Madame Mourani, thank you for your question.
That is a real concern in the Muslim and Arab communities since September 11, 2001, since the Anti-terrorism Act came into play. We're not discounting the fact that, yes, people are suspicious. There are issues in the world today that might lead a normal human being towards.... That's what we call prejudice and discrimination; we all do it. The point there is that we need to check that. I think we all agree that we want to prevent any harm coming to anyone in Canada from illegal acts of any violence—including terrorism, because it's a mass scale of violence.
But to your point, I know that in previous testimony, if I can give a bit of a preamble, people have said: these powers haven't been used, so how can they be discriminatory? It's not really the hard use. You'll probably see that they won't be used a lot. But what we have found in the last ten years is that CSIS, the RCMP, other police agencies, but mostly those two agencies, will demonstrate the “soft abuse” of these powers. They go to vulnerable people—immigrants, refugees, those who are the most vulnerable, but also to other Canadians who are Muslim, or Arab, or maybe seem to be those things—and they are told, “You know, we have these new powers, so if you don't cooperate...”. So it's “play ball with me, or else I have this big stick”.
Not everybody is schooled in the law. I've been to many mosques and community centre events where young people, older people, anyone...their computers were taken. CSIS does not have any police powers. They don't have the right to seize property, arrest, search—nothing. You can tell them to go away. I had people tell me they just handed over their computers to CSIS because they were told they needed to do this.