Sunday, November 21, 2010

Meeting Abousfian Abdelrazik

Last night I met Abousfian Abdelrazik and heard him tell his story from the early CSIS harrassment in Canada, to the torture and imprisonment he faced in Sudan at the behest of the Canadian government, and his current woes in having himself removed from the United Nations 1267 list. I then had the deep privilege of dining with him and his Edmonton entourage.

I'm not sure how to convey the depth of the occassion other than to say that sometimes we might be beyond fortunate enough meet these rare people, who despite unimaginable hardships, still radiate an intense and kind light of uncomprimising grace, humility, courage, and conviction. These Abousfians are living evidence what an individual human being is capable of when faced with deep injustice and the worst excesses of the small and wicked men who wield big states.

Things are shifting in this country. The audience last night was full of people who came to Canada in fleeing oppressive regimes in their homelands, and it is not the first time I've heard new arrivals speak in fear of what they see emerging here under Harper.

Regardless of whatever dark turn our politicians might take us in the coming months and years, an unassuming man with an infectious smile and iron will is living proof that we can beat them, even at their worst excesses. This is power of a class that cannot be matched.

He'll be visiting Calgary tonight and Vancouver on Sunday. If you can, please make the effort to go (dates and locations below). If not, consider helping to remove him from the UN 1267 list by contributing to Project Fly Home (see last link). In Abousfian's words last night, he is in a prison with out walls because he cannot work, open bank accounts, or otherwise support himself without the government stopping him.

Calgary
Sunday, 21 November, 7pm
The Unitarian Church, 1703 1st St NW
(just off 16th Ave; enter from 1st St)
More info: tel. 403 246 8246
Vancouver
Tuesday, 23 November, 6pm
Maritime Labour Centre, 1880 Triumph Street
(south of Powell Street, west of Victoria Drive; Bus #20, 10 or 16)

10 comments:

Boris said...

Ahh, Patrick, I was wondering if you'd show up here.

Allow me correct the record. First, you asked Abousfian about why he started his timeline at 2006. You did not address your question to Mary, you addressed it to Abousfian although they eventually both attempted to answer it. Because you addressed to AA the rest of us were left wondering if you'd actually been paying attention when he presented because he clearly started his timeline before he even when to Sudan. Your tone and delivery suggested that you were looking for a 'gotcha' moment or insinuating that they were lying.

This was insulting to degrees you cannot fathom, given that it was aimed at an individual who has spent 6 years in and out of prisons and torture. It was also interesting to see you attempt to hijack Q&A with your pet theories the same way you do on our comment threads.

Second, do you know Mary Foster? Do you know Abousfian Abdelrazik? Or me for that matter? No. How do you presume to the motivations (e.g. "using him" of one party or another? There are teams of lawyers working on this case and it's a no brainer that they probably have the heaviest influence on advising who to sue based on the facts of the case.

Third, the lawsuits are still working their way through lawyerdom. The exact nature of these will come out when they're heard. Trying to pick apart [uncited!] subjectivities within public reasons is absurd at this point. You'd think by now that you'd grow tired of your snickering "i know you are but what am I" point-scoring.

Fourth, had you stuck around after the Q&A and participated in the discussion you might have better understood the validity of my 'emerging under Harper' comment. You'd also have been privvy to a very critical discussion on the Islamic radicalism by young Muslims, issues here and in the ME post 9/11, and whole host of things.

Dave said...

Ross says:
The Harper government's policy has been that ministers do not exercise such extraordinary powers. These decisions are being left in the hands of bureaucrats, for good or ill.

And you had the audacity to challenge the intellectual honesty of anyone after a statement like that?

Pack your kit. You're outta here.

Dave said...

Plenty! There's a long laundry list of Harper interdiction in the bureaucracy. The least of that is that Harper

However, you are the one that offered the fruit, so get on with your explanation about Harper government policy and the leaving of extraordinary powers to bureaucrats.

Or... you could not bother and just go away.

Dave said...

Oh no you don't.

You made a claim. Prove it. You claimed a "policy". Demonstrate it.

thwap said...

Shorter Patrick (the wonder-mullet) Ross: "You said that the harpercons suck! Actually, the Liberals AND the harpercons suck! Nyah! Nyah! Nyah!"

It is left forever unstated why mullet-boy continues to suck-off the harpercons.

In all seriousness you moron, what are you trying to accomplish here? That the harpercons did not behave disgustingly? Because the fact that they did is part of the historical and legal record.

If you read this particular blog you'll know there's little love for the Liberals here.

I don't know how you justify your behaviour here. I don't know how you justify your miserable, ugly existence.

Boris said...

1. Starting in 2006 the Harper gov't ran the show and thus set the conditions of Abdelrazik's return, including sending MPs (!) to question his political views toward Israel and OBL.

2. The people supporting Abdelrazik tend to the rights and social justice persuasion which is by definition 'left'. A great deal of that stuff is about role of class and power issues in cases such this one. That's not some agenda, Pat, it's the intellectual foundation for WHY people step out of their lives to help the Abdelraziks of hte world. When the Conservatives start doing that sort of thing instead of screeching about speech rights for nazis then we can have a conversation about agendas. But that'll be a weird one because I wouldn't be talking to a conservative or right winger anymore.

3. You can spin your awkward and insidious line of questioning at talk anyway you want, but at the end of the day you even admit to looking for a 'gotcha'. The problem is you dismiss Abousfian Abdelrazik as incapable of making his own decisions about who helps him when you declare him a pawn in someone elses game. He just spent six years in hell with others attempting to torture their agenda on to him and came out smiling. You really have no idea what you're talking about.

4. Everything Dave said.

5. Drawing on Thwap's last comment, I don't know how to justify your existence on my thread. You get one more comment, and then I delete the rest of your troll turds, so make it good or it goes too.

Beijing York said...

Thanks for this, Boris. Patrick Ross would rather play stoopid partisan politics than actually listen to what a victim of government abuse and criminality has to say.

Toe said...

You'll have to excuse my ignorance. I'm sick to death of the Con/Liberal distasteful fights which go nowhere and simply serve the PTB rather than our own interests. Divide/conquer simplicities.
Shouldn't you all be questioning CSIS and the RCMP re: Abdelrazik/others? Like it or not, the parties have no choice in these matters, they do what their told. And in doing so, they continue the D/C meme amongst the voters/associations/party lines etc. It's old, boring and it's definitely time to find what is agreed upon between yourselves with these undemocratic entities; they sure know how to use you all if timelines is the prob. The timelines? Yegads, unite or continue to be pawns of them.
As I said I'm ignorant.

Boris said...

Buh-bye. :)

Holly Stick said...

Never trust someone who tends to start posts with "(snicker)".

Abdelrazik visited Harper's office in Calgary:

http://www.cbc.ca/canada/calgary/story/2010/11/22/calgary-abdelrazik-harper-office.html