Jihad Watch asks an essential question:
How is it that a man who held obviously "extreme" sentiments could have gotten a place on a mosque Board? Is it possible that the majority in the mosque were and are "extremists" also? Why do authorities never consider this, but constantly pretend the contrary in the teeth of whatever evidence? A slightly better article than the one noted below from the New York Times:Wretchard looks into the propensity of the Main Stream Media to avoid identifying Jihadist terrorist cells as Muslim:MISSISSAUGA, Canada, June 4 — Several of the people arrested by Canadian authorities in a huge counterterrorism sweep over the weekend regularly attended the same storefront mosque in a middle-class neighborhood of modest brick rental townhouses and well-kept lawns.It doesn't matter if he was an imam or a "freelancer." He was on the Board, which gave him a certain weight in the community. His views were, in other words, not held up as heretical and rejected by the mosque leaders. He was one of those leaders.
The police announced the arrests yesterday in Toronto.
The eldest of the 17 Canadian residents arrested in the sweep, Qayyum Abdul Jamal, 43, was described by his lawyer as an active member of the mosque, the Al-Rahman Islamic Center for Islamic Education, though not its leader.
"He's on the board, he's there regularly, but he's not an imam," said Anser Farooq, the lawyer representing Mr. Jamal and three other people from this Toronto suburb who were arrested Friday night and who also attended the same mosque. "He's one of about a half dozen people who lead prayers at the mosque."...
"I do not think of him as an imam," Tareeq Fatah, the communications director of the Muslim Canadian Congress, said. "People like him are freelancers. I don't fear imams. I fear freelancers who are creating a Islamacist, supremacist cult."...
A National Post account of the Canadian arrests illustrates exactly how this process of trying to keep them below the fold works. The Canadian authorities described the suspects as follows:Finally, for a fine account of elitist denial, see Melanie Phillips:With the exception of two men, who are aged 43 and 30, the alleged terrorists are all in their teens and early 20s. They include men of Somali, Egyptian, Jamaican, and Trinidadian origin. All are residents of Canada and “for the most part” all are Canadian citizens, police said. Charged are: Fahim Ahmad, 21, Zakaria Amara, 20, Asad Ansari, 21, Shareef Abdelhaleen, 30, Qayyum Abdul Jamal, 43, Mohammed Dirie, 22, Yasim Abdi Mohamed, 24, Jahmaal James, 23, Amin Mohamed Durrani, 19, Steven Vikash Chand, 25, and Ahmad Mustafa Ghany, 21. A twelfth man was a youth when some of the alleged offences took place and can’t be named, along with the other five youths arrested.Really, what's a guy to do? Luc Portelance tried delivering a straight line and came off as comedian. The phrase "it is important to know that this operation in no way reflects negatively on any specific community, or ethno-cultural group in Canada" will one day vie with that classic, "any resemblance to persons living or dead is purely coincidental."
“For various reasons, they appear to have become adherents to a violent ideology inspired by al-Qaida,” said Luc Portelance, the CSIS assistant director of operations. ...“It is important to know that this operation in no way reflects negatively on any specific community, or ethno-cultural group in Canada,” he added.
From a purely academic point of view future historians will find this period an interesting example of how manipulated perceptions struggled obstinately with suppressed reality for the center stage of the policy debate. Some of the questions that will be asked fifty years from now are: what was Scooter Libby really charged with? Is that all? How come millions of people could die in Darfur without anyone noticing? Why were people obsessed with the possible criminal behavior of a handful of Marines in Iraq and uninterested in why their wonderful universities and high schools could produce kids who would be interested in blowing up buildings, spreading poison gas, or maybe shooting down airliners with surface to air missiles. And the most interesting thing about this period is that for a brief time, the manufactured perceptions almost looked like winning. Until reality weighed in.
Islamist radicals have poured into Britain since the 1980s precisely because of Britain's tradition of free speech, reluctance to impose immigration controls and generous welfare state.Read the whole thing, and let's hope that Canadians under Prime Minister Harper will refuse the road to Torontostan. But that's assuming this isn't already Canuckistan.
At the same time, British culture was steadily disintegrating. Unlike America, which still believes that its values are a beacon to the rest of the world, Britain has been consumed by a loss of cultural nerve that has all but destroyed its belief in itself as a nation with values of which it can be proud.
Instead, its governing class believes the nation is the source of all ills from prejudice to war, and that legitimacy resides instead in supranational institutions such as the United Nations and European Union and in 'universal' values like the European Convention on Human Rights, which must trump Britain's own.
In the past, the strategy was to integrate immigrants into the majority culture. No longer. The doctrine of multiculturalism holds that all groups have equal status. Except they are not in fact equal, because the majority is said to be inherently racist and illegitimate - so there can be no majority culture into which immigrants are encouraged to integrate.
Multiculturalism plus radical Islam is an explosive cocktail. Although the vast majority of British Muslims are opposed to violence, polls have shown that some 13 percent think further attacks on the United States would be justified, 40 percent to 60 percent want to be governed by Sharia law, and nearly two fifths believe that Jews in Britain are a 'legitimate target' as part of the 'ongoing struggle for justice in the Middle East.'
And non-Muslim Britons do not rise up in horror at these attitudes - instead, they more or less agree. Widespread ignorance about the Middle East contributes to the belief that Israel is the persecutor of the Palestinians and that American foreign policy has been derailed by global Jewish influence.
The mainly left-wing media daily pumps out a highly distorted and inflammatory version of events in Iraq and the Middle East. In conservative circles, meanwhile, traditional isolationism and an obsession with stability have combined with a profound collapse of trust in Tony Blair to produce widespread hostility to the war in Iraq.
The British anti-war movement is today an enormous platform for Islamist extremism that has given rise to an open season of vilification against Israel and the Jews.
The problem lies in a refusal to acknowledge that Islamist extremism is rooted in religion. Instead, ministers and security officials prefer to think of it as a protest movement against grievances such as Iraq or Palestine, or 'Islamophobia.' They simply ignore the statements and signs which show unequivocally that the aim is to Islamicize the west.