Terrorism is no longer an issue dealt with exclusively or primarily by the nation’s major media. I think it was back on 9 July 2005 that Mike Garrett, writing for the Kamloops Daily News
in British Columbia filed an interesting editorial. It is with his permission that I repost his piece:“Could Canada be a target?
A Daily News editorial by Mike Garrett
Could it happen here?
That’s the question on the minds of many western nations in the wake of the London bombings earlier this month.
Unlike the acts of terror unleashed on Sept. 11 and in Madrid — which were engineered by foreign nationals with ties to al-Qaida — the Underground attacks were carried out on British citizens by British-born citizens with no known al-Qaida links.
July 7 also marked the first time a suicide bomb attack had occurred in a western nation, marking a new and especially frightening chapter in the war on terror, as there is no defence against this type of attack.
This week, the chairman of the Senate committee on national security and defence warned that it is only a matter of time before terror comes to Canadian soil.
“Our intelligence communities have been warning us for some time that this is a certainty — not if, but when and how and where,” said Senator Colin Kenny.
Those sentiments were echoed by Public Safety Minister Anne McLellan, who said that Canadians must be “prepared psychologically” for a terrorist attack.
With dire predictions like this, it’s hard not to become despondent and fearful. But there are key differences between Britain and Canada that offer hope.
Canada is a nation that has worked hard to ensure that immigrants are integrated into our multicultural society and given all opportunities possible to succeed and feel a part of their new country.
By contrast, many British Muslims are poorly integrated into a society that is still rigidly class-bound. In fact, Europe as a whole has never adequately dealt with its Muslim minorities, who often find themselves cut off from their country, language and culture of origin, making them easy prey for peddlers of a new jihadist identity.
The younger second generation especially finds itself on the outside looking in. Their unemployment rates usually hover at two to three times higher than the national average and some find themselves drawn to more radicalized proponents of Islam.
This is not to suggest that extremism could not take root in Canada — the Air India bombings being a prime example — but the ground is certainly less fertile.
Canada has strict laws against hate and incitement to violence, as aboriginal leader David Ahenakew found out recently when he was convicted of wilfully promoting hatred after he called Jews “a disease.”
Whereas in England, Muslim extremists have been free to preach messages of hate and violence while the British government has, up to now, turned a blind eye.
Still, it takes very little to radicalize some Muslims these days with all the blood being shed in the Middle East. And Canada, while not in Iraq, still has troops on the ground in Afghanistan and could be perceived as a foe of Islam.
So Muslim leaders in Canada have a part to play, too. The greatest restraint on human behaviour is what a culture and a religion deem shameful. Too many young Muslims see suicide bombers as heroes, not murderers. They need new role models to replace bin Laden and his ilk. The world is waiting for a new type of Muslim leader to shatter this cycle of violence.
We know the danger, we’ve seen the horror — let’s start discussing solutions and avoid falling into a pit of despair and paranoia.” --Mike Garrett
Posted by Stan Markotich
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