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Terrorism Hits Home

"We can live without religion and meditation, but we cannot survive without human affection." - Dalai Lama
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Today is June 6th, 2006. 6-6-06. 666. Ooooooohhhhh! Scary!
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As I'm writing this, the TV is covering the first court appearances of the accused terrorists that were arrested last weekend for plotting to blow up landmarks around Toronto and Ottawa. Most are being remanded until next week, and security around the courthouse is unprecedented in Canadian history. I've never seen as many guns and riot squad members as they're showing. The flipping irony, of course, is that the zillion media people are just interminglung with it all.

The father of one of the accused was just interviewed, and is doing the predictable claims that his son is being railroaded, nothing is fair, the press has already condemned him and this isn't how a democracy should run. No shit, Shakespeare! The guy was caught with how many tons of the stuff that Tim McVeigh used to blow up the building in Salt Lake City a few years back? CSIS and the RCMP aren't going to be making moves like this if they don't think they're on to something significant. These guys have been under surveillance for months, and the intelligence indicated they couldn't wait much longer.

Last night, they were asking a young Muslim radical why young kids that grew up here in Canada could harbour such hatred...this may sound snobbish, but 'm thinking Canada's middle class suburban neighbourhood (where all these guys come from) is a better place to call home than the shacks of northern Afghanistan. Here's what he said. He said the way they're treated at the borders, questioned by the police, and so on labels them as different. Aw. Shit. Sorry we hurt your sensitivities, buddy. Get over it. It's radical Muslims that are causing all this grief. I don't for one split second support your right to freedom of religion in any sense of the word if you're going to masquerade this kind of violence behind the name of your so-called religion. I don't care who Mohammed was, this ain't no religion. And the tragedy is that it undermines the real religious belief of sincere Muslims. Perhaps it's time there was a much higher profile support and assistance from the Muslim community in routing these guys out once and for all. In the meantime, sorry, but if you walk like a duck, and you quack like a duck, people are going to watch you like a hawk.

Am I in favour of profiling? Damn right I am. All it means it is you put your resources where they're likely to have the most effect. I'm all in favour of digging out all the Muslim radicals who think violence against society is a worthwhile goal to pursue. I'm not all in favour of singling out all Muslims, or all right-wing Liberals, or all tall, one-armed people.

Let's get real people. It's time we stopped doing the "correctness waltz". Sure, we have to ensure the checks and balances are always in place, and that fairness always prevails. But lets not bend over backwards making concessions to the loudest who scream prejudice and bias. I believe enough in the 'rightness' of our system to believe that it works very well almost all the time. It's not perfect. We keep working at that.

The danger is that the net gets cast too widely, as it did back in the days when Trudeau was Prime Minister and he invoked the War Measures Act for something that turned out to be nothing more than a handful of French separatist fanatics who had kidnapped two high profile people and murdered one of them. Let's not attack Muslims, let's not vandalize mosques...that makes us the same. But if these bleepers manipulate the system as they would like to, and we give them all the publicity they seek, then they win in the end. That would be tragic.

Maybe it's one of those things that only makes a difference when it hits close to home like this. I'm confident that we're 'classy' enough and mature enough to deal with this properly. In the meantime their complaints that they can't use a phone, can't talk to their families and can't pray together now that they almost blew up our country's heritage should fall on deaf ears. A small price to pay. I have no sympathy.

"I expect my client to get a fair trial, as fair as any other trial that happens in Canada" was what one of the lawyers said who was just being interviewed, and then quickly added that the Prime Minister should keep his mouth shut on this matter so he doesn't bias the case. Wait a minute! The Prime Minister speaks on national issues on behalf of Canada last time I checked.

We live in a wiggly world. But those who are guilty are not going to change the fact that it is OUR country, not theirs. It is OUR society, not theirs. It is OUR world, not theirs. I still maintain that everyone deserves tolerance, but not when it comes to victimizing someone else....that's where I draw the tolerance line. I don't see that as a contradiction at all.

PEACE.



Tim McVeigh blew up a building in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Just thought I'd add that editorial comment.

You're right, of course. My mistake. I apologize.

R.

I agree with you on the tolerance issue. But the line does have to be drawn somewhere for our own safety.

Preach it, brother! Political correctness is gonna get us killed. Like you said, if shady muslim at the border looks suspicious, then shady muslim at the border gets profiled. Don't like it? Shoulda thought of that before killing our citizens for your holy war. Go push your so called religion in your own infested hellhole country and leave us be...

Mackey: I think you hit the nail on the head. It's an issue of personal safety, not personal belief. It's really that simple.

Shane: I agree with you on everything except the last sentence. I'm not a "go back to where you came from" isolationist...we ALL 'came' from somewhere, and are free to worship in whatever way we choose, including not at all....except, again, when it comes to infringing on someone else's rights and freedoms. A lot of Muslims are born in Canada and the States, of course, or immigrate according to the laws of the land, and have as much right to full citizenship and worship privileges as I do.

I'll also concede that a part of the problem is the same deeper social problem that underlies the ethnic gang problems in inner city Toronto or middle-class suburbia Edmonton. A lot of the 'next generation' are fitting into the category of 'alienated youth', just as it was in the days when I was a kid. Back then, differences were settled with a fistfight and a bloody nose out behind the ball diamond backstop at noonhour. Now it's a knife in the gut or a gunshot to the head. Respect for life has been lost somewhere. That's what unsettles me the most. I find it a bit disturbing when I see blown-up body parts lying in the streets of Baghdad and it reminds me it must be suppertime because the news come on at 6. That's cold. We've de-sensitized ourselves to horror by turning it into entertainment. The bloodier and more violent the crime or movie or TV series or newsclip, the more publicity it gets. We're not entirely blameless in this whole situation.

I'm right there with you, on this. Even though some here seem to think that is the wrong tack to take. I have never been too (politically) correct, it seems, in the last 20 years.

I'm pretty intolerant when it comes to intolerance too.

Nevertheless, I reserve the right to reserve my judgment til I have all the facts, and I'm sorry to say that in today's world, I know I'll never have all the facts.

I can't help noticing that as soon as Bush got elected, with a very unclear mandate at best, a situation arose that gave him unprecedented support among the American people for his high-handed and misguided military strategy for the Muslim world.

Now I notice that a conservative leader with somewhat similar views and aims has arisen in Canada, with a weak mandate and a lot of mistrust.

Voila... a conspiracy appears, one whose details enrage the Canadian public, effectively creating a mandate, strengthening sympathy for his right-wing views and his military desires.

I'm not naive enough to think extremism isn't here and couldn't hit close to home. But I'm savvy enough to know that the "good guys" are far from good, and that their powers are far more extensive than I could possibly know, and that they are likely to use every method at their disposal - including manipulation of the press and public sentiment - to pursue their war.

The first casualty of war is truth. Corollary: to assume we know the truth is to countenance the war.

Dave: As you know, politically, I'm more left-wing than right-wing, so I have suspicions about Harper and his agenda to change the fundamental character of who we've been for a long time. I also agree that he is taking political advantage of the circumstances, but that's what politicians do. When I have to choose between a terrorist who is on a jihad to kill innocents or a crooked politician, I'm going to pick the crooked politician every day. That's a choice that can be remedied.

And I agree, just because something is reported doesn't make it true, and the corollary to that, I suppose is that a whole lot of the truth never gets reported.

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  • I'm Evydense
  • From Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
  • And I'm tired of living in the shadow of narrow-mindedness and ignorance. So here's the fax, Jack! "The Bible contains six admonishments to homosexuals and three hundred and sixty-two admonishments to heterosexuals. That doesn't mean that God doesn't love heterosexuals. It's just that they need more supervision." - Lynne Lavner*** I'm confused; curious; satisfied; realistically resigned to being a frustrated idealist; usually at peace with myself, but not always. Amazed at how little I know, and wondering how much I need to understand.
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