A R C H I V E S
Madinat al-Muslimeen Islamic Message Board
|letter to canada press by ALM|
|03/25/02 at 10:44:44|
|Here is an excellent letter send by the Association of London Muslims to|
Canadian Minister of External Affairs, the Hon. Bill Graham. It is
signed by Mohammed Yassine, Chairman of the Association of London
Muslims. It is an excellent letter and Mohammed Yassine and the ALM are
to be commended for this request for balance and fairness from Canada on
its Middle East policy.
Hon. Bill Graham
House of Commons
Dear Mr. Graham:
Re:Your statement "Canada to protect Israel at UN session" (Globe and Mail Article)
The Association of London Muslims, ON, Canada, finds your statement in the Globe and Mail, rather disturbing and not in keeping with the traditional, impartial and just role Canada has played in world affairs. After your maiden speech, as the new Foreign Minister, we had much hope that you would bring a balanced approach and evenhandedness to Canadian foreign-policy, especially in relation to the Middle East.
Your statement that you wanted to make sure that resolutions dealing with Middle Eastern human rights issues were fair and balanced was contradicted by your other statements that " We will be working in close consultation with Israel" and that "Canada would try to shield the Jewish state from unfair and one-sided political attacks." The condemnations against Israel are from the entire world and based on genuine concerns for justice and human rights, unlike the one-sided, blind support given by the USA to Israel, which has contributed to so much human misery. Your shielding of Israel, is tantamount to 'aiding and abetting a criminal' and willing support to state sponsored terrorism.
Perhaps your statement in the Globe and Mail was as a result of the harsh criticism from the Jewish pressure groups, after your maiden speech. The CBC news has quoted you to have said "I will do my best, as my country's foreign minister, to ensure that Canada's policies and actions are dedicated to goals so important to humanity". This leaves us wondering if moral values and rule of justice could be bent by pressure from powerful, interest groups.
Canada is a multi-ethnic/racial/religious country and you are expected to represent all of us, not only Jewish Canadians.. Our government's policies should not be dictated by powerful lobby groups. Quoting Prof. Peyton Lyon "Canada's Middle East policy has been strongly pro-Israel for most of the half-century of Israel's existence and retains a notable tilt even now. Having served for six years in External Affairs and conducted three academic surveys of attitudes within that department, I can testify that most of our officials would have preferred a more balanced approach. Canada's bias (in favour of Israel) is certainly not due to their advice but rather to the extraordinarily potent weight of the lobby representing the approximate 1 per cent of the population that is Jewish-Canadian"
According to a recent Ipsos-Reid poll, almost half of Canadians say they do not support either Palestinians or Israelis. Only 16 per cent of Canadians expressed support for Israel; 12 per cent supported the Palestinians. So, we hope you will represent the sentiments of the wider Canadian public and not yield to the Zionist pressure group representing 1% of our population.
Israel has committed horrendous human rights abuses for which it has been flayed numerous times by the United Nations, Human rights watch groups, Amnesty Internal and even International Red Cross. Recent atrocities committed by Israel at the Jabalia refugee Camp was described by the Globe and Mail reporter Paul Adams as "Haunting Scenes from a Hell on Earth". The Israeli army shows absolute disdain for human rights and repeatedly shells Palestinian civilians by land, air and sea, killing and maiming thousands. Pregnant women die at check points. Could you imagine the reaction if American-supplied F-16 fighters, warships, helicopters and tanks were used to shell refugee camps by any country other than Israel and anywhere on earth other than in Palestine? If they were killing and wounding hundreds every month, demolishing the only shelters these refugees call home? Would Canada and the U.S. still keep silent? Wouldn't the western media be calling for this barbarism to stop? We wonder why, while you reprimanded Zambia, China, Sudan, Iraq and other countries for crimes quite minor in comparison to those of Israel, you did not say one word in disgust against Israel's atrocities. We wonder what it would take for our politicians and lawmakers to stand tall for justice and call a spade a spade and not bow down to pressure from powerful lobbies.
We know this letter may be too late for the conference, but entreat you to consider our country's long standing tradition as world's peace maker and its commitment to justice and human rights in Canada's future stands on the world issues and in particular the Middle Eastern crisis.
Muhammad Yassine Osman
Chairperson, Association of London Muslims
Madinat al-Muslimeen Islamic Message Board