Next comes more head-in-sand idiocy from Canadians. The Canadian version of Hirsi Ali gets slammed for making sensible statements on Islam, and yet a major catasprophe in the making hardly moves the typical Canadian to open his eyes. I am not making up this stuff.
And finally, Canadians are to blame for not doing enough to include Muslims in their reindeer games: [Y]outh feel they don't belong and are victimized by "Islamophobia."
THE TERROR RAIDS: BEFORE AND AFTER
Authorities confronted 'wall of silence'
CSIS, RCMP briefed Muslim leaders before going public with news of arrests
OMAR EL AKKAD
With a report from Colin Freeze
It may have been the most politically correct terrorism bust in history.
The Canadian Security Intelligence Service and the RCMP met with members of the Canadian Muslim community every month for a year to discuss security concerns before last Friday's 17 arrests. But the outreach program took an unprecedented turn during an 8 a.m. meeting last Saturday -- two hours before authorities briefed the world about the arrests -- when Toronto-area Muslim community leaders were told the details of the most high-profile terrorism sweep in Canadian history.
"It was a form of pre-emptive outreach, for lack of a better word," said spokeswoman Barbara Campion.
Canada's secret security apparatus has been putting serious effort into softening its image for much of the past year, conscious of the fact that for many Muslim immigrants, the phrase "secret police" is synonymous with violence and coercion.
Hussein Hamdani, a lawyer and member of the government's cross-cultural roundtable on security, said he and others tried to explain to police why they had to engage the Muslim community.
"We would say, 'Look, you're doing a negative job when doing outreach because you have this wall of silence,' " he said. "I don't think they listened for a long time."
But recently, CSIS has been listening. Under the tenure of Jim Judd, who took over as director in November of 2004, the spy agency has taken specific steps to bring the Muslim community onside.
For example, the agency has dropped phrases such as "Sunni Islamic extremist threat" from its lexicon. At last Saturday's news conference, agents very deliberately avoided using the words Muslim or Islamic when describing the arrests.
Agents also made sure to mention they'd received assistance in the investigation from the Muslim community. According to Mr. Hamdani, this served two purposes: It projected a "we're in this together" message to Muslims, and it indicated to other listeners that not all members of the religion are extremist sympathizers. Authorities also quickly translated the contents of the news conference and other news releases into Arabic and Urdu.
But the timing of Saturday's news conference was also very deliberate. The RCMP were able to communicate with reporters before any court appearance, thereby avoiding the possibility of a media ban.
Authorities were stung by such a ban in the case of Canadian Momin Khawaja, who is accused of a plot to kill British citizens. Mr. Khawaja was the first person charged under Canada's new anti-terrorism laws. While the media were not able to report details of the case because of a publication ban, they were able to report Mr. Khawaja's family asserting that he was a victim of racial profiling.
The RCMP's image was also hurt by an ill-fated investigation three years ago known as Project Thread, in which 20 Pakistani men were held on suspicion of terrorism. The case was later exposed as being highly circumstantial, and the terror charges didn't stick. The operation eventually earned the mocking nickname Project Threadbare.
But even though Canada's security apparatus has become much more savvy since then, it remains unclear whether the Muslim community's response will ultimately prove different.
Muslim Canadian Congress representative Tarek Fatah, who was at Saturday's meeting, said imams brought up a number of concerns after being told what had happened. One asked why authorities hadn't told them sooner about the suspects, so the religious leaders could have put a stop to their plot, Mr. Fatah said.
According to Mr. Fatah, another imam asked whether the authorities could keep the meeting a secret.
"If bishops were meeting regularly with the RCMP, what do you think their congregations would think?" Mr. Fatah said.
Muslim MNA warns against indifference towards spread of radical Islam
Judeoscope.ca - Quebec's only Muslim elected to the National Assembly, Fatima Houda-Pépin (Liberal), told Le Devoir yesterday that under cover of religion hate propaganda is allowed to spread in the province like a cancer and questioned the representativity of certain Muslim spokespeople.
... Houda-Pépin who was condemned last year by a large coalition of Islamic organizations for introducing in the National Assembly a unanimously adopted resolution against the implementation of Sharia in Canada, said Quebecers and Canadians have yet to wake up to the danger of radical Islam.
Houda-Pépin ... contrasted society's vigilance of hate speech propagated by Nazi skinheads with its indifference towards religious hate speech....
By KATHLEEN HARRIS, PARLIAMENTARY BUREAU
Muslim youth are drawn to radical and dangerous acts because they're increasingly marginalized in Canadian society, Islamic leaders warned yesterday as they demanded Prime Minister Stephen Harper hold a summit on curbing extremism.
The Canadian Council on American-Islamic Relations said government and community leaders must find ways to promote a more peaceful, calm society in the wake of the "homegrown" Toronto terrorism bust that netted five youth suspects.
'EXTEND A HAND'
"Muslim leaders from across Canada are coming forward today in order to extend a hand to all Canadians so we can face together the problems of radicalization," said Karl Nickner, executive director of the council.Radicalization is not a Muslim issue of faith, but a socioeconomic problem, Nickner said, drawing an analogy with the Mafia not being just a problem for the Italian community.
Muslim and Arab leaders called for greater diversity in Canada's security and intelligence agencies and said there should be greater sensitivity training for officers.
Shahina Siddiqui, president of the Islamic Social Services Association, said youth feel they don't belong and are victimized by "Islamophobia."
"So they're marginalized, or they become prey to people who look at the vulnerabilities and prey on that," Siddiqui said.
NDP Leader Jack Layton agrees formal dialogue is required to address the sense of marginalization experienced by youth.
Liberal MP Omar Alghabra said a summit is just the start, but insisted there must be more outreach into schools, religious gatherings and community centres.
Meanwhile, Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day said there's a growing problem with terrorist groups and organized criminals enlisting kids as young as 12 to steal cars to finance their illicit activities.
If I could make up nonsense like this I'd be working as a reporter for the New York Times. I don't have the imagination for it.
Aside from carping there should be some point to this post, and I like to think there is. The intention is to give us all the impetus to stand up at the water cooler and say to the person next to us that this dhimmi idiocy is revolting. That's all I hope to do with this post. That's all you have to do to make a significant difference in the world. Just say to your neighbour: This is stupid and insulting, this dhimmi rubbish in our papers and our governments and our schools. Obivous dishonesty needs the corrective of honest response from honest people.
Say to someone: "Did you read about the Canadians?"
Formal dialogue is required to address the sense of marginalization experienced by normal people.
Speak up, friend.