Friday, October 02, 2015

Is Citizenship Revocation Right for Convicted Terrorists.

Terrorism offends me as it does most sensible people.

When I first heard about revoking citizenship, my angry self cheered, "Yeehaw, stick it to the bad guy."

The more I thought about it, though, the more I came to the conclusion that Trudeau is right. We can't revoke the citizenship of a terrorist anymore than we can revoke the citizenship of a pedophile, or a murderer, or any other person whose behaviour offends mainstream society.

Why not?

Putting our hateful sentiments aside. What happens when you revoke someones citizenship and send them back to their home country?

1) The person heads back to their home country and remains a threat to their society, and potentially our society too. Borders aren't impervious to infiltration. Their infatuation with revenge and violence is now exported elsewhere and threatens other people, potentially us as well. We cannot check it. We cannot watch them. We cannot forgive them and encourage them lead healthy and productive lives, seeing the error of their ways. We are overcome with revenge and anger, and we let these feelings dictate our actions. In this case, we potentially make them martyrs and heroes, looked up to by other would-be terrorists as someone who tried, but failed, to attack the people they blindly hate. They are praised as someone who did hard time for "the cause." They are elevated in their circles of evil and potentially more dangerous than ever.

2) Our sensibilities over the last half century have seen us abolish the death penalty, torture, and abide by a doctrine that eliminates cruel-and-unusual punishment. As was witnessed in the Arar case, handing someone over to another country can have dire consequences. There is no guarantee the convicted terrorist would not be rearrested, tortured, or put to death after serving their time in Canada and being extradited to a country with a different moral code. In doing so, we are breaching their human rights.

To conclude. As much as terrorism and those who incorporate it into their belief system offends us, we must take the higher ground. That is the road that Trudeau took in the debate of citizenship revocation, even if he did not articulate it as best he could. It shows he can look beyond hate and revenge and choose the right path.

No comments: