OMAR KHADR WAS raised to be a terrorist, and became one. But Canada has no cause to loathe him or punish him anymore. This country should do what should have been done many years ago with him – focus on how to achieve his rehabilitation, safely.
Khadr was 11 when his Toronto family took him to live in the Afghan terror camps of Osama bin Laden. At 15, he was apprehended by the United States on the battlefield. He is now 26, and has never known what it is to live an ordinary, constructive life.
He deserves that chance now, within a parole framework that provides for support and sensible rules – such as not living with his family.
Canada shouldn't throw away its young people, even those who have gone terribly awry. It shouldn't seek retribution because it abhors their families (his late father and several brothers were al-Qaida members, and his mother and sister have spoken approvingly of terrorism). It shouldn't seek to make political gain from that kind of abhorrence.
He has paid a heavy price for his crimes, and his family's. Khadr needs a chance now to live as a human being, not a symbol.
The Globe and Mail, Toronto