Omar Khadr to give speech at Canadian university and people are upset
One of Canada's top universities is causing an uproar for hosting an event featuring a very divisive figure.
Omar Khadr is due to take part in a discussion about children's rights and the use of minors in violence at Dalhousie University in Halifax next month, ostensibly to share his personal experience of combat between U.S. forces and the Taliban in Afghanistan when he was only 15.
Khadr, former child soldier whose rights were repeatedly broken by US/Cnd officials by torturing him to the point the SCC forbade Can from further “interrogating” him, speaks at Dalhousie explaining how being in a war zone gets you illegally imprisoned as the terrorist-fixed it— Fox over hedgehog (@foxoverhedgehog) January 24, 2020
Canadian-born Khadr was convicted of multiple war crimes he committed while still a juvenile — the first case of its kind since World War II — including killing a U.S. army sergeant as an al-Qaeda conspirator under the direction of his father.
He consequently spent years in the infamous Guantanamo Bay military prison in Cuba, and later successfully sued the Canadian government for millions in rights infringements.
His story is extremely controversial, with human rights groups like Amnesty International considering him a victim as a child soldier, and others deeming him a dangerous terrorist.
The response to the news of Dalhousie's event has been mixed but passionate on both sides.
Many note that those contending Khadr's appearance are the same group who are quick to defend free speech when it is in the case of someone with more conservative views, like trans-exclusionary radical feminist Meghan Murphy.
Others don't believe the university should provide a platform for a convicted "terrorist."
On the one hand many on the right believe free speech on Canadian campuses is under attack.— Tom McIntosh (@proftomuofr) January 24, 2020
On the other, many on the right believe that Dalhousie U should not allow Omar Khadr to deliver a speech on campus.
I suspect the Venn diagram of these 2 groups is pretty much a circle.
Children’s Rights Upfront: Preventing the Recruitment and Use of Children in Violence is still slated to take place at Dalhousie's Rebecca Cohn Auditorium on February 10 as part of the institution's Open Dialogue series, in partnership with the Romeo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative.
It will also feature memoirist and former Sierra Leone child soldier Ishmael Beah and CBC journalist Nahlah Ayed.
Joshua Sherurcij at 2008 protests to bring Khadr back to Canada from Guantanamo Bay
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