In 2002 a fifteen-year-old Canadian citizen was captured in Afghanistan for allegedly killing an American soldier. A badly wounded Omar Khadr was transferred to the US Bagram Air Force base and then Guantánamo Bay detention camp. He would remain there without trial until October 2010, when a military commission admitted evidence considered tainted by Canadian courts. A plea bargain and guilty plea initiated his promised return to Canada a year later. Some Canadians see Khadr as a symbol of terrorism in action. For others he is the victim of a jihadist father and Canadian complicity in the unjust excesses, including torture, of the US "war on terror." The youngest prisoner held at Guantánamo and the only citizen of a Western country not repatriated, Khadr was formally identified by the United Nations as a child soldier.
In Omar Khadr, Oh Canada, over thirty contributors analyze Khadr's background, his incarceration, the actions of Canadian authorities, and the implications raised by his legal case. This multi-genre book includes essays, articles, poems, a play, extended excerpts from the documentary film You Don't Like the Truth, and other texts produced by distinguished contributors such as Sherene Razack, General Roméo Dallaire, Charles Foran, Kim Echlin, Judith Thompson, Audrey Macklin, Shadia Drury, George Elliott Clarke, Maher Arar, Rick Salutin, and Sheema Khan. While they sometimes disagree on issues such as radical Islam and Canadian multiculturalism, they all write from the conviction that Khadr's treatment has been - and continues to be - shamefully unjust and shaped by post 9/11 Islamophobia that continues to distort the views of many Canadians.
Many Canadians are dismayed by the government's behaviour toward Omar Khadr. Adding strong and articulate voices to the debate, Omar Khadr, Oh Canada will educate and inform readers as his story continues to unfold.
"A very important contribution to this very serious matter of a Canadian whose fundamental human rights have been abused with official complicity." Reg Whitaker, University of Victoria