5075 YONGE STREET, SUITE 902, TORONTO, ONTARIO M2N 6C6
July 19, 2005
Prime Minister Paul Martin
Dear Prime Minister Martin,
Yesterday, the 400,000 constituent families of the world wide Simon Wiesenthal Center sent their condolences to Prime Minister Tony Blair and the people of the United Kingdom and particularly to the families of the innocents murdered and maimed in London (see attached letter).
Like millions of other Canadians, I was glued to the television watching the after-effects of the bombings and listening to you and the other G8 leaders condemning this atrocity.
As the enormity of the effect of the "cult of death" upon young Muslims becomes apparent, at least some responsible Muslim clerics are taking steps to disavow and disassociate themselves from those of their compatriots who preach hate and intolerance. Thus, British Suuni clerics have condemned suicide bombers. They join the 75% of the members of the Spanish Muslim Council who recently issued a fatwa calling Osama Bin Laden an apostate, and are leading a religious campaign to try and stem this blot upon Islam. More, however, is needed.
Sir, you will undoubtedly recall that Rabbi Abraham Cooper and I, individually and together, have spoken to you and to members of your Cabinet (Foreign Minister Pettigrew, Justice Minister Cotler, Deputy Prime Minister McLellan, Defence Minister Graham and others) about the need to have a specific international declaration that suicide bombing is a crime against humanity.
While it is true that murder for political purposes is covered by United Nations Conventions, the phrase "suicide bombings" is not explicitly referred to. It is therefore lost in the murky waters of "legalese". This is wrong. After New York, after Madrid, after Bali, after Turkey, after Iraq, after Israel and now, after London, there is a need for precision and clarity.
There is a need for an unambiguous statement declaring suicide bombing to be exactly what it is and declaring that all those groups and individuals who in any way condone, praise, take credit, advocate and in any other way advance the cause of suicide bombings will be subject to criminal proceedings and that the survivors and families of victims will be entitled to seek redress against the States that harbour, tolerate, turn a blind eye or otherwise support such groups.
We urge Canada to take the lead and to draft such a statement and ask Parliament to approve this resolution as an expression of Canadian policy and as an undertaking to present this declaration for ratification at international forums such as NATO, the OAS and next year’s G8 meeting in Russia.
Equally, there is also a need for a "closed door policy" against those who would seek to exploit our open borders in order to subvert our very way of life. Freedom of speech under Canadian law, has never been an unlimited licence to ferment hate or undermine our democratic underpinnings. Canadians are subject to such laws (as exemplified by the recent conviction of David Ahenakew) and there is no reason why non-Canadians who seek entry to Canada should be treated differently.
While Sheik Yussuf Al Qaradawi is not Canadian and is not looking to come here, Canada needs to assure Prime Minister Blair that it would support the UK’s decision to ban Sheik Qaradawi’s entry, because he would be just as unwelcome in Canada.
Your words and sentiments at Gleneagles expressed the views of virtually all Canadians. We ask that you now carry out what you stated.
Director of National Affairs
Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies
LEO ADLER – DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL AFFAIRS: 647.297.1745
Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies is a Canadian human rights organization dedicated to fostering tolerance and understanding through community involvement, educational outreach and social action. With over 40,000 members of all faiths, it confronts important contemporary issues including racism, antisemitism, terrorism and genocide. Friends is affiliated with the world-wide, Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Center, an accredited Non-Government Organization with status at international agencies, including the United Nations, UNESCO, OSCE and the Council of Europe, with offices in New York, Miami, Paris, Jerusalem, Buenos Aries and Toronto.
Simon Wiesenthal himself still attends at his Vienna office.