When disaster strikes and the suspect is depicted as being either Arab or Muslim, the reflexive response is to assume that this was an act of terror driven by radical forms of Islam. But when a white person engages in a terror-plot or act of mass-violence, there is often official reluctance to identify it for what it is: terrorism.
Human rights or security? In Canada and around the world the debate rages on; but it is an utterly false debate. We must, finally and firmly, reject the assumption and assertion that more of one necessarily leads to less of the other. There is no security without human rights.
Last federal budget, the government announced the plan to create a counter terrorism office. This new initiative named as the Office of the Community Outreach and Counter-radicalization Co-ordinator would cost Canadian taxpayers $35 millions dollars. With an initial funding of $3 million in 2016-2017 and a $10 million a year in the subsequent years.
Huntingdon's clash of civilizations narrative insists that there is an irreconcilable conflict between Islamic and Western Civilization. Paradoxically the leaders of global terrorist movements such as Al Qaeda and the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) unequivocally agree with Huntingdon's view and have done their best to propagate it.
Canada has a new government with a markedly different tone. Gone are the cardboard villains and divisive rhetoric. Despite voting for it, prime minister Trudeau promised that C-51 would be amended. However, because C-51 is deeply flawed the best approach is to scrap the legislation and start fresh.
The horrific and public murders of two Canadian servicemen days apart will surely become political fodder for debates about Canada's international and domestic policies and practices concerning terrorism. While these tragedies should indeed stimulate conversation and reflection, they should not be used to stifle debate and facilitate the speedy passing of any counter-terrorism legislation without due scrutiny or a critical eye.
Encouraged by underground support communities, Al-Qaeda-inspired terrorists usually act on their own without direct operational control or funding from international terrorist networks. This differs greatly from the 9/11 attacks, which were heavily orchestrated and funded through international terrorist affiliates.
The RCMP, FBI and CSIS are all working diligently to protect the public from such monstrous agendas. However, something must also be done to counter this evil at the idelogical level, where plots to murder innocents are hatched.
The arrest by the RCMP of two individuals who were allegedly planning out a terrorist attack on a VIA Rail train will only heighten our level of anxiety as the scare hits closer to home. Reintroducing these provisions seems nothing more than an attempt by the Conservative government to further prove its 'tough on terror' credentials. But when our laws appear to be working -- results of brave and successful law enforcement operations -- attempting to play on our fears by using emotion over reason does not do justice to the seriousness this discussion this requires.
With Mr. Harper's decision to reintroduce controversial anti-terrorism measures, he has wrenched himself loose from the kind of self-imposed stymying that has characterized the Obama administration's ambiguous language -- and focus -- in Islamist counterterrorism.