----- Original Message -----
From: Paul Fromm
Sent: Friday, July 08, 2005 1:06 PM
Subject: Where Was Alexandre Trudeau When Ernst Zundel Needed Him?
Where Was Alexandre Trudeau When Ernst Zundel Needed Him?
Dear Free Speech Supporter:
A 31-year old Syrian named Hassan Almrei, a solitary confinement range mate of Ernst Zundel’s held, like him under a national security certificate, which permits secret trials, has suddenly become the darling of the left and self-appointed civil libertarians. He’s not obviously a good case, having sneaked into Canada on a forget passport.
However, he’s lined up Alexandre Trudeau, who is prepared to pledge $5,000 toward Mr. Almrei’s bail, Naomi Klein, Avi Lewis and Diana Ralph, a Jewish lesbian, who is prepared to let the Moslem Mr. Almrei stay with her.
‘"It's in the interest of Canada to not be detaining people who haven't been charged,’ Mr. Trudeau testified at Mr. Almrei's detention hearing yesterday in Federal Court. … Mr. Trudeau, whose father Pierre Trudeau gave the country the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, said he was surprised to find these certificates existed, and is researching a documentary about the five cases. He has visited Mr. Almrei twice at the Metro West Detention Centre, where he has been held in solitary confinement since October, 2001.” (Globe and Mail, June 29, 2005)
For someone so outspoken, it’s a scandalous admission that Alexandre Trudeau did not know such certificates existed, with allow for indefinite detention and secret hearings.
Where was he during the two year long Zundel struggle? Actually, the German-born publisher and pacifist made a far better example of the danger of this law. Zundel had a long and public record in this country of publishing, not of associating with murky terrorists in far off lands. He was obviously a controversial, non-violent man. Yet, the Liberal government knee-jerking to a vociferous ethnic lobby decided to stretch “threat to national security” out of all resemblance to the legal definition and send Mr. Zundel packing.
Amazingly, “three guards at Metro West also testified for Mr. Almrei, describing him as a model inmate who has withstood the stress of solitary confinement well.” Mr. Zundel never went on a hunger strike and maintained his positive, man-of-destiny demeanour through the numerous petty humiliations, body searches, and denial of even a pillow for four months inflicted on him at the Metro West Detention Centre.
There are some things in the article below about the high profile support being given to a terror suspect from Syria named Hassan Almrei. While I don't approve of how CSIS handles "suspected" terror suspects, there are some things in the article that have me wondering.
* Mr. Almrei entered Canada in 1999 using a false passport. Typically, he was accepted as a refugee and somehow managed to purchase a restaurant.
Either he got the restaurant at a bargain-basement price or he had quite a bit of money when he arrived. If he had the kind of money required to purchase a restaurant at market price then all refugees are not necessarily mired in poverty the way the pro-immigration crowd would have us believe.
* In 2003 Mr. Almrei admitted that he had lied to authorities and that he had actually "made repeated visits to para-military camps in Afghanistan and had supplied a false passport to a suspected member of the bin Laden network, Nabil Al Marabh."
· Ernst Zundel did NOT enter Canada with a "false passport," did NOT lie to Canadian authorities, did NOT attend any paramilitary camps, did NOT supply false passports to anyone, and he also most certainly did NOT gain the support of members of the "progressive" gliteratti such as Alexandre Trudeau (the son of the late Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau who played a huge role in opening Canada's immigration gates) who is not only willing to rally around a guy from different race, religion and culture, but who also donated $5,000 towards Mr. Almeri's bail.
CANADIAN ASSOCIATION FOR FREE EXPRESSION
Presume innocence of terrorism suspect, Trudeau's son says
Alexandre Trudeau appears at hearing to argue against detention without charge By MARINA JIMÉNEZ
Wednesday, (Globe & Mail, June 29, 2005) Page A5
TORONTO -- Alexandre Trudeau, son of the former prime minister, says terrorism suspect Hassan Almrei should be presumed innocent and says he is intervening in the case for the sake of Canada's reputation. "It's in the interest of Canada to not be detaining people who haven't been charged," Mr. Trudeau testified at Mr. Almrei's detention hearing yesterday in Federal Court.
The 31-year-old Syrian national is one of five people alleged to be Muslim extremists who are being held in Canada on controversial national security certificates. They have been ordered deported based in part on classified Canadian Security Intelligence Service allegations that they support terrorism and pose a danger to Canada's national security.
Mr. Trudeau, whose father Pierre Trudeau gave the country the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, said he was surprised to find these certificates existed, and is researching a documentary about the five cases. He has visited Mr. Almrei twice at the Metro West Detention Centre, where he has been held in solitary confinement since October, 2001.
"I found him to be a likable guy. We got along very well. I was sympathetic to his condition," said Mr. Trudeau, who has offered to post bail of $5,000 and accompany Mr. Almrei if released.
"I found him to have faith. I also found him to be tolerant, which actually is the majority of Muslims."
When asked whether Mr. Almrei could be manipulating him, Mr. Trudeau responded that he has travelled extensively in the Middle East and that his primary concern is about the human-rights issue at the heart of his case.
"I have an instinct for that," he said. "My issue is not to know what [Mr. Almrei] has done. He hasn't been charged with anything. I presume him innocent."
CSIS believes Mr. Almrei has ties to al-Qaeda and has participated in jihad in Afghanistan and Tajikistan. Mr. Almrei's lawyers have argued that he would be tortured if deported back to Syria, and that security certificates are unconstitutional.
Human-rights activists have also criticized the certificates for failure to follow due process, and the Campaign to Stop Secret Trials in Canada has won the support of such well-known journalists as Avi Lewis, Naomi Klein and Heather Mallick, a Globe and Mail columnist.
Diana Ralph, a Jewish, lesbian social worker, testified yesterday that she too believes in Mr. Almrei's innocence, and has invited him to live with her and her wife in their Toronto home.
"He is a wonderful man, gentle, kind, intelligent, funny and thoughtful," said Ms. Ralph, who said he has adjusted to her sexual orientation. "I take him as a model of honesty."
She has renovated her basement apartment, installed in-floor heating and purchased a thick prayer rug, as one of Mr. Almrei's chief complaints about solitary confinement has been the chill in his cell. He has waged several hunger strikes in protest.
"I consider him like a son," said Ms. Ralph, who talks to Mr. Almrei on the phone almost every day.
Mr. Almrei, a devout Muslim, has admitted training in Afghanistan in the 1990s, and going twice to Tajikistan for jihad. He has also conceded he lied about his past in order to seek refugee status in Canada in 1999.
He admitted procuring a false passport for Nabil al-Marabh, an illegal immigrant who was later held in the United States on terrorist allegations, before being deported to Syria, where he remains in detention.
Yesterday Mr. Trudeau said many asylum seekers lie in order to escape from their homelands. "When people seek refuge, they're often under duress and unfortunately the refugee process sometimes requires lying," he said.
Ms. Ralph also said she understood why Mr. Almrei failed to disclose his past to authorities.
She said findings by a Federal Court judge that Mr. Almrei is not credible, behaves in a clandestine fashion and is associated with Arab Afghans connected to Osama bin Laden is based on "ignorance" about the Middle East, Islam and the geopolitical ambitions of the U.S.
Three guards at Metro West also testified for Mr. Almrei, describing him as a model inmate who has withstood the stress of solitary confinement well.
"He is an unusual inmate who is not part of the criminal subculture," John O'Connor said. Under cross-examination he said he had not read the court file or findings about Mr. Almrei's lack of credibility.
National Post; Jun 28, 2005; Page: 1
Terror suspect has famous supporters
TRUDEAU OFFERS BAIL
B Y SH A N N O N K A R I A N D S T E WA RT BE L L
• Alexandre Trudeau is scheduled to testify today in support of a Syrian national who has been held in a Toronto jail since 2001 without a criminal charge because of his alleged ties to terrorist groups.
Mr. Trudeau — one of several prominent Canadians supporting Hassan Almrei — has also pledged $5,000 toward bail if Mr. Almrei is released by a Federal Court of Canada judge while he fights deportation to Syria.
The documentary filmmaker and son of former prime minister Pierre Trudeau declined comment yesterday as he sat in court during the first day of a Federal Court hearing to determine whether Mr. Almrei should get bail.
In an affidavit filed in court, Mr. Trudeau indicated he was confident Mr. Almrei would comply with any bail conditions and was concerned about his “lengthy detention in solitary confinement.”
Other well-known figures offering support for Mr. Almrei in the court document are writer Naomi Klein and her husband, former CBC host Avi Lewis.
Mr. Almrei, 31, has been in custody since his arrest in October, 2001, when the federal government issued a national security certificate against the Syrian refugee.
For nearly all of his time in custody Mr. Almrei has been held in solitary confinement in the maximum-security Toronto West Detention Centre.
Mr. Almrei used a false passport to enter Canada in January, 1999. He was accepted as a refugee and bought a restaurant called Eata Pita, but soon caught the attention of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service.
Investigators noted that he was involved in document forgery, was in contact with members of Osama bin Laden’s international jihad network and that he was devoted to the cause of the al-Qaeda terrorist leader.
With the approval of the Solicitor-General and Minister of Immigration, he was arrested in 2001 for deportation. The government claimed he was a threat to national security because of his terrorist involvement.
He refused to testify in his defence and on Nov. 23, 2001, Federal Court Judge Daniele Tremblay-Lamer ruled she had “no hesitation” in concluding that the case against Mr. Almrei was reasonable. The decision was based partly on secret intelligence information that has not yet been made public.
“The confidential information, which I am unable to disclose, strongly supports the view that Mr. Almrei is a member of an international network of extremist individuals who support the Islamic extremist ideals espoused by Osama bin Laden and that Mr. Almrei is involved in a forgery ring with international connections that produces false documents,” the judge wrote.
The judge also noted that an RCMP search of Mr. Almrei’s computer had turned up “numerous images of Osama bin Laden and other al-Qaeda members, including hijacking planner Mohammed Atta, pictures of a plane cockpit, a security officer badge, copies of passports, military weapons, and pictures of Russian soldiers with identification documents.”
Although he initially denied all the allegations, Mr. Almrei admitted in
2003 that he had lied to Canadian authorities. He said that, in fact, he had made repeated visits to para-military camps in Afghanistan and had supplied a false passport to a suspected member of the bin Laden network, Nabil Al Marabh.
He said he made a half-dozen trips to Pakistan and Afghanistan between 1990 and 1997 and admitted he received training on the use of an AK-47 assault rifle but said he was simply an imam who led camp prayers and Koranic teachings.
He denied he was an extremist.
“At the time that I went, people were not going to support bin Laden. He was not to me, in any event, a big figure or even seen as a big leader.
I went and many others went because we were opposed to the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan and later were against the pro-Soviet government which took over.”
But CSIS said that since arriving in Canada, Mr. Almrei “has behaved in a clandestine manner and has been in contact with a number of Arab Afghans who have been implicated in the bin Laden network.”
A CSIS agent, identified only as P.G., testified yesterday that Mr.
Almrei “continues to pose a threat to the national security of the country.”
Under cross-examination by Mr. Almrei’s co-counsel John Norris, the agent conceded he knew very little about the Syrian’s file, other than what is contained in two public summaries released by CSIS.
The potential risk that Mr. Almrei poses appears to have changed since the first public summary was released in 2001. It focused primarily on the links between Mr. Almrei and Al Marabh, an employee at a Toronto copy shop, who was initially considered a suspect in the planning of the Sept. 11 attacks.
A U.S. federal attorney stated in a Buffalo court in 2002 when al Marabh was convicted of illegal border crossing, that he was not suspected of terrorist activities. He was deported to Syria last year and is reportedly in custody.
P.G. testified that if Mr. Almrei is released he may try to contact al Marabh.
CanWest News Service and National Post
A Canadian judge has ruled that a person can publicly state their opinion about an historical event. Aren't all of Zundel's public comments about WW2 simply "opinions"?
Ahenakew unapologetic after conviction - By Katherine Harding
Friday, July 8, 2005 Updated at 10:04 PM EDT
From Saturday's Globe and Mail
Saskatoon - Provincial Court Judge Marty Irwin ruled that David Ahenakew was willfully promoting hatred against an identifiable group when he told a reporter in Saskatoon on Dec. 13, 2002, that the Jews were a "disease" and Hitler was trying to "clean up the world" when he "fried six million of those guys" during the Second World War.
"To suggest that any human being or group of human beings is a disease is to invite extremists to take action against them," the judge said in his 20-page decision.. (Ahenakew did use a derogatory name for the Jews.)
He also didn't include Mr. Ahenakew's remark to a Saskatoon aboriginal conference that Jews started the Second World War in his decision because he said a person has the right to form an opinion. But he called the comment "historically inaccurate," "outrageous" and "obscene."
(This would mean that a person cannot be charged for presenting an "opinion" about an
historical event - JB)
----- Original Message -----
From: Paul Fromm
Sent: Friday, July 08, 2005 4:58 PM
Subject: "Heterosexism" a Problem for the Peel Board!: An Appeal from Paul Fromm
"Heterosexism" a Problem for the Peel Board!: An Appeal from Paul Fromm
Dear Free Speech Supporter:
Back in 1997, I was fired by the Peel Board of Education after a 25 year career as an English instructor – no, not for molesting kids or running off with the staff coffee fund – but for my legal, non-violent, immigration reform and pro-free speech views expressed on my own time, off school property.
I was accused of showing persistent disrespect for multiculturalism and ethnocultural equity” which were, said the Board, “fundamental values” of their system. Silly me, I had thought that literary, math skills, a knowledge of Canadian history and science and computer literacy might be “fundamental” values.
If anything, things have gotten worse. Now, apparently, the fact that most people consider heterosexuality as the norm – well, isn’t it? – is a problem the Board must address. (What about poor math or reading scores or gang violence in the schools?) The National Post has come upon a bizarre discussion paper about sexual revisionism and values deformation to be visited on taxpayers’ kids. The paper states: "’Whether or not most of us consciously recognize it as a problem, we live in a society that deems heterosexuality as the norm. We are therefore all subjected to homophobia every day.’ Apparently, ‘normal’ is now an actual problem with its very own label: heterosexism. And although you may not actually be conscious of it because those straight people are so stealthy, the overwhelming majority out there is constantly bombarding you with its fear of gays. (National Post, June 25, 2005)
Well, my own battle continues. On a complaint filed by this same – heterosexism is a problem board – the Ontario Teachers’ College which licences people to practice the profession in this province is trying to take away my teaching certificate because my political views are “disgraceful dishonourable or unprofessional.”
I’m acting as my own lawyer in hearings which may well stretch for over 30 days. I’ve flown in paralegal Dave Lindsay to argue a motion to have my persecutors pick up the cost of the transcript of the proceedings – estimated to run to $50,000 plus at $5.25 a page. My costs for this motion alone, which was scheduled to be argued on Monday, July 11 will top $1,000. Dave has done a fantastic job. Our factum and book of authorities are professional and impressive and Dave has done some ground breaking work in finding out that Magna Carta outlaws the selling of justice which is just what happens if you must pay $50,000 to obtain the transcripts of a lengthy hearing. These transcripts are needed for effective argument, final submissions and possible appeal.
If you can help toward my costs of this motion, I would be most appreciative.
Send me your VISA number and expiry date by e-mail or mail me your contribution c/o Canadian Association for Free Expression, Box 332, Rexdale, ON., M9W 5L3, Canada. I’ll send you a tape of Dave’s dynamite speech “Selling Justice: The Corruption of the Canadian Legal System.”
CANADIAN ASSOCIATION FOR FREE EXPRESSION
National Post; Jun 25, 2005; Page: 10
C O M M E N T
The trouble with 'normal'
Peel school board concerned about heterosexism
R A C H E L M A R S D E N
Aspokesman for the Toronto District School Board assured me this week the board is getting its "float" (a school bus) all gussied up for this weekend's Gay Pride Parade.
The board's float should have been an iceberg, because it's what's underneath that's troubling. Ironically, with all the recent hand-wringing over two-tier health care, no one's asking why it's not just rich folks, but middleclass Torontonians who are sucking up the added cost to stick their kids in private schools.
A concerned parent with children in the Peel public school system recently sent me a link to an "issue paper" that she dug out from the recesses of the Peel District School Board's "Go Beyond Words" Web site.
Peel spokesman Brian Woodland tells me that "Heterosexism: Issue Paper #6" is an "internal document intended to be a starting point for discussions on issues for staff" and was drafted by a group of resource staff and teachers.
The paper states: "Whether or not most of us consciously recognize it as a problem, we live in a society that deems heterosexuality as the norm. We are therefore all subjected to homophobia every day."
Apparently, "normal" is now an actual problem with its very own label: heterosexism. And although you may not actually be conscious of it because those straight people are so stealthy, the overwhelming majority out there is constantly bombarding you with its fear of gays.
The paper defines "homophobia" as "an intense, irrational fear of same-sex relationships." Homophobia takes the cake for being one of the nuttiest terms ever invented. It implies that Fashion Week is basically a horror show, and a trip to the hair salon is akin to white-knuckling it on an unarmed stroll through the skids. There are about as many people out there who "fear" gays as there are who have nightmares about teddy bears, cotton candy and baby bunnies.
But yelling out schoolyard names like "homophobe" is apparently an effective way to shut down a rational debate over things like the leftist rejigging of society to alter the centuries-old tradition of marriage. I guess that old standby, "bigot," just wasn't cutting it any more.
Back when I was in grade school, educators didn't promote this kind of labelling and name calling. We didn't need a special curriculum or books featuring gay couples to learn about respect for other people.
We certainly didn't have separate schools for the gay kids. It used to be the punks who were tossed out of the mainstream school system - not the kids they picked on. Now, some lefty educators - these supposed beacons of inclusiveness and integration - are keen to segregate gay students if it calls attention to the right "cause."
The Canadian Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Resource Directory describes Toronto's separate, publicly funded Triangle School as "provid[ing] a safe place, free of homophobia where lesbians, gays, bisexuals and the transgender [sic] and those victimized by homophobia can be themselves .. In the process students are able to explore a rich and varied lesbigay literature, history and culture."
How about having the kids master the basics of math and science before delving into the "lesbigay" curriculum? Particularly when gay history lessons seem to consist largely of combing the books to find prominent male figures who were never confirmed homosexuals - such as Abraham Lincoln or renowned Toronto area pervert Alexander Wood - and slapping the gay label on them retroactively. (What do you want to bet there are no gay Nazis in the "lesbigay history" books?)
In a time of budgetary constraint, we don't need to be using public funds to set up separate public schools in order to promote the pet interests of activist groups. Nor should schools be in the business of pairing kids with gay activists through special, publicly funded online forums, such as Peel's "Triangle" conference. That's the school counselor's job.
None of this has anything to do with education. It's about hijacking the public school system in order to promote a very narrow agenda. Just check out public education Web sites from across Canada. A term that keeps popping up is "social justice," a catchphrase that translates roughly into "radical leftist activism."
The Peel board Web site is peppered with "social justice" references. And you can't become a moderator for the gay forum unless you are "committed to social justice."
Out on Canada's Left Coast, the Vancouver Secondary Teachers' Association Web site states: "[T]he on-going tasks of defending and promoting social justice are seen by many as essential to the work of our union. The [B.C. Teachers' Federation] calls itself a 'Social Justice Union' and many of our members have social justice at the centre of their work as teachers."
They certainly do. And it's no wonder that parents who just want an education for their kids without the heaping side of radical activism are high-tailing it away from the public system.
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