How can we stop the jihadi tourists? – Margaret Wente

Wente conflates cancellation of passports with revocation of citizenship.

Not the same at all. Cancellation of passports potentially applies to all Canadians, whether born in Canada or naturalized, whether Canadian citizens only or dual nationals.

Revocation on the other hand, applies only to those with dual nationality (or with the right to another nationality).

So take some examples from the same Calgary terrorism cell. The Canadian-born extremist Damian Clairmont would not be subject to revocation while his “cellmate” Pakistani dual national Salman Ashrafi, who came to Canada as a child, would be.

Both are dead, but there are other comparable cases among the known and likely unknown extremists.

Two different punishments for the same crime. Hard to see how this would not be successfully challenged before the courts.

Far better to use the Australian approach, as stated by PM Abbott, “If you fight with a terrorist group, if you seek to return to this country, as far as this government is concerned, you will be arrested, you will be prosecuted and you will be jailed for a very long time indeed.”

Justin Trudeau, the Liberal Leader, has said he opposes the Conservatives’ new measures, and that homegrown terrorists should be dealt with through the criminal justice system. “I think that a lot of Canadians, including very conservative Canadians, should be worried about the state willing to, and taking the power to, arbitrarily remove citizenship from people,” he said. “That’s a slippery slope that I don’t think we want to go on.”

But Mr. Trudeau – who is now out of step with the rest of the world – will not be eager to raise the subject again. After all, Prime Minister Stephen Harper has allied himself not only with Britain and Australia, but with Barack Obama and the UN.

It’s a very serious matter for governments to revoke the passports of their citizens, restrict their freedom and deprive them of their citizenship. And people who warn that states might abuse their new powers are right. Without vigilance, they probably will.

Finding the balance between national security and personal liberty is always tricky. But our first obligation is to protect ourselves – and the world – from bad Canadians. The virus of murderous fanaticism hasn’t gone away. And it will be around for a long time to come.

How can we stop the jihadi tourists? – The Globe and Mail.

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

2 Responses to How can we stop the jihadi tourists? – Margaret Wente

  1. Pingback: Sept. 26: When jihadis ‘R’ Us – my letter in The Globe | Multicultural Meanderings

  2. Pingback: Rex Murphy: The case for revoking the citizenship of Canadian terrorists | Multicultural Meanderings

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