Friday, July 30, 2010
Amir Khadir Has a Lot to Hide
Amir Khadir is the only member of the Quebec Parliament representing the separatist Quebec Solidaire political party, which is distinguished from the Parti Quebecois by being much more left wing, extreme and militant.
The flamboyant Khadir got himself elected in just about the only riding he could, Montreal's Mercier riding which is arguably the most pro-sovereignist and militant riding in Quebec.
Ever since he symbolically threw a shoe at a photo of President George Bush, at a rally in front of the U.S. consulate in Montreal, his popularity has skyrocketed. LINK
Recently he pulled off another coup by going to Toronto and posting part of the bail for Jaggi Singh, Canada's most notorious anarchist, who was arrested at the G20 conference.
It was a masterful coup, based on perceptions that Quebeckers were targeted at the G20 protests by Toronto police because they were French. This narrative has been successfully sold as fact by Quebec militants and anarchists seeking to engender popular support.
Mr Khadir put forward the position that he provided Mr. Singh's bail, not because he shares his ideals, but in order to defend democracy and the right to dissent. According to Khadir, it was also a gesture of solidarity with those Quebeckers who were targeted by Toronto police, another notion that went down well with the receptive Quebec audience.
But here's the part Mr. Khadir left out..
It seems that Mr. Singh and Amir Khadir are actually friends, a fact that Khadir wasn't keen to emphasize. In an interview after his release, Singh mentioned that he considered Kadir a friend and that he had previously gone to demonstrations with Mr. Khadir's daughter. LINK
By the way it isn't the first time that Khadir posted bail for someone of dubious distinction. It is alleged that Khadir and his wife put up bail for Adil Charkaoui, accused by CSIS of being an islamist sleeper agent. Link
It seems that in an effort to become more acceptable to a wider audience, there's a lot Amir Khadir isn't mentioning. He has been re-inventing and re-packaging himself as less extreme and has deemphasized his links to radical anarchists, communists and islamo-religious extremists.
That effort has been blown apart by journalist Éric Duhaime, who this week and last week wrote two blockbuster exposes entitled "Khadir at Home with Communists" and "Friends of Amir." Both these articles are in French and if you can read the language, please do so, it will be worth the effort.
Amir learned dissent early, his parents being radicals themselves. He first met his future wife Nima Machouf as a child at the various radical demonstrations that both their parents dragged them to, on a regular basis.
His father is an ageing communist, who reminds me of the over the hill stoner comedian 'Cheech," living in a 1970's fantasy and regurgitating material that is sadly out of date. Jafar Khadir is a sad character living in the past, who parrots ideas that have long since been discredited, even in Russia and China. He was a long-time member of the executive council of the Quebec Communist Party and still keeps actively involved.
Jafar has militated on a variety of radical causes and back in 2002 was stopped at the US border, where he was held for eight hours and ultimately refused entry with the warning not to come back. Link
The Khadir family hosts the annual "Camp de formation" of the Communist Party of Quebec at their summer chalet on the slopes of Mont Pinnacle near Frelighsburg in the Eastern Townships where Jafar hosts a weekend of speeches, workshops and comraderie. Last year Amir attended and engaged in those hearty discussions that faithful communist 'comrades' adore. While Amir may not be a card carrying member of the party, he is a sympathetic follower and friend and ideologically in tune.
This year's edition took place last weekend and I will write about it next week. Don't miss the piece, you'll laugh your ass off.
At any rate Mr. Khadir and his wife are "Truthers" who believe that Israel and the United States conspired to blow up the World Trade Centre on 9/11. His hatred of Israel is only matched by his friend Jaggi Singh and he recently tried unsuccessfully to enter a motion of condemnation of Israel in Quebec's Parliament.
For many years, Amir was an active supporter of the People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI), which is classified as a terrorist organization in the United States, Europe and Canada. When his brother Omid was arrested in 2003 in Paris during a police operation against the French base of WIPO, Amir intervened to secure his release by putting pressure on the Minister of the Interior, Nicolas Sarkozy, without specifying that it was his brother who was under arrest.
Although an active leader in the Iranian community in Montreal, Amir has strangely suffered a case of lockjaw in relation to the sad events unfolding in Iran today. While blasting Israel for the deaths of nine Gaza blockade busters, he remains strangely quiet about the dozens of deaths of his countrymen at the hands of the Iranian government while protesting a rigged fixed presidential election and who continue to bravely militate for real democracy in Iran. One can only speculate as to what his silence means.
Khadir also remains silent on the two devastating articles written about him by Mr. Duhaime, hoping that the story about his past and his dubious connections will somehow die in the summer heat. Not helping the story die, is an article written in defence of Mr Khafir, by Gabriel Proulx who just happens to be a member of the executive council of the Quebec Communist Party. Link
For Mr. Khadir, the connection to the Quebec Communist Party and Quebec solidaire is best left unmentioned and up until now, Quebeckers remain largely oblivious.
The QS was born out of the PCQ and the communist party retains special status with all members automatically enrolled as Quebec solidaire members.
The communists have stopped running candidates in the last provincial election and now stand for Parliament under the QS banner. The president of the Communist party, André Parizeau and Executive committee member, Francis Gagnon-Bergmann and Jocelyn Parent were all candidates for Quebec Solidaire in the last election. During the election members of the PCQ worked closely in support of the Quebec Solidaire party. Wikipedia
As for Khadir, it's strictly a case of 'don't ask, don't tell"
Posted by Editor on 7/30/2010 12:01:00 AM