Harper’s Anti-Islam Remarks Draw Fire

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The Prime Minister also vowed in the CBC interview, which will be broadcast in full on Thursday night, to bring back two controversial clauses in the Antiterrorism Act, parts of which expired in 2007. One clause allowed police to arrest suspects without a warrant and hold them for three days without charges if they believed a terrorist act had been committed; the other clause allowed a judge to compel a witness to testify in secret under penalty of jail if the witness refused.

OTTAWA—Stephen Harper is using the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks for political gain, the opposition says.

To the NDP, the Prime Minister is sowing division on the eve of the 10th anniversary. And to the Liberals, Harper of trying to look tough by musing about changing the anti-terrorism laws, reported the Canadian Press.

“The 10th anniversary of 9/11 should be a time for reflection on how we can build a more inclusive society to end extremism,” NDP foreign affairs critic Paul Dewar told The Globe Wednesday morning. “Let’s all guard against knee-jerk demonizing and overheated rhetoric.”

The Prime Minister told CBC’s Peter Mansbridge on Tuesday night that in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, the major threat to Canada “is still Islamicism.”

“Unfortunately, Stephen Harper continues to use divisive language for political purposes,” Dewar charged.

The Prime Minister also vowed in the CBC interview, which will be broadcast in full on Thursday night, to bring back two controversial clauses in the Antiterrorism Act, parts of which expired in 2007. One clause allowed police to arrest suspects without a warrant and hold them for three days without charges if they believed a terrorist act had been committed; the other clause allowed a judge to compel a witness to testify in secret under penalty of jail if the witness refused.

The act was passed in 2001 in reaction to the terrorist strikes on New York and Washington, but the controversial clauses expired in 2007.