October 2, 2013,
Today, I bring you an interesting article, verbatim by The Canadian Press published on Tuesday, October 1, 2013 in the Toronto Star, entitled, 'Ottawa doing everything it can to free Canadians jailed in Egypt. My response is below with room for your comment below that, unless you prefer to send an email but please keep your comments smart and civil. Don't attack others personally, and keep your language decent.
At the behest of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, the government is doing “absolutely everything it can” to secure the release of two Canadians held without charge in Egypt, says Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird. More than seven weeks after they were arrested at the height of civil unrest in Cairo, Toronto filmmaker John Greyson and London, Ont., doctor Tarek Loubani were ordered detained for another 45 days on the weekend.
“The government, at the prime minister’s direction, has been engaged in a big way to secure the release of these two Canadians,” Baird told a news conference Tuesday. “I don’t want to up the rhetoric that would impede their expeditious release. I would just say we’re having strong discussions with the Egyptian authorities on this. “Canadians have got to know that their government at the highest levels is doing absolutely everything it can.”
In a statement Saturday, the two men said they were observing an anti-government demonstration Aug. 16 when Loubani heeded a call for a doctor and began treating wounded demonstrators, while Greyson recorded the unrest on video. The men were later arrested by police while heading back to their hotel. Their statement said they were beaten and dumped in a squalid, cockroach-infested jail cell crammed with others picked up that day.
The government is taking a “two-track approach,” judicial and political, said Baird, citing recent meetings between Canada’s ambassador in Cairo and the Egyptian attorney general, as well as discussions between ambassadors in both countries and his own talks with Egypt’s foreign minister.
“I stated in no uncertain terms that this was a significant problem in our bilateral relations,” Baird said. “It’s simply unacceptable that Canadians can be held for this long with no specific charges, no specific evidence.”
Some reports have suggested that the pair could soon be facing murder charges, but Baird said those charges appear to be directed at the larger group of protesters rather than at Greyson and Loubani themselves. Egyptian prosecutors have accused Loubani and Greyson of “participating with members of the Muslim Brotherhood” in an attack on a police station, but have not brought forward specific charges.
The men’s statement said they witnessed more than 50 people die in the unrest. They had planned an overnight stay in Cairo en route to Gaza, where Loubani was to do humanitarian work documented by Greyson. But barred from getting across the border, they decided to investigate the protest erupting in Ramses Square mere blocks from their hotel. The unrest in Cairo was sparked after president Mohammed Morsi was removed from power.
leader of an extremist group? an extremist activist?
Ever wondered why Tarek Loubani and John Greyson are the latest darlings with certain media writers? So, who are these fellows? The Canadian Press says Loubani is a doctor and Greyson is a filmmaker, and they're being held in an Egyptian jail for more than seven weeks after they were arrested at the height of civil unrest in Cairo. But is that only glossing over an insidious truth?
Ezra Levant of the Toronto Sun tells us that in addition to being a rich doctor from London, Ontario, Loubani calls himself a Palestinian refugee, though he came to Canada from Kuwait, where he was born. But the dichotomy is Loubani stands accused of being an extremist activist! When a Canadian cabinet minister was announcing a grant to help people with disabilities, Loubani stormed into the press conference, disrupting it, shouting about how he's a refugee from Palestine. Loubani just wouldn't leave the press conference, even when security guards asked him to. He kept shouting like a crazy person until police escorted him away, even though he's been in Canada since he was a child.
Is Loubani a trouble seeker? Is it because he ignored his government warnings when he went to Egypt in August in the middle of a civil war. He says he was trying to go to the Gaza Strip and that's why he was arrested by Egyptian police. Have Loubani and Greyson been happy boosters of trouble before, with Greyson involved in running an Israeli naval blockade of Gaza.
Although technically accurate to call Greyson a filmmaker, is it not more informative to mention he's a professor at York University and a leader of the extremist group called Queers Against Israeli Apartheid, an alleged hate group that has marched in the gay pride parade in Toronto. Which is odd, because Israel is the only country in the Middle East where homosexuality isn't a crime and where they actually have a gay pride parade, too. Isn't death the punishment for being gay in the Gaza Strip?
So, yes, Loubani is a doctor. And yes, Greyson is a filmmaker but both have been happy boosters of Hamas before, with Greyson involved in running an Israeli naval blockade of the Hamas forces in Gaza. Is medicine and filmmaking really the most relevant facts to report about them? Or is it more relevant to point out they are anti-Israel propagandists and activists who have made common cause with the Muslim Brotherhood's Hamas wing for years, not just in the streets of Toronto and London, Ont., but in Gaza itself?
These men are not mainstream or moderate. Ezra thinks it's lucky they were arrested by the Egyptian military, which only held them, as Canadian police would do, if foreign provocateurs came to town in the middle of a massive riot. They're lucky they weren't arrested by the more enthusiastic members of Hamas' religious police. They might not be as tolerant of Greyson's sexuality as Canada is. They might not be as tolerant of Loubani's free speech as Canada is.
At a time when young Canadian and American boys are dying in places like Algeria, Syria and Somalia, what is this sinister force that is driving them to suicide? But, like Ezra, i'm wondering if there is an even more insidious truth? Like, why can't we trust certain folks in our media to give us the straight facts?
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