Another bomb -

Another bomb

New play about a “Toronto 18” terrorist is an attack on the truth


Earlier this year, Shareef Abdelhaleem was convicted for his role in a terrorist plot to detonate three truck bombs in downtown Toronto. One of the core members of the so-called “Toronto 18,” Abdelhaleem was caught on police wiretaps talking about ammonium nitrate, mass murder—and how to play the stock market to profit from the attacks. During his trial, Abdelhaleem tried to portray himself as the hapless victim, telling the judge that he was only playing along with his co-conspirators in an attempt to minimize their damage. The judge called his story “nonsensical” and declared him guilty (he will be sentenced next month). But in a new play now on stage in Toronto—a production funded in part with federal dollars—Abdelhaleem is once again portrayed as a victim of overzealous spies and a slow-moving justice system. The playwright describes Homegrown as a “true story.” It is anything but.

The Globe and Mail

Filed under:

Another bomb

  1. 'Artists' today are cowardly and ignorant like this 'playwright', he should get none of our money, let him be an A-hole on his own dime.

    • Artists' today are cowardly and ignorant like this 'playwright'

      While extrapolating statements based on emotional response are just plain awesome. An art form, actually.

  2. Just for clarity in the ensuing comments: the federal contribution was $850.

    Governments fund all sorts of frustrating, challenging, smelly, offensive, confusing, exciting, adult-themed, etc art. This doesn't strike me as shockingly different or in any way requiring a response at all, unless you like feeling terrorized and changing everything in Canada to suit those who might attack us.

    • Governments fund all sorts of frustrating, challenging, smelly, offensive, confusing, exciting, adult-themed, etc art.

      And therein lies the problem.

      • But that's not the debate that's going on. It's OK to believe government shouldn't be funding art. I disagree, but that's OK. But I believe it's not OK to say government should only be funding inoffensive things that they agree with. That opens the door to art being just a propaganda arm of the government – in essence, advertising.

  3. $850 bucks too much – that's all the tax an individual might pay over a couple weeks – not worth it.

    • The play sounds like an unobjective apologist's propaganda piece. But there are plenty of things which many individuals would object to having their $850 spent on– an extra million for the PMO this year anybody?– rather than the arts, so it's a wash.

      • Just because some money is being spent badly, doesn't mean other sums of money should be spent badly.

        Of course, things would be easier if people didn't think that bureaucrats had any business determining what our culture is, and we were allowed to determine it by the way we live.

        • Ahh, your statement can be interpreted two ways: I think you mean that government shouldn't be funding art you disagree with, but it can equally interpreted as "government shouldn't be *choosing* which art to fund."

          • My statement should be interpreted as "the government shouldn't be in the business of funding the arts." Unless of course, you are being post-modern about it. Then it can mean whatever the hell you want it to.

          • Ah. Your point is much clearer when you say it that way.

  4. It's just "Voice of Fire" all over again. Why is this planet so repetitive?

  5. I find unappealing the idea that too soon Shareef Abdelhaleem will be let out of prison. Canada should put him where he can never return.

    • Won't happen. You have to be Paul Bernardo to get a true life sentence in Canada. Unfortunately, RCMP resources will be wasted keeping track of Abdelhaleem for the rest of his days in Canada making sure he learned his "lesson."

    • Make him a Canadian theatre actor. There's no escape from there. :-)

  6. I’m sure the reviews from many “Torontonians” (read: Liberals and NDP) will be filled with praise about this daring and “provocative” production.

    After all…….the main character shares many of the beliefs and hatreds as those who call that city home.

    • How helpful and completely untrue. I happen to live in Toronto, but have lived in Halifax for longer, have lived in BC for longer still, and have no support for the main character's (or the actual person's) beliefs and views.

      Also, a huge percentage of Torontonians vote for the Tories. Just not enough in most ridings recently to win. Discussions work best when we work with facts.

      • You'll note that I stated "many" not all.

        Given the number of Liberal and NDP seats in the region……what I wrote stands.

        I too, have lived in Halifax (obviously) and BC. I used to visit Toronto about 20 years ago… know, when it was rare to have to step over sleeping drunks, passed out junkies, and dirty beggars.
        Today…'s a daily occurrence.

        Sort of like the shootings.

        • Um, when's the last time you were here, and where are you hanging out? Drops in shootings, and in murders, by large percentages:

          Yes, large cities have homeless people and drunks and junkies. But I haven't seen " sleeping drunks, passed out junkies, and dirty beggars" – working at Yonge & Bloor right downtown – for months. Honest.

  7. Well, I've followed the case, and although Abdelhaleem initially tried refusing to play a role in the plot, he was repeatedly pressured by the informant and finally caved while he was in hospital recovering from heart surgery on medication. And you know this informant had bad relations with Abdelhaleem, right? Even CSIS said this guy was motivated out of spite and revenge for the Abdelhaleem. So I have to disagree with people who say this play is not realistic. I think they should try reading the smaller print in the news, not just the headlines. Oh yeah, and the playwright is female just so you know.

  8. 911 insided job:

    Well, with a handle like that…….what you wrote is not really that surprising.

    Let me guess…….Toronto right?

    As for the playwright being female……so what. Males don't have a monopoly on Stockholm syndrome.

    • Agreed on almost all points. It's legit to discuss whether or not the arts deserve funding at all, or whether a play has a good plot, or whether it is misleading, etc. But bringing the handle "911 inside job" is ridiculous and inflammatory. It shows complete disregard for facts.

      Only point of disagreement: seriously James, did Toronto kick you in the shins as a little boy or something? There are leftwing nutbars in every city. :-)

  9. C-9 Asked:
    "did Toronto kick you in the shins as a little boy or something? There are leftwing nutbars in every city. :-) "

    Nope…..someone tried to mug me at the bus station when I was visiting my father in the hospital. I defended myself, and the police were going to charge me because the group that tried to steal my backpack were both young…and minorities. The ended up taking the little dirt-bags to the same hospital my father was in.

    Secondly, it is hard to walk anywhere near that station and not be hit up for change or a cigarette.

    Beggars all over the streets…….people sleeping on the sidewalks..etc…etc..

    Quite a bit different when I used to go there on the weekends to visit my friends. It's dirty…covered in graffiti…and many corners smell like piss.

    If people choose to live among human detrius….they shouldn't be surprised when some of us choose not to visit any more.

  10. it is a gross misrepresentation of the facts in this case. i saw the play and though the acting is good and it does in fact create interest, it nonetheless is totally divorced from the reality of the facts in the case – which seem to get in the way of this play.

  11. GreatHeron:

    One simply had to read about the playwright to know what this play would be about, and in what light the terrorist would be shown.

    One thing is practically guaranteed. The woman who wrote this play has no doubt been involved in one of the following activities.

    1. Protest against Israel/Jews
    2. In favour of economic sanctions against Israel
    3. Opposing the current Goverenment (either through a position at, or volunteering with a "progressive" organization)
    4. Getting scads of taxpayers' dollars for sub-par work and performances.
    5. Any other protest you can think of that is opposed to the current Government's direction.

    Of course….none of that will EVER stop her from collecting the $$'s whenever she gets the chance.