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by Archives October 23, 2002

After speaking to many Concordia students and people in Montreal in general as to what awaits the Algerian deportees if they are deported back to Algeria, I was a little too surprised at what little people knew about what goes on in the middle east, other than when it involves Israel. 150,000 killed in Algeria by islamic extremists in ten years, is not a small number. And I don’t remember one table ever being set up at Concordia to inform others of the killings and human rights abuses that go on in Algeria, or other parts of the Arab world. The only massacre that in the middle east that my non-arab friends are aware of is Sabra and Shatilla. That same year 20,000 Syrians were brutally murdered, men and women and children, in the city of Hama by the Syrian Army, because they were brave enough to oppose albeit non-violently the policies of the Syrian dictatorship, unfortunately for them their memory will be lost in history since the massacre of hamma has nothing to do with Israel. I have never seen a memorial to those poor souls who perished. There are many arab students at Concordia, muslim and christian who want to publicize the human rights abuses that goes on in their world but we are intimidated by groups such as SPHR and MSA because we are told in a forceful way that the only issue is Israel. Even SPHR which pertains to be exclusively be for Palestinian Human Rights, should actually be called SPHRFI, Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights From Israelis. Since they do not mention one word about the abuses of palestinians from the arab world, the thousands who were and are currently being murdered by Arafat because they oppose him. Forget about mentionning the thousands of palestians who were massacred by King Hussein if Jordan in Black September of 1970, or the palestinians treatment in lebanon. I blame the CSU too, while I praise their work on making people aware of Israeli human rights abuses, I cannot forgive them for neglecting the other hundreads of millions of arabs who have no basic rights in the rest of the arab world. Something should be done, things should be discussed, we the rest of the arabs at concordia should feel free to speak about these issues where we would be imprisoned or executed as “collaborators” in the middle east if we were to do it there. Most of us are scared to, and we don’t want to get involved. And it can start small, I wish the CSU with all of their material on human rights abuses that they always hand out, would inform people a little bit of what happens in the middle east outside of Israel too. Just because it’s arabs killing arabs does not make it ok. Surely with all the pamphlets and newspapers that they distribute they can add some simple information on human rights abuses in the arab world. I want people to be aware, so next time people will know what goes on in the Arab world and we won’t have to suddenly inform people that it’s dangerous for the deportees to go back to Algeria. If we started speaking out last year who knows how many of them we could have saved.

Jahaan Badour
4011345
Economics

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