Only a few days ago, Canadian authorities thwarted a potential attack on Canadian soil. Seventeen men- twelve adults and five youths- were arrested. They had in their possession three times the ammonium nitrate used to destroy a federal building in Oklahoma City. The suspects had been monitored for months. More arrests are expected.
Many people are breathing sighs of relief that a potentially disastrous attack had been stopped in its tracks before being carried out. Experts are not surprised that such attacks could occur in Canada and encourage caution.
These are the facts as they have been reported.
What is blood-boiling, aside from the plans of murder and destruction, is the inevitable tide of white-washing that is now occurring. The suspects, Canadian citizens who are obviously of Middle Eastern and Islamic extraction, have put family and friends at a loss to explain what is going. It is understandable. No one wants to believe their brother or father is capable of mass murder. Except that the police found ammonium nitrate in their possession and have been monitored for expressiing anti-Western sentiments. A prominent- and controversial- imam, Aly Hindy, from the Salaheddin Islamic Centre near Toronto, made the claim that the authorities are now falsely accusing the suspects. He says:
"It's not terrorism. It could be some criminal activity with a few guys, that's all."
I failed to make myself heard. THREE TIMES THE AMOUNT OF AMMONIUM NITRATE USED TO DESTROY A FEDERAL BUILDING IN OKLAHOMA CITY. Either the imam is incredibly mistaken or is in denial.
We cannot make any more assumptions or say anything definitively untill all the facts are known and the suspects are tried in a court of law, a privelige considering many countries do not afford their accused such a "luxury". That's not what this post is about. This post is about looking at some cold and hard facts, accepting these facts and changing our perspectives about certain people and things. I expect nothing of the sort. I just wish it.
But I digress...
Consider the bomb at the Guildford pub in 1974. "We must hunt down the maniacs and animals who would do this kind of thing," demanded former Minister for Northern Ireland, David Howell. Strong words in response to atrocities committed by the IRA (long before the July 7th attacks in London). The violence of the Troubles turned opinions against Northern Irish Catholics. Where were the apologists for the attacks? Not the obvious deflections from the likes of Gerry Adams but the actual denials and justifications for the crimes of murder and destruction?
Consider the extremist Eric Rudolph, poster-boy for the oft-decried phenomenon of "Christian terrorism". No one in their right minds would defend such a man (though there were some who did defend him please note I justified the preceding statement with the qualifiers "right mind"). Nevertheless, it did not prevent the popular media from painting entire special interest groups as "extremists". Did anyone reach out an olive branch and declare that while a few may be- how shall we say? -"misguided"- others were well-informed and peaceful? Nonsense! It couldn't be!
So why is everyone on the defensive now? What makes this case incredibly different from cases that were similiar? Why was everyone ready to believe that the entirety of this group or that groups was capable of murder and incapable of compassion but not the one in question? There can't be enough white-washing and sugar-coating in the case in Canada. Muslim leaders and groups are called in. Everyone is asked to reach out to their fellow Muslims (that's hard to do if you are not Muslim). Why? No one is accusing all Muslims of anything (but the presence of leaders and groups makes one questions why be so defensive if this is isolated and completely out-of-character for the mainstream).
If someone could tell me why the standards are completely different for one group and not another maybe I wouldn't make such a big deal of it now.