Canadian Islamic Congress - September 9, 2005
Canadian Islamic congress releases position paper
on fourth anniversary of 9/11
Toronto, Sept. 9, 2005: At a press conference today the Canadian Islamic Congress released a position paper entitled "Let Canada Lead the World Toward Security with Rights."
Here are highlights of the paper:
** Anti-terrorism legislation -- passed on December 18, 2001, less than 100 days after 9/11 -- gave our police the power to arrest Canadian citizens and legitimate landed immigrants without a warrant. They can be held for up to 72 hours (more, with a renewal) if police believe they pose a threat to national security.
** This new anti-terrorism legislation also created new offences, such as the crime of providing aid to terrorist or suspected terrorist groups which may include, for example, legal services.
** Expanded domestic surveillance powers by police, RCMP and CSIS have tangibly reduced the private rights of Canadians after 9/11.
** With our current government empowered to decide unilaterally who can be detained and for how long, the courts must be involved early to determine the nature and duration of the detention. We believe that any detention without a hearing is unconstitutional, regardless of the context (civil, criminal, immigration, or military).
** The government's secret no-fly list, compiled with RCMP and CSIS help, but without court approval, is seriously undermining the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
** We fear that potential abuse of newly expanded powers by CSIS, the RCMP and municipal police could easily be directed toward political dissidents, civil rights groups, anti-war groups, student groups, social justice groups, etc.
** We believe that Canada is well positioned in the world today to develop progressive policies and legislation toward a true Security with Rights society.
The position paper can be read at: http://www.canadianislamiccongress.com/docs/position.php