Ayanle Hassan Ali was arrested Mar. 14 after allegedly stabbing and injuring two Canadian Armed Forces members. During the attack he said “Allah told me to do this,” the Toronto Sun reports.
This led the police to reasonably conduct an investigation into possible terrorism ties, although they said they believe Ali acted alone.
Once this was established, the “T” word should have been dropped entirely from the conversation.
It would be best if the term “lone wolf” could be avoided as well, but it’s not entirely unreasonable as long as the context isn’t “lone wolf terrorist.” Though these days it’s hard to hear the first two words without jumping straight to the third.
Of course that’s not the real world. Lots of people are calling Ali a terrorist, some of them with salaried positions at major media outlets.
This is because of rhetoric that has been building to a deafening crescendo until it lost all meaning several years ago. Starting with 9/11, growing through the American war in Iraq with Canadians in Afghanistan, playing through the Arab Spring and the Libyan war and now with the rise of ISIS. Anyone that wants to hurt somebody is a terrorist. And unspoken by those buying it is a subtle implication: all terrorists are Muslims (and most are brown.)
This sort of divisive, reductive reasoning is usually associated with our neighbours to the south but our country was allowed to devolve in some pretty serious ways with 10 years of the xenophobic, nationalistic and militaristic Harper government.
This “us vs. them” mentality really got set off in Canada when an angry, desperate man named Michael Zehaf-Bibeau broke into Parliament Hill with a rifle after killing on-duty soldier Cpl. Nathan Cirillo. Zehaf-Bibeau was killed and Canada realized Parliament Hill’s security is godawful.
Zehaf-Bibeau turned out to have had serious personal problems and difficulty staying employed, and while he claimed affiliation with ISIS, it was determined he had acted alone.
With the organized terror element addressed, that should have been the end of it.
Instead, Bill C-24 was passed to allow the stripping of Canadian citizenship from dual citizens and Bill C-52 was passed, giving Canadian intelligence agencies unprecedented access to the personal information and private lives of citizens under the guise of national security.
It’s all very Orwellian, but it’s 2016 so clearly this kind of stuff couldn’t happen any more. Trudeau’s the Prime Minister after all!
Oh. It’s still happening? Okay. Nevermind.
At least be consistent. If the media’s going to portray Ali as a lone wolf terrorist, give Anders Breivik the same discourtesy.
For those unfamiliar with Breivik, he is currently standing trial for killing eight people in Oslo, Norway in 2011 when he blew up a van. He then killed 69 mostly young people at a summer camp on the island of Utøya. Breivik had previously passed out a number of flyers called 2083: A European Declaration of Independence which extolled the evils of Islam and cultural Marxism.
He is a practitioner of Odinism, and gave the Nazi salute in his first day of court. The guy’s a poster-boy white supremacist. He also acted alone in his actions, and yet nobody in the media’s calling him a radical Odinist turned into a lone wolf terrorist by the seductive power of the Nazi Party.
Objectively, Breivik’s crimes are of an order of magnitude greater than those of Ali and the nature of his ideology much better understood and arguably more deplorable than a guy who said god told him to do it. Breivik commits a worse crime for better known reasons and gets called ‘crazy’. Meanwhile Ali gets labeled a potential lone wolf terrorist.
What could the reason for that possibly be?