Canadian Family Rejects Terror Label
Barry Artiste, Now Public Contributor
You know if Momin Khawaja were a teen, some could attribute the terrorism link to youthful idiocy, though still a teen knows right from wrong. In this case it is a 29-year old man.
Much to a mother's heartbreak and a father's despair, this accused terrorist wanting to impress al Qaida if this murderous plot to kill ordinary innocents came to fruition from Canada to Britain has resulted in his own Canadian family suffering public scorn daily and taunts from neighbours in this small town in Orleans , Ontario.
Meanwhile their son remains relatively unscathed as he sits in a jail cell while his parents face a outraged society.
Little did Momin realise "Terrorism begins at home" and it is against his own family.
Family rejects terror label
'He's not the type of person who would hurt others' says mother
By DONNA CASEY, SUN MEDIA
Momin Khawaja is the first Canadian charged under the federal Anti-Terrorism Act. His trial will begin on Monday at the Ottawa courthouse under tight security.
The basketball pole lies on overgrown grass beside the driveway, strings of the tattered net clinging to the discarded hoop.
The break in the metal pole is visible, a jagged, rusted tear right at its base.
It's a relic from a happier time, one that vanished on March 29, 2004, when a phalanx of armed Mounties busted through the front door of the Orleans home, looking for Mohammad Momin Khawaja.
Today, the parents of the accused terrorist sit in their living room over a pot of tea, thinking about the four-year wait to see their 29-year-old son come to trial Monday on seven terrorism-related offences.
During that time, RCMP and CSIS agents told their relatives to stop communicating with the family. Friends and strangers at the mosque and grocery store eyed the couple and their four other children with suspicion.
Young kids walked by their house, yelling "terrorist" from the sidewalk.
Last month, a group of youths threw eggs at their windows.
Azra Khawaja knows the case federal prosecutors have amassed against her son. A jury in Britain convicted five young British Muslim men last year for their roles in what was dubbed the fertilizer bomb plot.