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Police criticized for apologizing to Ottawa Muslims for Ramadan arrests
by Robert Sibley
There is one law for all Canadians, and no religious group should expect special treatment when it comes to enforcement of the law, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Thursday.
The remarks were made in response to reports that RCMP officers had apologized for arresting Muslims on terrorism-related charges during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. On Aug. 25, the RCMP and Ottawa Police arrested two Ottawa men – Hiva Muhammad Alizadeh, Misbahuddin Ahmed – on terrorism-related charges. A third man, Khurram Syed Sher, was arrested in London, Ont.
The next day, Aug. 26, the RCMP and city police staged a special, hour-long meeting with members of Ottawa's Muslim community with the ostensible purpose of ensuring them that their community was not regarded with undue suspicion despite the arrests. However, at least one officer was heard apologizing during the meeting for the timing of the arrests during Ramadan, which last year ran from Aug. 12 to Sept. 9.
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