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Citizen sues Canadian government

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During the Thanksgiving season, many Canadians list the things they're grateful for. Living in a democratic nation is often close to the top of these lists. Suaad Hagi Mohamud, on the other hand, displayed how very ungrateful she is by filing suit against the Canadian government instead of thanking them for granting her citizenship. Taxpayers may soon be forking over $2.6 million plus legal costs because, out of the goodness of Mohamud's heart, she wants to make sure "this never happen[s] to another Canadian citizen."

On May 21 this year, officials at Nairobi Kenya's airport in kept Mohamud, a Somali-Kenyan woman who has obtained Canadian citizenship, from returning to Canada. Apparently there was some question as to whether she was actually the person pictured on her passport. High commission investigator Paul Jamieson interviewed her three times over five days before declaring her passport void, effectively barring her from Canada and stranding her in Kenya. She was arrested and eight days later released on bail. After two-and-a-half months, a DNA test proved she was the mother of her son in Toronto, so she was given emergency travelling papers and swiftly flown back to Canada. Or so the story goes.

Corruption is rampant in Kenya and, in the aftermath of 9/11, many Canadians are suspicious of anybody with a Muslim name. Keeping this in mind, it's not difficult to see why some people are declaring that Mohamud is a victim of greed and racism. Her interviews with Jamieson, however, show that her lawsuit is based on her own greed, and not that of the Kenyan officials.

During the interviews, several peculiarities emerged. Mohamud knew nothing. According to Jamieson, she had no knowledge of her life in Toronto -- where she had lived for over 10 years -- and knew nothing about her son, not his birthday or the names of his teachers. One of Mohamud's more interesting claims was that she attended Humber College and was taught by "Randy Jackson," who, if he exists as such, is not currently listed online as faculty. Nor did she know one of the people listed as a reference on her passport application and even denied the existence of a younger sister listed on her immigration application.

All these wrong answers led Jamieson to believe the woman caught at the airport was actually Suaad's younger "non-existent" sister, Jihan. If he was correct, then Suaad only stepped back into the picture when it became obvious that her sister wasn't getting into Canada. Many internet users hypothesize that Mohamud planned the whole thing from the get-go just so that she could sue the government. Alternatively, Mohamud is just incredibly stupid or the media has been getting the story all wrong. Given that Mohamud hasn't claimed media reports are wrong, it makes sense to believe that one way or the other, Mohamud (or her sister) caused these problems for herself. She was either dishonest or hopelessly stupid or both.

Absolutely, everything must be done to ensure that something akin to Mohamud's situation never happens again. The great tragedy which needs to be avoided, however, isn't that Jamieson seems to have done his job, but that Mohamud is suing because of it. It's a sad state of affairs when irresponsible people blame the responsible ones or their government for their problems.

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