Here’s my story about him in this week’s Tribune. There’s actually no byline attached to it, but I still put the story together. It’s also linked via the headline.
A massive online backlash has ensued following the widely publicized barrage of anti-Canadian sentiments that appeared on the Facebook page of a Canadian Arab Federation (CAF) executive member, labeling Canada as a “genocidal state” and describing the national day as “F*** Canada Day.” “It’s finally Canada Day … Couldn’t be more ashamed to be Canadian,” posted Omar Shaban, 23, on his Facebook page last Tuesday. The following day, Canada Day, he wished readers, “Happy Genocide Day Canada.”
Shaban, who resides in Vancouver, has been asked to step down from his executive director Western Canada position. This came a day after the CAF distanced itself from Shaban in a press release, saying, “The comments made are in no way reflective of CAF nor its feelings towards Canada.”
Shaban continued his tirade, however, publishing a blog where he defended his remarks rather than apologizing for them and continued his rant against Canada.
“I regret the dark history this country has,” he wrote. “We are only lying to ourselves if we deny the dark past that Canada was founded on. Canada Day is seen as tragic by its true indigenous population. When Canada Day is celebrated for true freedom and not mourned by the indigenous population of Canada for its colonial and dark past, I will gladly show them my support.”
Shaban however did apologize continued “for being a citizen of a country that imposed sanctions on the Palestinian people because they followed Canada’s own advice and elected a new government democratically,” as well as to the indigenous people of Canada “because their feelings are not taken into consideration at “Canada Day” celebrations.
Shaban’s comments came after Ontario Attorney General Chris Bentley said he would examine a set of recent anti-Semitic web postings that resulted in a provincial police investigation, although no charges were laid. Salman Hossain, who authored the postings, wrote of supporting the murder of Western soldiers, “so that they think twice before entering foreign countries on behalf of their Jew masters.”
As I’m writing the story, I can’t help but wonder, where’s all the anger coming from? I mean seriously, it’s not like you lost your house or anything. I’m not saying you can’t be angry over certain issues and express your opinion. I’m just saying there’s a line you can’t cross – a line so bloody evident and noticeable that you’d have to be a nitwit not to see it. Better yet, you think that nowadays people would have a little more discretion over what they say, especially when holding high ranking positions with an organization – (the sound of a broken record…)
But not Shaban.
In a society where legitimacy is king, therefore the position you hold and expression you deliver are crucial to where you stand. I can’t imagine why he would put himself in the direct line of fire by making these statements. Sure he’s grabbing public attention, but how much does that matter if no one is willing to take him seriously if he can’t refrain from spewing garbage?
Opinions aside, I don’t blame him for being angry – but seriously, if you don’t like Canada, leave. You’re entitled to your opinions and expressing the concerns you have with policy, but don’t go around making generalized comments about how much you hate the country you live. Stop taking up space in our newspapers and other media outlets.
For that you’ve been loserlisted.MEMBERS OF THE TEVYTOWN LOSER LIST New: Omar Shaban Old-timers: Sid Ryan & CUPE Ontario, David Ahenakew, George Galloway, NDP Ontario, NION (Not in Our Name), Oakland Ross and Safwat Higazi, Irish Secondary School people, Municipal Workers of Toronto + Mayor David Miller