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Calling out smear campaigns: Tarek Fatah on CAF

The Canadian Arab Federation (CAF) has within the past year or so come under attack from several angles. It has been a target of smears and unsubstantiated claims from individuals who claim that they speak for the rest of Canada while protecting Canadians from CAF’s anti-Canadian philosophies. The ludicrous nature of these claims did not deter efforts leading to a cut in federal funding for CAF. Furthermore, CAF is still a constant punching bag for polemicists and blowhards who will find any way possible to discredit CAF for political and/or personal reasons. Tarek Fatah proves himself to be among the most prolific of these smear machines. Omar Shaban, a CAF board member and a member of the executive committee recently took a personal position on his Facebook profile. He made it clear that he did not want to celebrate Canada Day like the rest of the country. He expressed this by writing “F**k Canada Day” as his status (ignorance or malice has led some to shorten it to just “F**k Canada”). His unwillingness to celebrate Canada Day stemmed from his belief that one should remember the elimination of First Peoples cultures upon the founding of Canada. This was Shaban’s personal statement on a private profile available only to his online friends. This did not stop Tarek Fatah from seizing the opportunity to further smear the Canadian Arab Federation. Apparently, Shaban’s unwillingness to celebrate the national holiday (and using the opportunity to remind Canadians of Canada’s neglected First Nations population) poses as undeniable proof of anti-Canadian hatred. It also somehow serves to provide accurate reflection on the Canadian Arab Federation (the organization sent out Happy Canada Day greetings over its list serve). Fatah simply displays Shaban’s Facebook screen shots (http://www.averroespress.com/AverroesPress/Main/Entries/2009/7/1_As_Canadians_celebrate_National_Holiday%2C_Canadian_Arab_Federation_VP_says%2C_%E2%80%9CF__k_Canada_Day%E2%80%9D.html) and leaves it all up to interpretation. But any sane mind can decipher the lewd connections he wants everyone to make. Again, CAF is the evil anti-Canadian organization always firing off unpatriotic comments. Nothing is mentioned about the context of Shaban’s statement, his indignation of the treatment of Canadian First Peoples, and the actual work that CAF does: language classes, job search workshops, etc. This is an opportunist trying to throw defecation onto a wall and hoping that something sticks. The ridiculousness stinks to high heaven.

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