Reading the right-wing blogs and the reams of abuse to be found in their comboxes, Professor Amir Attaran, in the faculty of law at the University of Ottawa, is the new Great Satan of the "rah rah" set. For daring to raise the possibility that prisoners, whoops, that's "detainees," have been abused by Canadian troops in Afghanistan, he has become subject to what Robert McClelland rightly calls a swiftboating. He has an agenda. He's inconsistent. He's a Muslim, so that should tell you something. He's a sneak who has managed to raise, once again, his original concerns about turning prisoners, whoops, there I go again, "detainees," over to the tender mercies of the ex-Northern Alliance types in charge of Afghanistan.
Well, just who is this guy? Actually he's not a Muslim, although so what if he were? He's married to a practising Catholic. He's an academic with international credentials in law and public health issues. He's a human rights activist--he doesn't confine himself to scholarly articles and books--and one of his targets has been Robert Mugabe, as it happens. But he's just too brown for some folks--not a "real Canadian." (He was actually born in the US, and is a naturalized Canadian citizen.) This is the sort of repulsive racist calumny that he has been subjected to recently:
I have received a very great amount of hate mail, saying that I am not a real Canadian. Well, I am. And I have received quite a lot of other material attacking me -- and I won't use the real language because it's really vulgar -- as a damn Muslim. Use your imagination to substitute for damn.
And here's a small sampling of combox chatter:
Right out of Al-Qaeda's textbook. The fact that the claims are coming from a professor here in Canada is somewhat worrying though. Either he is a sympathizer for Islamic Terrorists or worse, a collaborator.
Another good leftist professor shilling for the enemy--I'd like to know what these "detainees" were up to when they were arrested?
It's quite obvious where the professor's loyalties lie.Not once was he questioned as to why he is so interested in this aspect of the Afghan operation, and why he would spend so much time and effort to bring this to light. His own history may bear some looking into.
Attaran.."you're busted"...now tell us who your accomplices were...at the very least this punk should lose tenure.
Who told this prof wannabe about what happened over there....Send him over there with no protection and let him go out without a flak jacket. Don't let your kids go to that university.
What's Attaran's motivation? Well, he's a Muslim who has ingratiated himself into western politics in order to help achieve Islamist goals. Kitman is obvious in his deceptive cover as a 'humanitarian.'
Had enough? Believe me, these are just a few rancid drops spattering from the unsavoury racist stew that's a-boiling fast and furious on the starboard side of the blogosphere at the moment.
It is disappointing to see that even in relatively respectable right-wing blogsites, like Daimnation and The Torch, Attaran himself has become the issue, and the media who have given him prominence recently--not the issues of human rights abuses that he has raised. In a foetid fog of "patriotic" drivel, he has been accused of an agenda-revealing inconsistency: he has complained that the abuse of "detainees" has not until now been investigated by the military; but he had earlier cast some doubt upon the impartiality and thoroughness of the military investigating itself. I see little contradiction here. Even a biased investigation is preferable to sweeping the matter under the rug.
The brass, at least, are taking the possibility of abuse of "detainees" seriously. Now, if we could only track what's become of the "detainees" handed over to the Afghan government's