News from ICLMG

Our Brief & Testimony at the SECU Committee on Bill C-59, the National Security Act of 2017

As we’ve said before, while Bill C-59 contains some positive provisions around new review and oversight bodies, as well as some changes to the criminal code, it does not go far enough and introduces many very problematic elements. Bill C-59 fits into the steady progression, since the first Anti-Terrorism Act of 2001, of expanding and enshrining significant, secretive and dangerous powers in the hands of Canada’s national security agencies.

We’ve submitted an extensive analysis of Bill C-59 to the House Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security (SECU). In our brief, we present realistic and necessary recommendations, suggestions and areas of examination that we believe will help to strengthen not just Canadians’ rights, but also our security. A summary of our recommendations is listed below. You can read the full brief here. And share it on Facebook and Twitter.

We also testified at the SECU committee alongside our partner OpenMedia on February 8th, 2018. Watch our testimony here:

Don’t forget to take action to fix Bill C-59
and protect our rights!

Summary of Recommendations

Part 1: The National Security and Intelligence Review Agency
While welcome, the new National Security and Intelligence Review Agency (NSIRA) could be strengthened. Among other things, we recommend:
  • Increasing the number of members
  • Appointing NSIRA members through parliament and not through the Prime Minister
  • That the Agency be given binding powers
  • More precision and clarity in public reports
  • Greater accountability and transparency around how the agency will deal with public complaints
Part 2: The Intelligence Commissioner Act
The creation of the Intelligence Commissioner (IC) is also welcome, but needs serious strengthening, including:
  • Intelligence Commissioner appointments should be approved by a 2/3 vote in the House of Commons, and the position should be full-time
  • Increased public reporting and greater transparency in decision making
  • Stronger powers to impose conditions on surveillance operations
  • Oversight of cyber operations
Part 3: The Communications Security Establishment Act
Our recommendations include:
  • Narrow the Communications Security Establishment’s (CSE) new cyber-operations mandate, and place greater restrictions and oversight on what cyber actions the CSE can take
  • Take action to further restrict the collection of Canadian and foreign data, and to prevent mass surveillance operations
  • Include a definition of metadata and restrict its collection and use
  • Restrict the definition, collection and use of “publicly available information”
  • Increase human rights safeguards when sharing information with other countries
Part 4: Amendments to the CSIS Act
Our recommendations include:
  • Eliminate disruption powers brought in with Bill C-51
  • Remove provisions granting broad immunity to CSIS agents to break Canadian law
  • Restrict CSIS’ new data collection powers and increase its oversight
  • Restrict the definition, collection, and use of publicly available information as CSIS datasets.
Part 5: The Security of Canada Information Disclosure Act
  • We recommend that SCISA, established with Bill C-51, be repealed in favour of new legislation to protect privacy and information that is shared for national security purposes.
Part 6: Amendments to the Secure Air Travel Act
Our recommendations include:
  • Establishing effective and transparent processes for both redress and appeals
  • Ultimately repealing the Secure Air Travel Act (brought in with Bill C-51) and ending the No Fly List program in general
Part 7: Amendments to the Criminal Code
We recommend:
  • Removing redundant “counselling terrorism offenses” provisions
  • Repealing the “Terrorist Entities Listing” process in favour of existing criminal code provisions
Part 9: Review
  • We recommend reducing the review period to five years for new oversight and review mechanisms and to three years for new CSIS and CSE powers.
What’s missing from Bill C-59
  • A strong review mechanism to look at the CBSA and its activities outside of national security.
  • Bill C-59 should include a provision that puts an end to the security certificate regime.

Read our full brief here.

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. Here at ICLMG, we are working very hard to protect and promote human rights and civil liberties in the context of the so-called “war on terror” in Canada. We do not receive any financial support from any federal, provincial or municipal governments or political parties.

You can become our patron on Patreon and get rewards in exchange for your support. You can give as little as $1/month (that’s only $12/year!) and you can unsubscribe at any time. Any donations will go a long way to support our work.panel-54141172-image-6fa93d06d6081076-320-320You can also make a one-time donation or donate monthly via Paypal by clicking on the button below. On the fence about giving? Check out our Achievements and Gains since we were created in 2002. Thank you for your generosity!
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Resources against Islamophobia

January 29, 2018 marked the one-year anniversary of the attack on the Quebec City mosque that killed 6 men and wounded 19. ICLMG is committed to combatting Islamophobia as it is both a cause and a consequence of the racist foundations and applications of national security.

Despite many hateful incidents reported in the media in the last year, and the obviously islamophobic character of the January 29, 2017 massacre, many people seem to think that Islamophobia is not real, and that the word was created recently to stifle free speech and criticism of Islam.

We know that this is not the case and that this belief is an attempt to divert attention from the very real islamophobic attacks on Muslims. Others might be aware that Islamophobia is real, alive and kicking but be unsure how to combat it. Here is a (non-exhaustive) list of resources that may help you better understand and/or show others what Islamophobia is, and how to fight it. Feel free to use and share them widely!

NOOR CULTURAL CENTER 2017 BRIEF ON ISLAMOPHOBIA IN CANADA

This brief was submitted by the Noor Cultural Centre to the parliamentary Heritage Committee, for its Motion M103 hearings on Islamophobia in Canada. The ICLMG has endorsed this brief. I highly suggest you read it and share it widely. http://www.noorculturalcentre.ca/?p=16629

TRAINING AND WORKSHOPS

National Council of Canadian Muslims’ trainings: https://www.nccm.ca/connect/training/

A few slides from the workshop on Islamophobia given by Rana Nazzal during OPIRG Carleton’s 2017 Tools for Change Symposium:

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WEBSITES

Monia’s blog, columns and books – follow her on Twitter @MoniaMazigh: https://moniamazigh.wordpress.com

NCCM’s map of anti-Muslim incidents in Canada: https://www.nccm.ca/map/

Fear Inc. Explore the $57 million network fueling Islamophobia in the United States: https://islamophobianetwork.com

Network against Islamophobia: https://jewishvoiceforpeace.org/network-against-islamophobia/

ARTICLES

2018 Survey on Islamophobia in Canada: http://www.cjpme.org/islamophobia

All Muslims are often blamed for single acts of terror. Psychology explains how to stop it. https://www.vox.com/science-and-health/2017/11/30/16645024/collective-blame-psychology-muslim

When people ask you why Muslims don’t denounce terrorism, show them this: The 712-page Google doc that proves Muslims do condemn terrorism: https://www.theguardian.com/world/shortcuts/2017/mar/26/muslims-condemn-terrorism-stats

Islamophobia: The Right Word for a Real Problem: http://bridge.georgetown.edu/islamophobia-the-right-word-for-a-real-problem/

A Non-Muslim Guide to Standing up to Islamophobia: http://muslimgirl.com/36100/heres-non-muslim-guide-standing-islamophobia/

Always Already Suspicious: The Inherent Racism of National Security in Canada, une présentation d’Azeezah Kanji: iclmg.ca/always-already-suspicious-the-inherent-racism-of-national-security-a-talk-by-azeezah-kanji

PEOPLE AND PAGES TO FOLLOW ON FACEBOOK & TWITTER

National Council of Canadian Muslims: https://www.facebook.com/NCCMuslims/ & https://twitter.com/nccm

Linda Sarsour: https://www.facebook.com/lsarsour/  & https://twitter.com/lsarsour

Dalia Mogahed: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=507181698

Middle Eastern Feminist: https://www.facebook.com/themiddleeasternfeminist/

Muslim Girl: https://www.facebook.com/muslimgirlarmy/

The Secret Life of Muslims: https://www.facebook.com/SecretlifeofMuslims/

Muslim Lives Matter: https://www.facebook.com/muslimlivesmatter/

Coalition Against White Supremacy & Islamophobia (CAWSI): https://www.facebook.com/groups/1792848744374213/

Collectif Canadien Anti-Islamophobie: https://www.facebook.com/Collectif.Canadien.Anti.Islamophobie/

Association des Musulmans et des Arabes pour la Laïcité au Québec: https://www.facebook.com/AMALQuebec/

BOOKS

Arun Kundnani, The Muslims are coming: Islamophobia, Extremism and the Domestic War on Terror, 2015

Deepa Kumar, Islamophobia and The Politics of Empire, 2012

Nathan Lean, The Islamophobia Industry: How the Right Manufactures Fear of Muslims, 2012

VIDEOS

Our panel on National Security & Islamophobia in Canada with author and activist Monia Mazigh and lawyer Yavar Hameed:

Islam, the Quran, and the Five Pillars All Without a Flamewar: Crash Course World History #13:

Islam and Politics: Crash Course World History 216:

Emotional speech by Muslim woman on Islamophobia in Canadian parliament:

What do you think when you look at me? | Dalia Mogahed :

Extreme(ly queer) Muslims series:

Islamophobin, a gum to cure anti-Muslim bigotry!

7 Questions British Muslims Are Tired of Hearing:

Things Not To Say To Someone Who Wears A Burqa:

Some of the Best Responses to Islamophobia in 2016:

Documentary Reel Bad Arabs, How Hollywood Vilifies a People:

Other TedTalk on Islamophobia:

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=ted+talk+islamophobia

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. Here at ICLMG, we are working very hard to protect and promote human rights and civil liberties in the context of the so-called “war on terror” in Canada. We do not receive any financial support from any federal, provincial or municipal governments or political parties.

You can become our patron on Patreon and get rewards in exchange for your support. You can give as little as $1/month (that’s only $12/year!) and you can unsubscribe at any time. Any donations will go a long way to support our work.panel-54141172-image-6fa93d06d6081076-320-320You can also make a one-time donation or donate monthly via Paypal by clicking on the button below. On the fence about giving? Check out our Achievements and Gains since we were created in 2002. Thank you for your generosity!
make-a-donation-button

Civil Liberties Coalition Welcomes the Release of Canadian Hassan Diab

Update: Hassan Diab is now back, safe and sound, in Canada with his family.

Jan. 12, 2018 – After a decade-long ordeal, French judges have dropped all allegations against Canadian Hassan Diab and ordered his immediate release.

“We are overjoyed for Hassan, his partner Rania, and their two children, that this ordeal is finally coming to a close,” said Tim McSorley, national coordinator with the International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group. “That Hassan Diab was extradited in the first place continues to raise serious questions about Canada’s judicial process. For now, though, we look forward to seeing Hassan safe and sound back in Canada.”

Hassan Diab was arrested by the RCMP for extradition to France in 2008, on allegations that he participated in the 1980 bombing of a synagogue in Paris that killed 4 bystanders. He was extradited to France in 2014. Since then he has spent more than three years in pre-trial detention, as investigative judges weighed whether to proceed to trial.

Since 2008, the ICLMG has joined Rania, Hassan’s lawyers, the Justice for Hassan Diab support committee and others in questioning the evidence presented against Hassan, and criticizing the Canadian extradition system that allowed him to be sent to France in the first place.

It is important to remember that at the time of the extradition hearings, Justice Maranger described the evidence against Hassan as “illogical”, “very problematic,” and “convoluted,” but that the low threshold for evidence under Canada’s extradition law left him no choice but to commit Dr. Diab to extradition. “It will be important to remain vigilant to ensure that no other Canadian faces the ordeal that Hassan has been through,” said McSorley.

The ICLMG congratulates Rania, Don Bayne and all of Hassan’s lawyers, and the support committee for their tireless work in ensuring that an innocent man was not forgotten and is finally being freed.

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Tim McSorley
National Coordinator
International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group
613-241-5298 / 514-561-9919

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