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Op-Ed: Canadian senators, please vote against Bill C-6

Iranian human rights advocate Shabnam Assadollahi shares with JOL readers the letter she sent to Canadian senators in an attempt to persuade them to vote against Bill C-6.
Canadian Senate Chamber Photo Credit: Wikipedia Commons

When a landed immigrant has the privilege of becoming a Canadian citizen, he or she takes an oath that says: “I swear (or affirm) that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of Canada, Her Heirs and Successors, and that I will faithfully observe the laws of Canada and fulfil my duties as a Canadian citizen.”

So when Iranian born Canadian citizen Hiva Mohammad Alizadeh and Jordanian born Canadian citizen Zakaria Amara become the enemy by preparing to mass murder Canadians; shatter our sense of safety and security and forever change our country, surely they must be stripped of that privilege.  Because if not, how do we separate upstanding, law-abiding, tax-paying, ordinary citizens from criminals and Jihadist terrorists?

Canadian citizenship is a privilege, not a right, and not something to be handed out to convicted jihadists by Canada. As a privileged Canadian citizen of Iranian origin who was imprisoned by the Islamic Republic of Iran at age 16 for believing in secularism and democracy,  I do not wish to be associated with the same people who tortured me, imprisoned me for 18 months and took away my teens and destroyed my parents life. 

I do not wish to be lumped in with such people who are not prepared to integrate and embrace our values and all that this great country stands for. I am not prepared to continually have to fight against the implementation of Sharia law; I am resentful of those new citizens who do not have respect for democracy and cannot accept secularism; I am offended that my taxes are not looking after most in need—our veterans; our seniors, our aboriginals, our disabled, our homeless and those with mental issues and above all, I am outraged from being labelled a racist because I stand for freedom, equality, justice and democracy.

I implore you to do everything possible in your power to convince the Senate to vote against this disastrous Bill C-6. The consequences if this bill passes are dire.


Shabnam Assadollahi

Human Rights Activist, Freelance journalist 


JOL Blogger | Shabnam Assadollahi
Shabnam Assadollahi is a multi-award-winning Canadian human rights activist and freelance writer/journalist of Iranian origin. She has a Master’s degree in Social Anthropology and has worked extensively helping newcomers and refugees resettle in Canada and has distinguished herself as a broadcaster, writer and public speaker. 
Shabnam was arrested and imprisoned at age 16 for eighteen months in Iran's most notorious prison, Evin. Shabnam’s primary and heartfelt interest is to focus on the Iranian community and world events affecting women and minority communities.

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