Maher Arar - Ten Years After 9/11 Reflections

Ten Years After 9/11 Reflections

As the ten year anniversary of September 11, 2001 approaches, several reflections have talked about the case of Maher Arar. In a recent Globe and Mail interview, Sonia Verma asked former Office of Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge about the relationship between the U.S. Government and Muslims living in America with reference to Maher Arar.

Sonia Verma: What about the relationship between the American government and American Muslims? Of course you’re aware of Maher Arar, who said he was tortured in Syria after being deported there by American authorities.
Tom Ridge: I’m familiar with his claims. I’m not familiar with how accurate they are. This is a global scourge. It’s really a case of first impression for everybody. As secretary of homeland security after 9/11, I dare say America was confronted with a set of challenges it had never seen before and we acted with what we thought was in the best interest for securing America. We also looked back at what we did and made some adjustments. I’ll just leave it at that. We can kill bin Laden and eliminate a lot of these other extremists, but that whole belief system is out there. It doesn’t take too many people to buy in to it to cause enormous damage.

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