Canadian Muslim and Arab Groups Deeply Concerned Over CSIS Practices

posted on September 15, 2005 | in Category Canada | PermaLink

Original author: PRESSS RELEASE Source: CAIR-CAN URL: [link] Date: September 14, 2005 For immediate release

(Ottawa, Canada - 14/09/05) - The National Council on Canada-Arab Relations (NCCAR), the Canadian Arab Federation (CAF) and the Canadian Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-CAN), supported by a coalition of organisations and community leaders, are alarmed over allegations that the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) discriminates against people who associate with Arab causes. A leaked report written by the former chairperson of the Security Intelligence Review Committee (SIRC) following a complaint by a diplomatic appointee who was denied top-security status has found fault with CSIS for leaping to the â?œunqualifiedâ?? conclusion that a person who supports Arab causes should be deemed suspicious. The report also says that CSIS attempted to mislead SIRC to save the spy agency from embarrassment.This new information comes one day after CAF and CAIR-CAN read a closing submission to the Arar inquiry regarding the use of racial profiling by Canadian officials, which Canadian Arab and Muslim organizations denounce. The submission can be read here:


"It has been a long held view by many in Canada that taking up 'Arab causes' is dangerous and can lead to unnecessary scrutiny by Canadian security officials" said NCCAR President Hussein Amery. "In the past, many members of the Arab-Canadian community complained that CSIS agents targeted them by 'inviting' them to meet at local hotels and coffee shops and that the activities of Arab-Canadian students on campus were under surveillance."

While the coalition recognizes the need for Canadian security agencies to ensure the safety and security of Canadians, we are extremely concerned with what appears to be an automatic suspicion levelled at those associated with Arab issues.