Dr. Dawg

2012: Two panic narratives

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The centre cannot hold.

A four-year-old schoolgirl draws a picture of a man holding a gun. She says it’s a picture of her Daddy, driving away bad guys and monsters.

The bad guys and monsters duly showed up at her school, dragged her father away in handcuffs when he arrived to pick up his kids, strip-searched him, and kept him in jail overnight. They interrogated his spouse and his children for hours. Turned out to be a toy gun.

The man in question is a certified personal support worker and a “life issues counsellor.” “I go into schools to try to make a difference,” he said.

A very ordinary family of Canadian Muslims is treated to the new American hospitality at the US border:

It was supposed to be a cross-border shopping trip to New York State to break the monotony of a Quebec winter — a Montreal soccer dad, his wife, their adult son and their two youngest children packed in a car, headed toward Plattsburgh.

But when the Benaouda family got to the U.S. border, their outing turned into a scene from a bad movie — complete with shouting FBI agents, handcuffs, interrogation and six hours of unexplained detention.

The nightmare, which continues to replay in the Benaouda household, ended with a parting shot from a U.S. border official, warning that if they ever try to enter the United States again, they will get the same treatment.

The father was forced inside the customs post and handcuffed to a bar. There were no arrests, no charges, no explanation, but interesting questions from an interrogator about Abousfian Abdelrazik, the Canadian exiled by the Harper government and recently removed from the UN’s no-fly list. As it happens, they went to the same mosque in the 1990s.

While the father was being shuffled inside, his son Bachir was left with his screaming, crying mother and siblings.

“Panic! Everyone was panicking,” Bachir recalled.


[H/ts two to Nevine Chiari]

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This page contains a single entry by Dr. Dawg published on February 25, 2012 10:28 AM.

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