Never mind the fact that Khadr was captured in a jihadist compound in Afghanistan after killing a U.S. Army medic, according to survivors.
“Harper indifferent to ‘brown-skinned’ Khadr: Islamic group,” from the Canadian Press, July 21:
Prime Minister Stephen Harper is indifferent to Omar Khadr’s plight because the Guantanamo Bay prisoner is “brown-skinned” and a Muslim, the leader of one of Canada’s largest Islamic groups said Monday.
Harper’s resistance to calls to repatriate the Canadian citizen shows he is pandering to Islamophobes, said Canadian Islamic Congress president Mohamed Elmasry.
“In this case, Mr. Harper is playing politics because of the backdrop of Islamophobia in this country,” Elmasry said.
“This is where a leader comes in, to say this is really wrong and I have to correct that wrong by bringing this person (back to Canada) even if I lose some political points with Islamophobes.”
Khadr’s lawyers and others want Ottawa to repatriate Khadr, who was 15 when he was accused of killing a U.S. army medic in Afghanistan in 2002, from Guantanamo Bay.
In an opinion piece released to the media, Elmasry said Harper has shown a “shocking indifference” to those calls.
Elmasry contrasts Khadr’s case with that of dual Canadian-British citizen William Sampson, who was freed from a death sentence in Saudi Arabia in 2003.
Prior to his release, Ottawa had said it had made pleas on Sampson’s behalf to the highest levels of Saudi government.
“Why is Stephen Harper so callously indifferent to Omar Khadr’s case?” Elmasry wrote.
“It’s painfully obvious: William Sampson is a white Westerner while his fellow Canadian citizen, Omar Khadr, is brown-skinned and a Muslim.”…
Details on Sampson’s case can be found here. While both Sampson’s and Khadr’s cases involve accusations of murder, comparing them is a bit of a stretch. For that matter, it’s worth noting that Harper wasn’t Prime Minister when Sampson was released in 2003.