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Canada under attack?

Over the weekend, 17 people were arrested for an alleged terrorist bomb plot ring in and around Toronto.

So big was the news that on Saturday night, the World this Wekend on CBC radio did not cover a single other topic.

I have four problems with this story, and its handling in the media and by politicians:

  1. Every news site, news story, new channel, news paper, news anything, has made a point of the fact that these 17 people were Islamic. This emphasis on the background of the suspects is self-perpetuating and does not serve the public good in any way. They're people, that's all. Saying anything else perpetuates a stereotype that will only serve to make more people wish to do harm.
  2. Some people are blaming Canada's lax immigration policies for the existence of these alleged bombers. Canada and Canadians should be able to stand up and take responsibility for our own societal shortcomings. All the suspects in this case were born or at least grew up in Canada.
  3. The Prime Minster declared that the averted attacks are motivated by hatred of our society's freedom. I would argue that it is quite the opposite. It is our society's love of warfare and imposition of our morals and standards on others that motivates people to hate us and take up arms.
  4. This bust is awfully convenient for a conservative prime minister's conservative political agenda. It strikes me as odd that just a few weeks ago, the govenrment forced the House of Commons to a vote over the war in Afghanistan, likely knowing this bust was coming. The vote was clearly not (only) about exposing splits within the Liberal party, but about making the opposition parties look silly when this revelation came out, which the government knew was coming.

Posted at 12:11 on June 05, 2006

This entry has been archived. Comments can no longer be posted.

We're not at war in Afghanistan. | legal politics | Oops, the budget passed


Joseph Graham writes at Wed Jun 7 22:26:41 2006...

Young people, probably particularly young men, can be impressionable. Over the years there have been many cults that have formed in our midst. Some of them have been dangerous and some harmless. Our social attitude has been to try to rescue those young people who have been seduced by the cult. In the case of this arrest, we must not lose our perspective on that. Some of the people in this group are young, impressionable Canadians who have lost their way. Many of the elements of the War on Terror have reinforced stereotypes of the 'enemy' being 'Moslem' just like the 'enemy' used to be Communist. Our country is on trial with these accused, and like Michael Ignatieff said, we have an opportunity to showcase our legal system. Let us hope that we can be proud of the way our Canadian legal system handles this situation and that we do not, instead, watch it spiral into an abyss of injustice.

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