- Published on Wednesday, 23 November 2011 07:11
- Written by John Draper
- Hits: 1868
If you want to escape your home country and go to a civilized country, Canada is one of the easiest to come to. What you do is get on a plane to Toronto (or Vancouver if you are coming from Asia) then say to Immigration " I claim refugee status". You then can claim welfare benefits and the taxpayer supports you while your case is being heard - usually a few years. The claimants often live better than some unemployed citizens. Not everyone gets accepted but if you come from Iran or other tyrannical states, chances are you will. Many Canadians would agree with this process (except for the preferential support they receive) but the story does not end there. If you have money you can immigrate using the "Investor" program - you need at least $300,000 so it's like buying entry. Each year Canada accepts 8,000 such applicants and on the surface of it, this seems like a good idea. But it's no surprise that not everyone who applies is a desirable immigrant. You'd think that all applicants would be reviewed for ethics but if they are, it's not working.
I would guess that the only check they make is to request a police record from their country of origin - that's all that is done for most immigrants. [The Auditor General reported yesterday that there are disturbing flaws in the immigrant visa sytem] Maybe they ask CSIS but if they do, they screwed up in their answers for several key immigrants from Iran. If you are sweet with the despotic ruler, then your record will look clean! A recent report in the Toronto Star on undesirable immigrants from Iran says:
A recent example is the former head of Iran's Melli and Sepah Banks, Mahmoud Reza Khavari, who acquired Canadian citizenship under questionable circumstances and then fled this October (2011) to his multi-million-dollar Toronto mansion following a $2.6 billion embezzlement scandal in Iran. (More on his crimes and finances here)
Khavari has ties to Ahmadinejad …., the banks he led are blacklisted by the UN Security Council and the U.S. government for supporting Iran's efforts to acquire nuclear and ballistic missile technology. The banks are also closely linked to Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps - designated as a terrorist organization in the U.S. - which is the leading source of support for Hezbollah and Hamas - designated as terrorist organizations in Canada.
Of course, like many others Khavari established his safe haven in Canada as early as 2001 - and he is now persona non grata in Iran. At least that's what Iran would like us to believe. That means that despite his crimes, he may be able to resist deportation for fear of being tortured! But why is he here? If he lied to get citizenship, he should lose that and be deported. Why do we support Iran's barbarian despotic theocracy in any way? We need to send a message to his ilk.
And Khavari is by no means alone.
There are numerous other accounts in the Iranian community of the Islamic Republic elite and their families making Canada their home and investing hundreds of millions of dollars in real estate projects in Toronto and elsewhere, spreading their illicit wealth, pernicious influence and menacing networks in our country.
This may benefit the economy. But it is clearly a security threat. And it is a grave insult to the many Canadians of Iranian origin who are victims of this same elite, not to mention the millions of Iranians fighting for democracy.
The Harper Government has recently increased sanctions against Iran but these do not include anything to stop this abuse. (The U.S. has designated certain Iranian entities and people for specific sanctions - list here - Khavari is not on that list). In case anyone has forgotten why Iran should be particularly targeted, not only are they obviously developing a nuclear bomb (while declaring that "Israel should not exist"), they also have the highest per-capita rate of executions in the world and subject thousands of dissidents to torture and rape in their notorious prisons.
This case is not the only one getting publicity. Years earlier, Omar Khadr was caught by the U.S. fighting for the Taliban in Afghanistan. He ended up in Guatanamo but his case got international attention. His father Ahmed was accused, but never formally tried, for working with Al-Qaeda in Pakistan. Meanwhile the wife of Ahmed (Maha el-Samnah) was talking up the bravery of her son fighting for Islam while she lived the good life in Canada. Her behaviour did not make her popular in Canada. But many people defended the Khadrs despite the fact they slandered Canada. The mother said in an interview: "…you would you like me to raise my child in Canada and by the time he's 12 or 13 he'll be on drugs or having some homosexual relation or this and that? Is it better? For me, no." The same people want Omar to "serve his sentence in Canada"! He could be free (on parole) within a year if he returns - specifically, in July 2013 or earlier if he wins an appeal.
Part of the problem with Omar is that although his mother has not done anything illegal, she is despised here yet still lives here. (More on the Khadr family on PBS here)
To me, the establishment of the Iranian elite here is yet more evidence that militant Muslims take advantage of the benefits and freedoms of Canadian society while simultaneously working to destroy it. I'd bet anything they give millions to local mosques and imams. Highly hypocritical. They probably feel safe in Canada for when Ahmadinejad drops an A-bomb on Israel and after retaliation, the whole Middle East gets destroyed.
Quotes in the Toronto Star from Payam Akhavan, Professor of International Law at McGill University, a former UN war crimes prosecutor, and founder of the Iran Human Rights Documentation Centre.