Terrorists speak for themselves - Macleans.ca

Terrorists speak for themselves

What are we to make that these men knew us?


Acts of religiously motivated terrorism, or in Canada’s case, foiled plans of religiously motivated terrorism, do not generally bode well for multiculturalism.

In the wake of Boston, and news of the VIA Rail plot, people are left to wonder about the merits of cultural pluralism. What are we to make of terrorists and would-be terrorists who weren’t disciples of Osama bin Laden, but outwardly happy inhabitants of the Western world. These people studied here, made friends here, sang the national anthem beside us after the morning school bell. It’s easier to conceive of blind hatred when the person doing the hating has never come into direct contact with the thing he hates: the skinhead who has never met a Jew, the righteous belieber who has never read the Diary of Anne Frank. But these men knew us.

It’s easy to become disillusioned with multiculturalism and religious tolerance when we fixate on the people trying to obliterate these ideals. Yet look to the faith communities that these men thought they were a valuable part of and it becomes clear that multiculturalism, co-operation, tolerance — all the cheesy Canadian principles Fox News makes fun of us for—are alive and well. So too are we, quite possibly, because a Canadian imam tipped the RCMP about a shady member of his mosque—a potential religious extremist. If Raed Jaser and Chiheb Esseghaier are the villains in this story, the anonymous imam is our hero.

I don’t usually agree with Public Safety Minister Vic Toews, but I can’t fault him for these comments he made to the National Post:

The community involvement in dealing with these kinds of activities is absolutely essential. In that context, I’d specifically want to point out the fact that the Muslim community was very instrumental in providing very crucial information that helped the police in this case.”

The actions of the Cambridge Muslim community speak for themselves. The Tsarnaevs’ mosque refused to give Tamerlan a funeral. Yusufi Vali, executive director of the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Centre, Boston’s biggest mosque—denounced the brothers and their alleged crimes:

“I don’t care who or what these criminals claim to be, but I can never recognize these criminals as part of my city or my faith community. All of us Bostonians want these criminals to be brought to justice immediately. I am infuriated at the criminals of these bombings for trying to rip our city apart. We will remain united and not let them change who we are as Bostonians.”

Anyone cynical about multiculturalism and suspicious of foreigners in the wake of this month’s events would do well to remember that these suspects—Tamerlan and Dhokhar Tsarnaev, Raed Jaser and Chiheb Esseghaier—do not speak for their communities. But their communities have spoken for them, and their message is clear: Those guys are not with us.

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Terrorists speak for themselves

  1. Very good article, Emma Teitel. Nice way of putting the events in perspective.

    Indeed, a well working community needs reasonable people. Terrorists don’t belong in any community because they are unreasonable.

    • because they are unreasonable

      So, using that logic, should we ask you to leave?

      • Oh, you are so interesting. Still thinking that shallow remarks will beat my capacity to reason. It bothers you, doesn’t it, that I comment here, day in, day out, bringing forth strong reasonable arguments which you never intend to counter because you can’t. It’s a fact; strong reasonable arguments cannot be countered. That’s why terrorism does not work within a reasonable community!

        Thank you for reading my posts.

        • . “Still thinking that shallow remarks will beat my capacity to reason”


          • I like Emma’s honking nose.
            Which is besides the point …
            Anyway, lots of big quotations.
            What can I say?
            Well done.

      • That sounds an awful lot like bullying. Why are you such a bully?

        • @Rick_Omen:disqus @francienverhoeven:disqus – both of you are such prolific and persistent posters that I assume you get paid to post this rubbish. The Rick and Francien show (with guest appearances by OrsonBean and Billy Bob) has certainly taken the Macleans.ca reader comments to a new low.

          • Sadly, I’m not paid. But thanks for the compliment!

  2. stopped after the first sentence.

    • Yeah, that was really lame. I still read the whole thing though.

    • Bit sloppy to leave out the alleged.

    • Yet you still feel compelled to comment? How utterly vapid of you!!

      Actually, I think that’s the definition of trolling.

  3. I read the Diary of Anne Frank; even visited the house in Amsterdam on the 50th Anniversary (the date being a happy coincidence).

    I’m Ukrainian, and it was quite late in life that I learned of the Holodomar and the WW I internment camps scattered around Alberta. Those don’t get a lot a mention in the new Canadian Museum for Human Rights.

    It should be mentioned that Raed Jaser and Chiheb Esseghaier have harmed no one. But the authorities know better than us, right?

    They are in no way connected to what happened in Boston, so juxtaposing the two is just pure bullshit™. Why not just say The RCMP thought police have been monitoring them; they must be guilty

    Esseghaier is was a PhD candidate. From what I have gathered so far, even from from Macleans.ca itself, Esseghaier probably deserves to be awarded that recognition.

    • Canadians have made MANY mistakes in the past. They interned a lot of innocent people including the Japanese during WWII. Given the formal apology, I don’t think they try to hide that truth. However, no restitution was ever paid. There was also the “head tax” on the Chinese. Now that is something that isn’t well known and is a pretty nasty bit of bigotry. However, we cannot do much about our past.
      It is true that these two individuals have harmed no one and they deserve to be treated as innocent until proven guilty. At same time, we have no idea what evidence the authorities actually have against them so really it would be better to say less and let it all come to light.

      • From the link above…

        But the congress says in its current design, the subject of the Holodomor is relegated to a minor panel in a small obscure gallery near the museum’s public toilets.

        Hey everybody! Let’s buld another holocaust memorial. Just in case there isn’t enough.

  4. Ah criminals…if only that is how we dealt with the problem from the outset.

    The war on terror is not responsible for these people either, but it sure hasn’t helped. If anything it has helped to make them martyrs to a cause that no rational person accepts – but they aren’t rational. UNcommon Criminals now, that doesn’t look as sexy on your average jihadi cv as “terrorist”, does it now?

  5. If we took out Bandar Abbas, TFB #9, and TFB #10, the whole of SE Iran (and neighbours) would be exposed to subsequent Naval Bombardment.

  6. “Teitel” is a pretty foreign name where I come from. Maybe you should be interned.