeau had vowed to improve the government’s relationship with Canada’s around 1.4 million Indigenous people, who make up about 4 per cent of the country’s population, when he entered office in 2015.

    Two years later, however, many communities have accused the Prime Minister of failing to do enough to help communities in need.

    “It’s mostly just photo ops. He’s not really doing anything with these issues at hand,” Paul Francis, 23, a member of the Mi’maq Warrior Society from Elsipogtog First Nation, who travelled from New Brunswick to join the protest in Ottawa, said.

    Idle No More said “the assault has not stopped” on Canada’s Indigenous communities. “If anything, it has accelerated under the current government.

    “Prime Minister Trudeau has been approving pipeline projects and continues to bank on the exploitation of our resources. He does not want to recognise Indigenous land rights.”

    Mr Trudeau greenlighted two controversial oil pipelines last year – Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline and Enbridge’s Line 3, despite strong criticisms from environmental groups and Indigenous community leaders.

    He also welcomed Donald Trump’s decision to approve the Keystone XL pipeline project in February, which the Prime Minister assured Canadians would lead to “economic growth and good jobs”, despite widespread opposition from protesters across Canada and the US.



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