Our Friendly Local Terrorist
Our Friendly Local Terrorist tells the story of the fourteen-year struggle of Suleyman Goven, a Kurd accused by the Canadian Security Intelligence Service of being a terrorist. Mary Jo Leddy was "accidentally" present at Suleyman?s first interview with CSIS. During that eight-hour ordeal he was propositioned: you work for us as a spy and you'll get your papers; otherwise?there are no guarantees. Mary Jo continued to be a witness to this bizarre and painful process over the following years at judicial and semi-judicial hearings, which finally ruled that Suleyman ought to be given his papers.
This moving personal story explores the efficacy of the immigration and security clearance systems in the Canadian government. It also provides an entry into the (often-complex) political dynamics and pressures within Kurdish communities in Canada and elsewhere in the diaspora, and reveals Turkey's role and influence in international relations when the tender of huge business contracts is at stake.
Mary Jo Leddy is the Director of Romero House in Toronto and a member of the Order of Canada. She is the author of Radical Gratitude, At the Border Called Hope: Where Refugees are Neighbours, and In the Eye of the Catholic Storm: The Church Since Vatican 11.