Friday, September 04, 2009

Canada, racism, and the nightmare of Suaad Hagi Mohamud

By Michael J.W. Stickings

My latest article at The Guardian was published a couple of days ago.

It's on the case of Suaad Hagi Mohamud, the Kenyan-Canadian woman who was detained in Nairobi a few months ago for not looking enough like her passport photo. Canadian officials refused to come to her defence and actually pushed for her to be prosecuted, with the government back in Ottawa doing nothing to help until a DNA test proved her identity. I argue that there was likely a racist double standard at work. She would not have been treated the way she was by the Canadian government had she been a white woman with a "normal" name from a more upscale Toronto neighbourhood. Here's my conclusion:

No, Canada may not be an "apartheid" state, as the Toronto Star's Christopher Hume suggested. But I think Hume is right to ask the key question: "Is citizenship now defined by the colour of your skin?" In Mohamud's case, it seems that her status was defined not just by her skin colour but by her name and her religion.

From Nairobi to Ottawa, the Canadian government's handling of the Mohamud case has been, from the start, appalling. We like to think that this sort of thing only happens elsewhere, often down in the US, where such segregation, such a double standard, is, we observe with noses held high, commonplace. It's time we woke up to the truth.

You can read the entire piece here.

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6 Comments:

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  • Recent comments by the Canadian government suggest that jumping to conclusions before all of the facts are in can be very dangerous. Shame on you and all those armchair pundits out there.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:43 AM  

  • OMFG. This is not racism. The word racism used to mean something. Racism is saying, you cant get in our country because you are black, this is not the case if any of you idiots did some research before jumping to your humanitarian conlusions, im putting these lies to rest. Mohamud was stopped at the airport because she looked NOTHING LIKE HER PASSPORT PICTURE. When the suspected fraud was questioned about her identity she didnt know what she did at her job. Mohamud has lived in Toronto for 10 years, and this imposter didnt know where the hell the cn tower was, rogers centre was, or lake ontario. She didnt know where she went to scool, she thought her professor was randy jackson of american idol - FAILure OF AN IMPOSTER. Worst of all, she didnt know her own son's birthday, or even his name! Then she went back to her hotel, came back the next day looking different, and answered all of the questions effortlessly. These are clearly two different people. This is not racism you idiots, its the government wising up on all the welfare sucking immigrants being smuglled into our country every year. If any of you still believe her twisted and inconsistant case, you're beyond reasoning with, and im surprised you could overcome your handicap to post your false and pathetic blog.

    By Anonymous Truth for Everyone, at 10:35 PM  

  • But of course the blog owner wont approve my previous comment about mohamud's fraud and let the public see it. If you think she is so innocent, let the other side of the arguement have a chance to tell its story. They were solid facts released from the governemnt of canada, dont hide behind your racism and let the truth be told!

    By Anonymous Truth for Everyone, at 10:38 PM  

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