MUSLIMS ALARMED BY DEFENSE MINISTER’S STATEMENTS ON IRAQ
Friday, January 10, 2003 12:00 pm
Comments are a “radical tilt” in Canadian policy, compromise Canada’s reputation-END-
(Ottawa, Canada – 1/10/03) – The Canadian office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-CAN) today reacted with alarm to recent statements made by Canada’s Defense Minister John McCallum that Canada might join the United States in a war against Iraq without any U.N. authorization.
After a meeting with U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, McCallum said that Canada would "reserve the right" to join the United States in a war against Iraq even in the absence of a new U.N. Security Council resolution authorizing such an attack. McCallum said Canada would "much prefer" the passage of a resolution authorizing force "but we may do it otherwise."
In a statement released today, CAIR-CAN wrote:
“The recent statements made by Defense Minister John McCallum demonstrate a radical tilt in Canada’s policy on the Iraq crises. They compromise Canada’s good-standing in international relations as a country with a tradition of sober and fair-minded diplomacy. War is not the solution. An attack on Iraq will only punish a civilian population already devastated by a decade-long sanctions policy.
“Mr. McCallum’s statements come at the most inopportune time when U.N. officials are still conducting weapons investigations in Iraq and have yet to release a report on their findings. We call on the Defense Minister to re-evaluate his statements and to play a constructive role in de-escalating the current crises.”
CAIR-CAN has recently published op-eds on the current crises in the Toronto Star, the Ottawa Citizen and the Montreal Gazette. (See:
Contact: Riad Saloojee at 613-254-9704; E-mail: Canada@cair-net.org