If you didn’t know who the man in this picture was, would you guess:
a) A soccer star who just received a $10 million contract to play in his hometown;
b) The new Prime Minister of Canada, the morning after winning an election;
c) A man who spent months in a Syrian dungeon, and claims his reputation has been destroyed by false accusations of ties to Islamic radicalism.
Well, c) doesn’t seem like the likely answer, but since it is closest to the truth, it does provide for an odd dichotomy, as Maher Arar seems much too gleeful just three years out from his “life-ruining” ordeal. If “no amount of money” could erase what he endured, then why does he look like he’s endured nothing but happiness and joy?
I have nothing but sympathy for people who are treated unfairly. But if I could ask Mr. Arar one question, it would be this: Will you work to fight against Islamic terrorism now that you are free and rich? Because it is the terrorism of Jihadists like the 9/11 hijackers, Ahmed Said Khadr (whose connection to your two acquaintances got you in this mess in the first place) and Osama bin Laden that forced young Muslim men into a position of increased scrutiny in the first place.
If he applies the same level of erudition, legal resources, and PR savvy in the cause of anti-Jihad as he did in the cause of Canada- and America-bashing, we may actually get somewhere in this clash of civilizations that is threatening all of us the world over.