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Trudeau’s test

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In the jaundiced judgement of a succession of Canadian governments, “Muslim” is just another six-letter word for “guilty”.

If you question the truth of that blunt indictment, then let me introduce Hassan Diab.

Since 2008, the Lebanese-born Canadian academic, husband and father of four has had to endure – with the complicity of Conservative and Liberal governments that were duty-bound to defend the 67-year-old Muslim’s rights and interests – a bizarre, sinister ordeal that would swallow others whole into a pit of despair and resignation.

Still, for 13 years, Diab has indeed endured – sustained by a family’s love, a lawyer’s steadfast defence of his innocence and the support of fellow Canadians who know that he is a victim of not only a blatant injustice, but the twisted contrivances and connivance of powerful French and Canadian officials and malevolent “interest groups” intent on collecting another Muslim scalp in the perpetual “war on terror”.

How and when Diab’s long, surreal odyssey from sociology professor to accused terrorist ends is a tangible test of whether Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is serious about confronting Islamophobia however and wherever it manifests itself or if he will continue to spout pleasant-sounding bromides while another Muslim-Canadian’s life is rendered cheap and disposable.

Mr Prime Minister, one-day “summits” to combat Islamophobia will not do.

And there is no doubt that Trudeau has the power to end Diab’s earthly hell – now. Trudeau has the power to right the litany of wrongs visited on Diab and end the grievous pain, uncertainty and turmoil he, his wife and children have weathered with remarkable grace and patience. Trudeau has the power finally to put the fate of a persecuted Muslim Canadian ahead of the egregious misconduct of French prosecutors and the blinding animus of religious zealots more interested in exacting revenge than........

© Al Jazeera

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