Omar Khadr on why he says he wants a life as close to ‘ordinary’ as he can get

Omar Khadr says he realizes life after his controversial war crime conviction  — always a lightning rod among the Canadian public — will likely never be “ordinary.”

But that isn’t going to stop him from trying to get as close to it as possible.

READ MORE: Alberta judge rules Omar Khadr’s war crimes sentence has expired

In an interview with the French-language current affairs program Tout le monde en parle on Sunday night, Khadr was asked about how he is adjusting to life as a free man after an Alberta judge last month ruled he has finished serving time following a widely criticized war crime conviction by an American military tribunal.

“I don’t think I’m ever going to be an ordinary citizen but I’m going to carry myself as ordinary as I can,” he said, speaking in English on the Radio-Canada program.

Khadr continued, adding that he often still faces challenges in trying to find opportunities to work or volunteer in his community.

“A lot of times when I apply for work or volunteering, I don’t hear back from people,” he said, pointing to the use of criminal background checks in applications that bring up his past. “Realistically, for the time being, I don’t think anybody is going to be willing to risk, like, people like me.”

During the interview, Khadr was also asked whether he considers himself a child soldier — a term many, including retired Lt.-Gen. Romeo Dallaire and his foundation, which works to support and prevent the use of child soldiers — have argued should apply to him.

Khadr said the term holds a lot of assumptions about the way a conflict is fought.

“Saying I was a child soldier would assume it was a regular war and I was in a regular army,” he said.

“I think I was just in an unfortunate place in an unfortunate circumstance that I was with adults, they told me to do something and I did it. So I don’t know if I would call myself — that’s the term people use to try to describe my situation.”

full story at

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Categorised in: