Saturday, June 10, 2006

Fanatics, Seers, and the Sane.

"Radical Chic is only radical in style; in its heart it is part of Society and its traditions."
Tom Wolfe,
Radical Chic & Mau-Mauing the Flak Catchers.

"Pin the convert's badge on them first and sort them out later."
V.I. Lenin, State and Revolution.

What are we about? Are we involved at the front of a war against primitivism and reaction, against a neo-feudalist wave of philobarbarist collectivists determined to destroy our Modernity? Our governments seem not to understand what to us is the obvious, and we stand outside the corridors of power, frustrated and demanding and angry. Are we smarter than those elected to represent us as our governors? Are we better informed and more concerned that the average person with whom we share our right to vote? Where is the line between activism and fanatical presumption? Lee Harris picks up part of our concern. There is a great deal more to look at and think about.

This is the thing we must remember about fanaticism. If you are living under an orderly government, like the United States, there is a single man in charge, and he is the causal force that sets everything else in motion. The President gives an order, and everyone down the hierarchy of command obeys it without thinking whether he should obey it. It's his job to obey. Furthermore, no one at the lower levels feels at liberty to act on his own initiative -- that is not his job.

Fanatics, on the other hand, do not have jobs; they have missions. Fanatics do not sit and quietly wait for orders to come down to them from on high -- being fanatics, they take matters into their own hands, and carry out their own missions, with or without the stamp of approval of higher ups in the bureaucracy, because, among fanatics, there is no bureaucracy, and there are no higher ups. To have the authority to act, it is enough simply to be a fanatic. What more does a fanatic need to prove himself than to display his willingness to kill and to die for the cause? The fanatic does not need to take standardized tests, or to score high on merit exams. He just needs to be a fanatic.

Finally, because there is nothing more contagious than fanaticism, al-Zarqawi may well feel that he had accomplished his mission already. He did his part to sow the suspicion and distrust among neighbors that is an essential element in the spread of fanaticism. Unless we can come to understand the logic of fanaticism, despite all its alien and repugnant qualities in our eyes, we will continue to see rays of hope in the Middle East where there are none. You can kill the fanatic; but you cannot kill his fanaticism. It has a life of its own, and a will to match. Worse, what is enough to make sober and prudent men change their minds works exactly the opposite on the fanatic -- it gives him renewed conviction.

When the vanguard of a new understanding comes to the fray and sees the great majority lingering in a fog it is frustrating at least. We see clearly what we know others will see in time, and our impatience makes us more determined than ever to move the mass ahead. Is it fanaticism or a clear assessment of reality? Do we have a right to go beyond shouting "Fire" to the point of shoving people out the door to safety? At what point do our majority of fellows endanger our minoirty lives by posing and posturing? And do we convert those we will and toss off the rest as worthless? How far ahead of our own can we go? At what point do we rightly forego our fellows as ignorant and apathetic while we are in danger? Are we fanatics? Must we go down in defeat due to those of ours who just don't get it? Or are we extremists?

Friday, June 09, 2006

Redneck Special Forces

Bulletin from the Pentagon:

The Pentagon announced today the formation of a new 500-man elite fighting unit called the United States Redneck Special Forces.
These Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas boys will be dropped off into Iraq and have been given only the following facts about terrorists:
1. The season opened today.
2. There is no limit.
3. They taste just like chicken.
4. They don't like beer, pickups, country music or Jesus.
5. They are DIRECTLY RESPONSIBLE for the death of Dale Earnhardt.
The Pentagon expects the problem in Iraq to be over by Friday.

Thanks CGW.

Outreach a victim yoot.

The first story below is so incredible that if it didn't come from Canada I'd think it was some weird joke. Look for yourself: Canadians are to blame for not doing enough to warn the Muslims that there are terrorists in the Muslim community.

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."


Authorities confronted 'wall of silence'

CSIS, RCMP briefed Muslim leaders before going public with news of arrests


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 - 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....



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.


"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.

Innocent Muslims Targetted by Hitlerians.

Had we but world enough and time we could dwell on the charms of the Muslim ummah eternally, finding testimonials to each and every one accused of wrong-doing. In the past few days we scooped up at least these few gems.

The National Post of June 9, 2006, p. A1.

UK Suspect linked to terror Group in Pakistan.

"Mr. Khan was arrested at 9:00 p.m. on Tuesday.... Mr Khan's friends and family said they could not imagine him being invvolved in terrorist activities."

The National Post of June 6, 2006, pp. A1, A6.

"Pretty Much Born Here."

"But Ali was not an exremist," his brother said. "No, he wasn't that type." Mr Mohammed's mother agreed, saying, "Ali [Mohammed Dirie] didn't believe like that."


"I feel screwed by life," Yasisn [Abi Mohmmed] told his mother when she visited him at his Kingston prison, she said.

She thinks Yasin is innocent and that he is accused of terrorism only because he is Muslim. The's not a terrorist. This is not fair," she said "They finish his life."

The National Post of June 6, 2006, p. A7.

"Alleged leaders described as 'nice guys.'

Qayyum Abdul Jamal.

Mosque member Sam Lela told reporters yesterday tha Mr. Jamal is a "soft" person always eager to help those in need.

He said he didn't believe Mr Jamal or any of the mosque members implicated in the plot were capable of hurting others.

Fahim Ahmad.

The young man has known Mr. Ahmad for about a year and described him as nice, outgoing and always willing to help with a problem. He also said Mr. Ahamd played basketball of Fridays at the local mosque.

Amin Mohammed Durrani.

On hearing the news, Mr. Khan said he was shocked. "It's really hard to believe this."

Zakaria Amara.

Mike Paaku, a next door neighbour to the west, said Mr. Amara appeared to be a "normal nice guy."

Shareef Abdelhaleem.

"He is a very decent and good kid," said Mohammed Abdelhaleem, the man's father. "He has no violent inclinations at all. I couldn't believe it when I heard it. It is not in our family. We have no intentions of such things.

He said his son's only "crime" is that "he goes and prays in the mosque."

"It is all fake, for God's sake," he said of the charges against his son. "There is no foundation."

Jahmaal James.

"He's a very nice guy, you know. He came to me to ask about getting married," said Mr Hindy....

"I had no idea he was involved in anything like this," said his father in an interview at the Scarborough townhouse he shares with his son and 83 year old grandmother.

Abdul Shakur.

"We were surprised, really, [at his arrest] nbecause he'd been living with us and we had no idea." said Mr. Attique.

Admad Ghany.

A man with a Muslim student association at Mc Master said Mr. Ghany was a quiet, unassuming man."

And finally we come to poor Asad Ansari, of whom not much good is claimed:

"Not everyone knows each other, she said, declining to give her name. "But it's not like they were hiding." They were a quiet family and watered their lawn but didn't always cut it," she said.

Played basketball. Didn't mow the lawn. Oh. Oh. The horror! It's all your fault, you... whatever you are.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Muslims running out of self-- ah- -steam

Al Zarqawi: Advancing Progress No More

By Red Square
6/8/2006, 5:03 pm

Another leader of social progress has been murdered by American war criminals today. The Left movement has lost a prominent comrade who helped us fight US imperialism at home and abroad. Every glorious beheading and school bus explosion he committed was cherished by human rights activists as another proof of the cynical nature of the Bush administration.

Why right-wing extremists cheer Zarqawi's death
Should we love Al Zarqawi? Many think so
Zarqawi killed, but more impotantly - what have US marines done wrong lately?
Zarqawi Studies Center and Museum to open in University of Colorado at Boulder
FCC bans "dancing Zarqawi" iPod commercial
Cameron Diaz gets a cool Zarqawi tattoo

FCC bans "dancing Zarqawi" iPod commercial

Just like Che Guevara before him, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi will be remembered by generations of progressives who will make sure his legacy lives on. A commemorative T-shirt has been produced and is recommended as casual wear after a 7-day official mourning period is over.

NOTE: do not discard mourning materials and supplies, they may still be needed as US occupiers aren't yet leaving the Middle East despite our mounting pressure.

Lots of good satire at the site above.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Facing Reality Face-to-Face

I was searching for a line from Rilke's novel when I came across this:

"Shakespeare's King Henry IV, Part II, where the former prince has shed his profligate lifestyle to become King Henry V. Visited by his erstwhile drinking companion, Falstaff, the new and mature king says:"

Presume not that I am the thing I was;
For God doth know, so shall the world perceive,
That I have turned away my former self (V,v).

People change by virtue of living, and that's an end to it. However, we change rapidly in times of crisis, some of us becoming different in ground rather than simply in colour or taste and such. The very ground of being heaves, and we are as we were not. For a number of us that personal upheaval happened on 9-11-01. For some the ground of being is still shifting. Others float along on the shifting sands. I will not presume that you are who you were. Nor will I presume that as you are you will remain. The upheavals have not ended, and they won't for us till our time is over. Today we assume new roles and duties. Old masks have fallen, and we assume new identities: being that was is now uncovered as being what is and unearthed as us. Like it or not, many of us are who were might never have been. Now you are discovered and you are called.

Rilke in The Journal of Malte Laurids Brigge, (p.71) writes:

"The mouleur, whose shop I pass every day, has hung two masks beside his door. The face of the young drowned woman, a cast of which was taken in the Morgue because it was beautiful, because it smiled, smiled so deceptively, as though it knew. And beneath it, his face, which knows."

That's not the quotation I sought. That's a quotation for those who do not know. Rilke wrote in the same work that "He" is the mask behind which the author lies as person, and the quotation is illustrative because we act so at our peril. We can look at ourselves and see a false image of our being as we are not but might wish were so. We cannot afford such sentimentality any longer. The masks are slipped. We have to accept our faces and face the world honestly as we now are. Our previous masks of over-sensitive poets hanging gently on our fronts is no longer worthy of us.

For most of us the newness of war is discomfiting and alienating. We have lived so long behind masks of Romance and false feeling that to see what we truly are is to look on horror when we do so. We are, from the deeps, now ourselves.

Recently 17 Muslims were arrested in Toronto, Canada on charges related to a conspiracy to murder at random a mass of innocent civilians. To suggest that people are in denial over this occasion is to mouth worthless cliches and to lapse into passivity and smugness. It's not enough to condemn the fools among us. You are not the person you were, and life will not allow you to pretend in good faith. You know the Muslims will kill you in time, and if not you your children. Pretty is a fashion out of date. Ugly is stylish in the season.

So shall the world perceive,
That you have turned away your former self.

We will meet on Thursday evening in the atrium of the Vancouver Public Library from 7-9:00 p.m. to sit and drink coffee and talk about our new lives and our responses to them. It's time to hang up the old masks of denial and dhimmitude and pleasing the p.c. chorus with pretty noises. We talk about jihad, we talk about socialism, we talk about a new covenant for Canada and for free people in free nations. You'll know us because we wear blue kerchiefs and blue scarves. We are the ones you can sit with to discuss the nature of the new unmasked and possibly beautiful.

VPL, 7-9:00 p.m. In the Atrium usually at Blenz.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Mosque Vandalized: A Kristallnacht-type Incident

Somebody smashed car windows and some windows at a mosque in Ontario, Canada. We turn first to a short intro. to those details and then to comments on the incident from a Canadian point of view from

Mosque vandalized
Blair urges tolerance, calm after dozens of windows smashed
Jun. 5, 2006. 01:00 AM

Omar Farouk wandered slowly around the huge Rexdale mosque yesterday, pausing briefly at each of the three dozen broken windows and glass doors.

"It is a sad day for us," the president of the International Muslims Organization of Toronto said as he surveyed the overnight vandalism that caused more than $15,000 damage at one of the city's biggest mosques.

"This is the house of God," he said. "Whoever did this has no respect for God and is not a decent citizen of this country."

The windshields of five vehicles parked behind the mosque were also smashed in the early morning spree.

Farouk said the attack, which appeared to be the work of a single vandal using an axe or hammer, was the first vandalism at the mosque since a single window was smashed the night following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the United States in 2001.

Farouk said he feared the latest vandalism may have been a backlash after the arrests of 12 men and five youths accused of planning terrorist attacks in the Greater Toronto area.

This is as equally disturbing as the planned terrorist attacks in Ontario that were foiled by law enforcement officials.

I won't say what famous event this vandalism reminds me of, but I hope never to see its like in Canada again. It is important that we all live in peace and friendship together, and not start lashing out at Muslims, most of whom condemn terrorism.

More to the point, we can all do more to promote peaceful co-existences of different cultures in Canada, something for which our nation is internationally famous.

posted by John Murney at 7:45 AM on Jun 05 2006

John Murney said:

I think I know what you are trying to say Lance. I live in the real world, and am aware that fighting terrorism requires toughness and action. I also think it requires tolerance and acceptance at the local level, so we don't see any more Kristallnacht types incidents like the one just reported in Toronto. I find this attack, just like those against synagogues, to be deeply disturbing and unacceptable, and I know you do too.

2:48 PM


Stubblejumper said:

"Just so I'm clear on the motif here, are we equating vandalism to a plot of mass murder?"

11:07 PM


John Murney said:

"Stubblejumper, your comments are quite disgusting. I did not say that, and you know it."

Eric Margolis, Toronto, Pakistan DailyStar.

From Pakistan's Daily Times we finally learn the truth about the 17 innocent Muslims recently arrested in Toronto, Canada. And if that's not credible enough for our discerning readers, following is a lovely piece from the Toronto Star. Yes, we will find that the whole arrest sweep is a plot by Right wing conspirators and the hated Yankees. So far the Joooos don't figure in this but in keeping with the piece: "Death to Israel."

And just to top it off, a piece of real worth from Toronto's own Eric Margolis, journalist extraordinaire.

Death to America.

Death to Denmark.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Police planted evidence: Terrorists' arrest in Toronto was a sting operation

* No evidence suspects planned to attack US

By Khalid Hasan

WASHINGTON: The three tonnes of ammonium nitrate found with the Totonto terrorism suspects was planted by the police in an elaborate sting operation.

According to Toronto Star, "Sources say investigators who had learned of the group's alleged plan to build a bomb were controlling the sale and transport of the massive amount of fertiliser, a key component in creating explosives. Once the deal was done, the RCMP-led anti-terrorism task force moved in for the arrests." At the news conference held by the police, there was no mention of the sting operation. Among the intended targets of the group, one report said, was the Parliament in Ottawa and the headquarters of Canada's premier spy agency.

The 12 adults charged are: Fahim Ahmad, 21; Jahmaal James, 23; Amin Mohamed Durrani, 19; and Steven Vikash Chand, 25, all of Toronto; Zakaria Amara, 20; Asad Ansari, 21; Shareef Abdelhaleen, 30; Ahmad Mustafa Ghany, 21; Saad Khalid, 19; and Qayyum Abdul Jamal, 43, all of Mississauga; and Mohammed Dirie, 22 and Yasin Abdi Mohamed, 24. Six of the 12 suspects lived in the Toronto suburb of Mississauga, four came from Toronto and two from the town of Kingston in Ontario. The last two are already in custody on a gun smuggling charge.

The police also arrested five youngsters but their identities or names have not bee made public. At a court hearing in Toronto on Saturday, all the suspects were produced and Canadian newspapers published photographs of head-to-toe, black burqa clad group of women said to belong to the one or more of the families of the men arrested. One whose face was visible looked like a Pakistani. Several of the men, photographed as they were being brought in police cars, were bearded.

The charges include participating in or contributing to the activity of a terrorist group, including training and recruitment; providing or making available property for terrorist purposes; and the commission of indictable offences, including firearms and explosives offences for the benefit of or in association with a terrorist group.

According to the Toronto Star report, "Anser Farooq, a lawyer who represents five of the accused, pointed at snipers on the roof of the courthouse and said, "This is ridiculous. They've got soldiers here with guns. This is going to completely change the atmosphere. I think the police cast their net far too wide," he said.

According to the Globe and Mail, defence lawyer Rocco Galati, who was representing some of the suspects, protested the intense security measures at the court. Galati later scoffed at the allegations. "I've seen fertiliser for the last eight years," he said.

Aly Hindy, a Toronto imam, said he knew several of the accused because they prayed at his mosque but said they were not terrorists. "The charges are to keep George Bush happy, that's all," he added sardonically. The Globe and Mail did not mention that all incriminating evidence had been planted on the suspects.

AP adds: US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said there was no indication that the arrested were trying to plan an attack in the United States. "We certainly don't believe that there's any link to the United States, but obviously we will follow up," said Rice. "I think we will get whatever information we need," she said. "But it's obviously a great success for the Canadians. They're to be congratulated for it."\06\05\story_5-6-2006_pg7_6

Snipers, leg irons, selected evidence, police brass — all calculated to sway the public, lawyers and security experts say

Jun. 5, 2006. 08:16 AM


"A good spectacle ... theatrical atmosphere ... like 24 ... an awards show."Reviews for a Mirvish production, right? Maybe a Hollywood blockbuster or fast-paced new action series on Fox?

Wrong. It's how several lawyers and security experts describe the sombre, indeed frightening, events which transpired in the GTA over the past weekend. At a news conference Saturday, a dozen of the highest-ranking police officers in the province gathered to announce that an alleged terrorist cell had been shut down before it could explode a truck bomb three times more powerful than the device used in Oklahoma City. They were circumspect about Operation O-Sage, arguing time constraints in the preparation of evidence as well as police procedure. The anti-terrorism task force was careful about the wording of its news release, saying that the group "took steps to acquire" the three tonnes of ammonium nitrate, a popular fertilizer used to make bombs. As well, they laid out selected evidence for the photographers and TV crews, showing only "sample" bags of ammonium nitrate.

Meanwhile, under massive police security which included sharpshooters on nearby roofs and tactical squad officers with submachine-guns, suspects were brought in leg irons to the provincial courthouse in Brampton. There, in Room 101, Justice of the Peace John Farnum postponed bail hearings until tomorrow morning.

For the experts contacted by the Star, these events were as much about creating an image for the public as about charging the individuals. And it's an image, they argue, that could hurt the right of the accused — 12 men and five youths — to a fair trial.Being on message — "on script" as the spin doctors put it — is a concept more easily associated with politicians than police chiefs. But for a veteran of the criminal justice system like Toronto lawyer Walter Fox, it's the obvious lens through which to judge events

.The principal audience, in his view, is the Canadian public.

"Police think they have to present a show of force to advance the public's understanding that these guys are dangerous," said Fox. "Does it prejudice the mind of the public? I think so."

As a criminal lawyer, I am well aware that police and the prosecution are never stronger than at the moment when they've brought their suspects into court for the first time. I've also learned that the stronger the police seem to be at this point, the more suspicious I become that they don't have a complete case."

Overall, Fox tends to believe that the checks and balances of the justice system will probably win out. David Jacobs, a Toronto lawyer with extensive experience in international human rights law, is less sure.

"The fanfare around the arrests creates such a theatrical atmosphere one wonders if it is necessary for the enforcement of justice.... It raises the emotional level without necessarily shedding any light," he said.

In Brampton Saturday, lawyer Anser Farooq, who represents five of the accused, clearly saw the image of snipers on the roof and police armed to the teeth as negative to his clients. "This is ridiculous," he told the Star. "They've got soldiers here with guns. This is going to completely change the atmosphere."

Inside, lawyer Rocco Galati, representing two suspects, complained to Farnum about the leg irons and armed officers in the courtroom, adding: "I do not feel safe with an automatic weapon facing in my direction.

"Police evidence was carefully chosen for the news conference, held at the Toronto Congress Centre by the RCMP-led National Security Enforcement Team. The chief speaker was RCMP Assistant Commissioner Mike McDonell, and lined up behind him were chiefs of police from Toronto, York, Durham and Peel regions, as well as representatives from the Ontario Provincial Police and the Canadian Security Intelligence Service.

"When I saw all that brass lined up with every cop in southern Ontario and Canada telling us what a wonderful job they had done, I thought it was like an awards show," said Fox. "Everybody will tell you it's standard but they are all working to influence the public."

He had questions, as did Jacobs, about exactly how three tonnes of ammonium nitrate were "acquired" by the suspects. The Star has learned that when investigators monitoring the men found out about the alleged purchase of the fertilizer, they intervened before delivery, switching the potentially deadly material with a harmless substance.

Jacobs advised vigilance in seeing what comes out in court about how far police went. He said that the courts have been drawing a line past which law enforcement officers can't go without being seen as having induced the commission of a criminal offence.

He found it interesting that police referred to the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing where 168 people died in an explosion at a federal building. He said that if, for example, police arranged for delivery of the ammonium nitrate, it would shed a different light on proceedings.

"In Oklahoma City, there was no suggestion police were involved," said Jacobs, adding that there are a number of important unanswered questions in the investigation.

Jacobs also criticized police for linking the suspects to Al Qaeda, the terrorist group responsible for the 9/11 attacks, without providing evidence. Police said that cell members were "inspired" by Al Qaeda.

Fox chuckled at the way evidence was presented, notably the use of similar bags of ammonium nitrate, not the actual evidence.

Watching it on TV, he said, he had the sense of reading an old crime pulp magazine from the '50s, with lines like: "At a location similar to the one pictured above, the following events took place ..." "Was there a police infiltrator?" asked Fox. "Did a spouse talk to police or did someone arrested on more minor charges give information to police? We don't know what kind of a police operation it was. Everybody thinks that it's like on TV, but everything is far more complicated."

Michael Edmunds, administrator of the U of T's McLuhan Program in Culture & Technology, argues the public is already so influenced by television that people are receptive to the kind of message sent out by police on the weekend. Unconsciously, receptive audiences for police actions are created by such TV shows as the Fox hit 24, starring Kiefer Sutherland as counter-terrorist agent Jack Bauer. Viewers sympathize with Bauer, no matter what he has to do, because they want him to get the bad guys and protect the free world.

Edmunds argued that certain memes — or unspoken beliefs in any culture — are constantly being reinforced. Here, he said, the message was that police know what they are doing and they are protecting us.

"It's all global theatre, as Marshall McLuhan used to say. We assume the police want to help us and we assume it's good."

The interesting aspect of the weekend for him was yesterday's front-page play of the story in the New York Times. "Now we know what the police did was good," he said. "It's vindication when our brothers and sisters in the United States see it, too."

And perhaps therein lies another audience for the images of the weekend: the American public, or more precisely, official Washington, both the White House and Capitol Hill.

The Times story pointed out that Bush administration officials were kept abreast of the police investigation and arrests, adding that Canadian Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day spoke early Saturday with his U.S. counterpart, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff.

The Oklahoma City reference would surely resonate with Americans. The 1995 tragedy — the first domestic terrorist action in recent history — shocked a nation. It was exceedingly difficult for Americans to come to grips with the fact that domestic terrorists were involved, and not foreigners.

The trial of Timothy McVeigh, who was executed for the crime, was held under massive security, a preview perhaps of what Canadians can expect in the trial of the O-Sage 17."

They are putting on a good spectacle, a show," U.S. security expert John Pike said in a telephone interview from Virginia yesterday about the Canadian police show of force. "We are used to that here."

Pike said the kind of massive security force employed in U.S. trials, while clearly reinforced in the aftermath of 9/11, is not a product simply of the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks on 9/11."

There has been an inexorable militarization of the police in the United States since the 1980s," he said, citing a gradual weakening of human rights groups that began a decade earlier. "But there has been a substantial ratcheting up of security since 9/11."

Problem is, said Pike, that police and prosecutors "make a big deal of what they've got, but as trials progress, we've repeatedly seen that the prosecution's case falls apart because they simply don't have the evidence."

According to Pike, the key to the Canadian case will be the three tonnes of ammonium nitrate with which the 17 suspects supposedly plotted to set off a bomb in southern Ontario.
Police put on a `good spectacle'


PARIS – Canadians got a taste of the real world this week.

The arrest Friday of 17 suspected terrorists is stark evidence Canadians can no longer expect to escape the private enterprise violence by small groups that we call `terrorism.’

Three weeks ago, this writer warned a conference of DND and police officers that the greatest security threat to Canada would come not from the shadowy al-Qaida organization, but from angry young Canadian Muslims opposed to Canada’s presence in Afghanistan and its tacit support of US policy in Iraq and Palestine.

The recent bombing attacks in Madrid and London were not conducted by al-Qaida, but by young British-born Muslims men and Spanish residents opposed to their nation’s intervention in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Is Canada now facing its own home-grown violence? The 17 arrested men were all apparently Muslims, with the possible exception of one Indian. The RCMP suggests the arrested suspects planned to use three tons of fertilizer to build truck bombs for use against targets in southern Ontario.

This scenario is plausible. Canadian Muslims, like their brethren across the Muslim world, see western intervention in Iraq and Afghanistan as crimes against the Islamic World, and part of a new anti-Muslim crusade directed from Washington

A small number of extremists may have decided to punish Canada for sending troops to fight in Afghanistan. But before we rush to judgment, it’s worth remembering the score of Pakistanis arrested in 2003 allegedly for plotting to blow up the nuclear reactors at Pickering. After a huge media uproar and lurid claims the charges were dropped and the accused deported on minor visa irregularities.

The Bush Administration has been putting enormous pressure on Canada to `get tough’ with a wide assortment of Muslim groups and individuals protesting US policy in the Muslim World.

The raid by hundreds of Canadian security officers on a small number of young Muslim suspects in Mississauga and Kingston suggests the high-profile operation was designed as much for public relations and diplomatic reasons as national security. No doubt, Washington will be very pleased with PM Harper.

If RCMP and CSIS have in fact uncovered a major terrorist plot, kudos to them for a job well done. They will have performed far more effectively and professionally than the FBI and CIA.

But caution is advised until all the facts are known. It is also very possible Canadian security organizations have rounded up a bunch of loud-mouthed teenagers who may have been encouraged to sedition by government `agents provacatuers.’

We won’t know what really happened until the accused go to court. It seems an FBI investigation last month of a group of American Muslims from Atlanta who went to Toronto and met co-religionists there led to the current arrests. FBI and Canadian authorities believe they have uncovered an important terrorist cell plotting major attacks in Canada and the US.

But the FBI’s evidence so far appears fairly slim and may not amount to much. Recall that of the more than 2,000 Muslims arrested in the US since 2001 for suspicion of terrorism, less than 15 were convicted, and those mostly for minor visa offenses.

Canadian authorities may face the same results. Their track record so far has been unimpressive.
That, of course, may be because there are no terrorist cells plotting outrages, but just a lot of angry young men.

By sending combat troops to Afghanistan, Canada has declared itself an active participant in the US-led war against Islamic militancy. As a result, Canadians must now expect what CIA veterans call `blow-back.’ Once admired by everyone, and hated by no one, Canada has now made itself a target. It’s only a matter of time before a major attack occurs. If not this week, then soon.

The "30" above is printers' code to signify that the copy is ended. In this case one must guess it's to show Margolis is an old-time and hard-bitten journalist no one can fool.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Comments on Islam

From commentators at Jihad Watch:

Ammonium nitrate is a Fertilizer of Peace. Let's just get that straight.

Mixed with the Fuel Oil of Moderation, there may be a Tiny Minority of Explosions.

Posted by: Shinoliite [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 5, 2006 06:40 PM

Of course. Islam is the religion of fertilizer. They already believe so much male bovine fecal matter, what's another three tons?

Posted by: Bohemond_1069 [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 5, 2006 08:43 PM

I'm shocked that Muslims still think we believe them when they say they're shocked.

I stopped even pretending years ago.

Let them astound us by reforming Islam.

Posted by: profitsbeard [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 5, 2006 11:10 PM

Sunday, June 04, 2006

imam Aly Hindy's previous job

Last August, the Ottawa Sun ran a lenghty article on controversial Scarborough Ontario imam Aly Hindy.
The full article is available here.
Most startling was the revelation concerning what type of work the peaceful imam performed before devoting his life to allah. Previously we could find him...

.... [devoting] the better part of his professional life designing safety measures to protect vulnerable nuclear facilities in Ontario as well as the U.S.

The paradox -- that a man who many see as a security threat has worked in such sensitive areas -- is not lost on the imam. He still works as an engineering consultant part-time. He works at the mosque on Fridays and Sundays.

"I spent 21 years working to improve our nuclear facilities at Pickering, Bruce and Darlington. When I was designing buildings to make the society safer, people who are now saying I should be deported were probably in their diapers. I am a Canadian. My family is Canadian. My children and grandchildren are Canadian. We are part of this society. We are not going anywhere.

"I'm branded because I am helping those guys on security certificates."
Aly Hindy came to Canada in 1975 with a degree in engineering from Cairo's Ain Shams University. He prayed five times a day like other ordinary Muslims, but was not deeply religious. He was clean-shaven back then.

He enrolled at the University of Western Ontario and by 1979, four years after his arrival, completed both his masters and doctorate degrees in structural engineering. For two years, he worked with a company called Stone and Webster, helping design safer nuclear plants in the U.S. In 1981, he joined Ontario Hydro, which later became Ontario Power Generation.

For 21 years, until he took a buyout in 2002, he was a safety expert, designing ways to protect the province's hydro-electric dams and nuclear plants. He was part of a specialized team of about four to six experts whose task included thinking up extreme scenarios such as explosions, tornados or plane crashes in which a nuclear plant could be attacked or be incapacitated. It was the team's job to come up with design solutions that would prevent radioactive material from leaking and endangering people.
Mr. Hindy's lack of formal training is no impediment to being an imam. Islam has no formal process of ordaining imams and there are many examples of people who studied outside the formal structures, but became respected scholars.

Obviously, the imam has to possess some knowledge of Islamic jurisprudence in order to answer questions properly and adjudicate matters correctly. But in the end, it all comes down to community acceptance.
"If he gains recognition from the people he is serving as learned and religious-oriented, he can be imam," says the Ottawa Mosque's imam Gamal Solaiman.


While at first Mr. Hindy's affirmation of being a run-of-the-mill canadian may raise some eyebrows, the following list of beliefs suggests he has all too much in common with many anti-american Canadians I have had the misfortune of meeting..:

Mr. Hindy left Egypt for Canada 30 years ago and went on to enjoy a successful career here as an engineer. Only late in life did he re-make himself into a spiritual leader or imam -- an imam who says that the 9/11 attacks could not have been carried out without the collaboration of U.S. security services; who refused to join 120 other Canadian imams in condemning the London transit bombings; and who denies that Muslims carried out the London bombings or that the attack was committed in the name of Islam.

"After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the West had to have a new enemy. And Islam became the enemy," he said.