Was Mohamed Fahmy a Victim of Stephen Harper's Ideology? - 2015-09-28
In an odd twist of fate, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi decided to have a change of heart and "pardon" three Al Jazeera journalists including Canadian journalist Mohamed Fahmy. Whether Sisi was feeling charitable on the eve of the Muslim holiday of Eid-Ul-Adha or wanted to improve his faltering global reputation before his visit to the United Nations is unknown.
What is clear, however is that the Canadian government had little to do with Fahmy's release. Although "sheepish whimpers" -- as lawyer Amal Clooney characterized the Canadian government's response -- were made to secure his freedom, the government's lack of action was evident from the start showcasing the flawed precedence of ideology over humanity.
Given that Fahmy held dual Egyptian-Canadian citizenship (now renounced as a condition for release), the case is a potential precursor of how such negligence may become reality for Canadians not worthy of a concerted diplomatic effort, primarily those considered to be second-tier Canadians under Bill C-24 or failing to qualify, in Prime Minister Stephen Harper's lexicon, under the "old stock" variety. Although the context of Harper's faux pas was about healthcare benefits for refugees, this type of language exposes a more sinister motivation that justifies rights for certain Canadians while ignoring the plight of others.