Toronto Star Feb. 22, 2003. 01:00 AM Editorial: Zundel is no refugee The ironies in Ernst Zundel's case abound. He fled Canada two years ago, claiming our country had hounded him unjustly for decades. Now he's back on our soil, seeking our protection. Zundel, who has made a career out of attacking Jews, is now asking Canada to save him from persecution in his native Germany. After being kicked out of the United States, he has applied for refugee status here on the grounds that if he is returned to Germany, he will face jail time for convictions under Germany's strict hate laws. He is arguing that jail time constitutes cruel and unusual punishment. Canadians take persecution seriously. It is why we have one of the world's most liberal refugee systems. Zundel is many things, but he is not a refugee. A man who is guilty of persecuting others, who makes the world less humane, has no right to call himself a refugee. A man who has long proclaimed his contempt for our country, our values, our laws, is not deserving of our protection. Immigration Minister Denis Coderre has said the legal process must take its course. And he is right. But Coderre has also promised he will be on guard for any attempted abuse of the system. We are pinning our hopes on the fact that Canada can throw out a refugee claim for an individual who has already been ruled a security risk, as Zundel has. That should speed the process for him to be deported. It may take some time to sort out the legal issues. But the court of public opinion has already decided. We want no more of Zundel or his type. The faster he is removed, the better. Zundel thrives on the limelight. It is how he attracts his warped followers. Journalists know this. We struggle each time we write about him. With luck, this will be our farewell editorial on the subject.
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