Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Omar Khadr and the Power of Love

For most of his 29 years Omar Khadr's life has been an absolute nightmare.

Dragged off to Afghanistan, caught up in the horror of war, badly wounded, jailed and tortured in Guantanamo, abandoned by his own government.

And his struggle for justice continues.

But now at last it seems that horror story will have a happy ending.

For Omar is getting married. 

After over 10 years in custody, former Guantanamo Bay inmate Omar Khadr is engaged to be married, to a woman who worked for his freedom. Khadr’s fiancĂ©e is 26-year-old human rights activist Muna Abougoush, who campaigned for his release while he was in Guantanamo and visited him after he was transferred to an Alberta prison.

And this couldn't be more moving.

The young couple made it official last Saturday, with family and friends gathered around them, her father, Bill Abougoush, told the Star. 

Twenty-nine-year-old Khadr’s hands were shaking as Bill, taking the place of Khadr’s father, gave him the ring to put on Muna’s finger, he said. 

“I was thinking: Wow, after all you’ve been through, your hands are shaking to put a ring on someone’s finger,” Bill added with a laugh.

The young Canadian, the Guantanamo Kid who so many years of brutal treatment couldn't break...

Trembling in the presence of the power of love.

In an article in the Globe yesterday, before the news broke, Gerald Kaplan wrote that Khadr has still not received justice. 

There’s a long and shameful list of Canadian Muslim men whose lives have been substantially wrecked by their own government. Omar Khadr is among those most grievously mistreated by both Liberal and Conservative governments past. Now a new “Free Omar” campaign has been launched by a small group of his volunteer supporters. I fervently hope all who believe in justice will endorse it.

And he's right. We do need to take a hard look at his case and how the rights of a Canadian child soldier could have been so brutally and callously violated.

And Stephen Harper needs to be held to account for the monstrous way he treated him...

Which plumbed the depths of depravity, and shamed us all in the eyes of the world.

But there could be no greater slap in the face for that sadist than seeing Khadr happy at last.

And after all that suffering, nobody deserves happiness more than he does...

Good for Omar and Muna.

May they live happily ever after...

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  1. Anonymous5:42 AM

    They say love will conquer all and this certainly proves it. All the best Omar and Muna.
    Welcome back Simon, here's hoping you're up and kicking Con ass in no time.

    1. hi JD...thank you. It was just arthroscopic surgery, so it wasn't much, and my gorgeous knee is (almost) as stunning as ever. ;)
      As for Omar, I'm a romantic, so I'm happy for him. Having a partner who fought for your freedom, is something special...

  2. Anonymous9:46 AM

    Read about this in The Guardian. Funny, I always scan Canadian rags, didn't catch it there. As I wrote on your blog recently Simon, I will never give up my subscription to that UK paper...They hold a magnifying glass over many social/political issues far beyond their borders.

    So impressed by this young man. His smile says it all:-))

    So glad you are feeling up to posting Simon. All the best on your recovery. You had mentioned that you were on crutches a couple weeks back, so I would imagine you have some work ahead of you. At least the weather is nice for redeveloping your walking muscles:-))



    1. hi TS... I've been on and off crutches for about two months. So I'm glad it's over. I'm hoping to be fully recovered in about two weeks. As for Omar Khadr, I wrote about his case for eight years, so seeing him fall in love tells me he's finally home, and that makes me really happy. I used to see signs along the waterfront that read "Omar Khadr Lives Here" and now he really does...

  3. Good to see you back tickling the keyboard Noddy!
    Certainly Omar Khadr deserves all the happiness in the world after the way he has been treated by both the US and Canada.
    Canada still has a long way to go to make amends to Omar.
    Oh Canada, lets add Omar to the long list of injustices done to others:
    the shocking treatment of First Nations people and the Metis,
    Interned former citizens of the Austro Hungarian empire during WW1,
    the Jews not accepted during the 1930's,
    the Chinese head tax,
    the Japanese internees of WW2,
    the present day horror of Security Certificates holding people like Mohamed Harkat in indefinite custody on the strength of "secret" evidence,
    the ongoing mistreatment of veterans,
    the holding of people on remand for years.
    the cavalier rape and pillage of the environment
    Oh Canada the list goes on and on.
    To be white and not in debt in Canada gives you the finest quality of life in the world perhaps.
    If you can forget or ignore the injustices of this great country.
    Enjoy those painkillers Simon.

    1. hi hinofan...thank you, I'd bow but I'd probably fall over. It's only a small operation, but I have an active imagination, so I'm still recovering. :)
      As for Omar, although his fight for justice must continue because we do need to review that case and make sure that history records it as an absolute legal travesty.
      He needs to get his life back, and nothing can do that quicker than falling in love...

  4. e.a.f.4:09 PM

    Congrats to Mr. Khadr. May he and his future wife have a life time of happiness.

  5. Anonymous6:02 PM

    Simon why didn't you post my other comment? I wasnt't swearing or anything and just provided a link to a video. Is there no room for debate here or am I breaking a rule of some sort? I enjoy reading your blog and I'd like to be able to participate in the conversation. Thank you.

    1. hi anon...look you're welcome to comment like any others, but you should also pick your spot and know when to hold back. I have seen every video of Khadr, and this post wasn't an occasion to retry the case. Whatever you may think of him, nobody can deny he was a child soldier, thanks to his jihadi father he was led into a hell he did not choose, and nobody can deny that he has suffered a lot. So he deserves some happiness, it was just a post about a little love story, and if you didn't have anything nice to say you should have just said nothing. And left it for another day...

      P.S. Hobbling around with a hole in my knee, and then reading your comment, was not a good combination... ;)

  6. Anonymous9:47 PM

    He deserves nothing but the best Simon. I'm so glad he's happy now I also wish charges could be brought against the Harper Thugs for what they did to him and I hope Omar Knew that while he was being treated like a criminal we all knew who the real criminals were. The Harper Gang. Congrats to Omar and Muna , Sunny Ways Simon and Friends. Pamela

    1. hi Pamela...yes, he does deserve the best because his youth was stolen from him as Gerald Caplan wrote the other day. I believe Omar is still planning to sue, and we should too, for the shame the Cons caused us...