Parliamentarians and the World Sikh Organization Friday condemned death threats against Ujjal Dosanjh as the RCMP launched an investigation of violent statements on a Facebook site that targeted the Vancouver South MP.
RCMP probes threats against Dosanjh
By QMI AGENCY
News: Toronto Sun
Last Updated: April 23, 2010 3:13pm
OTTAWA - Parliamentarians and the World Sikh Organization Friday condemned death threats against Ujjal Dosanjh as the RCMP launched an investigation of violent statements on a Facebook site that targeted the Vancouver South MP.
“We are aware of the threats and are taking them very seriously,” said RCMP 'E' division spokesman Sgt. Rob Vermeulen. “Our integrated national security enforcement team, INSET, is investigating.” He said the RCMP would work with both “local and international” partners “as required.”
Dosanjh told QMI Agency he had been contacted by RCMP deputy commissioner Gary Bass about the threats. He said he did not know if that meant a formal investigation was underway, nor did he ask.
But he said he has long been worried about threats of violence from young extremists born and raised in Canada. He said the Sikh community is not the only community under such threat in Canada, pointing to the case of the “Toronto 18” - young extremists who plotted to set off bombs.
Other MPs were swift to condemn the threats. “Any time public officials are threatened, whoever they are, or wherever they are, is of great concern to everybody in this country,” said Justice Minister Rob Nicholson. “One of the fundamentals of this country is the ability of people to express their opinion freely without fear of threats.”
NDP foreign affairs critic Paul Dewar said the threats were “very disturbing and … cannot be tolerated in our country.
“We know that there is a line that shouldn’t be crossed and that line is when people speak about their concerns, that they are not threatened after that.”
The entire federal Liberal caucus signed a statement Friday saying, “We unequivocally condemn the threats of violence against our colleague Ujjal Dosanjh, and condemn all forms of extremism coming from any Canadian community.
“Ujjal Dosanjh has taken a principled stand throughout his public life against violent intolerance. Canada is a free country where citizens must be able to express their views without being subjected to threats.”
Gian Singh Sandhu, senior policy advisor with the World Sikh Organization (Canada), told QMI the organization condemns the threats. “There’s no tolerance on that.”
“This is not a Canadian way of having a dialogue.”
As of Friday morning, the website “Ujjal Dosanjh is a Sikh Traitor,” had 246 members. One posting, since removed, said “someone shoot him – ASAP.”
Dosanjh has frequently spoken out against Sikh extremism, and recently said it might be on the rise in Canada. He was particularly concerned about young extremists “born and raised” in Canada.
He has faced threats in the past and was badly beaten up in the 1980s after criticizing Sikh violence.