Saturday, June 03, 2006

Toronto Arrests

Following this very, very bad news story with morbid curiosity. The Star, the CBC, the Post and even the BBC have all made this their lead story of the hour (check out BBC's really old stock photo of Toronto - no condos around the CN tower). Most reports are talking about how the people nabbed are 'homegrown'.

As a Torontonian this is ofcourse bad news for us, and for Muslims as a whole, if only because an RCMP source says it "anticipates more arrests". Although the men are innocent until proven guilty (remember not a single successful conviction has so far resulted from RCMP arrests in this arena lately), the Muslim community of Canada must take its head out of the sandbox and realize that there are some Canadian Muslims who don't feel the love of Canada the same way as the rest of us do, and they will not care what happens to Canadians (and their fellow Muslims) as long as they can blow up something.

The black community seemed to be in denial for a long time about the 'gangsta' and thug culture that led to many young black men choosing a life of crime, and the consequences are not pretty. Thankfully, statements such as these was only the start. Time and again I have gone to the mosque to hear the imam preach that as Canadians it is our duty to stop terrorism and protecting Canada is a holy duty. Yet you will see many older immigrant Muslims pretending the problem does not exist or is a vast conspiracy. Thankfully the younger generation (homegrown Muslims) are more aware of the dangers. Most of them blame illegal immigration, propose a tougher line on immigration than many Conservatives I know, and are more likely to question radical views than the older folk.

"Islamic extremists" as mentioned by the news reports are an oxymoron, any more than Mc Veigh was a "Christian extremist" or an IRA member was a "Catholic extemist". However, the Western world themselves were Christians, so could understand that the IRA did not represent Christian values (just as Iraqi Muslims blown up by other Iraqi Muslims never blame 'Islamic' bombers - just bombers). Muslims in the West are a minority and not enough is known about us. As such, people can be ready to assume the worst about us - that's why Muslims in the West will face a greater burden to explain themselves to their neighbours and friends when such issues crop up. That can only be resolved when more and more young Canadian Muslims (and other immigrants) are ready to involve themselves in the Canadian society politically, or in the media.

Having said all of this, I condemn Mr. Harper's act of issuing a statement on the issue. This is a law-and-order arrest situation, the men have not yet been convicted, this is just a photo-op and another political opportunism on his part.



kris said...

Maybe I'm doing a poor job reading these.. but where does it say that the people they arrested are muslim?

mezba said...

From the names, the fact that some of the news reports calls them "Islamic extremists" and from the fact that some of their wives when they showed up the hearing this morning was wearing burkhas.

BTW the lawyers for some of the accused said this morning that that RCMP may have cast their net too wide.

kris said...

The CBC and Globe and Mail weren't very detailed, after reading some of the other sources that does seem to be the case (e.g., CNN's list of suspects).

Classic said...

_This is an international story. That's makes it highly appropriate for any sitting Cdn Prime Minister to speak publicly in a timely manner.

Anonymous said...

Neither “Islamic extremist” nor “Christian extremist” is an oxymoron. Comparisons to the IRA are misleading because they didn’t claim to be a religiously inspired group. Yet it would be pretty tough to understand the motivations of the Branch Davidians without referencing Christian literature and sectarian Christian traditions. Likewise, it’s futile to try to understand the Islamic terror cells without reference to the religious tradition in which they operate.

Religions have many different branches. Some of them promote terroristic violence. It takes an act of willful ignorance to look at world events and not notice an upsurge of political violence committed by self-professed Islamic groups. Implying that these groups have nothing to do with Islam really doesn’t advance our understanding of what’s going on (and I’m not convinced that the ‘Noble Lie’ is necessarily doing more good than harm in the Muslim community).

It is also quite significant that the suspects are ‘homegrown.’ The idea that Islamic radicalism is an atypical import from some distant land of turmoil has been a comforting myth in this country. If there are citizens that are Canadian born and bred, yet still choose to offer their allegiance to this country’s fanatical enemies, then we have a problem that goes beyond a lack of immigration oversight.

Anonymous said...

this is not a simple law and order issue. this issue has deep connections with islam and its teachings. most terrorists all over the world are muslims and that is not a mere coincidence. they do all their terrorist activities "in the name of allah" - so calling them islamic terrorists is very appropriate.

Elizabeth said...

You Harper haters would get mad at him if he DIDN'T make a stament. Face it , you hate him no mater what he does. He could cure cancer and you'd say why didn't he do it sooner?

Anonymous said...


Elizabeth, I guess you're loving Harper now that we can officially thank him for making Canada a terrorist target! Of course, you can continue loving Haper, who's obviously lacking in self-confidence that he would rather prostitute himself to a man who is currently the most hated in the world, the worst and most incompetent President in all of America's history!

Good for you!

AT said...

religious extremism isn't about religion. It is about religious identity. Have u noticed how all the religious extremists are youngsters? These young people at our age want something bigger identity than just the national border. Therefore, they join these extremists movements. I don't blame these young people because it's just a phase they are going through.

I pray to God during cricket matches, before approaching a hot girl or during exams. LOL. That's religion for me. I know nothing more.

About religious identity, well, being a Canadian should be great enough for us.

AT said...

btw, i don trust religious leaders. They are ALL crooked working for power!