Aaron Driver died in obscure and tragic circumstances, and we may never know what really happened to him. Nevertheless, asking questions and demanding answers can help us to learn from the past and move forward. Linking the case of Aaron Driver to the question of radicalization is a simplistic and misleading narrative. Demanding answers about the FBI's role in his death, however, is more crucial than ever.
I have full confidence in the ability of our authorities to protect us from those who intend to harm us and hold them to account. But one thing worries me about the way today's authorities locate, arrest or even kill terror suspects, and it was recently highlighted in a B.C. judge's argument against the RCMP.
Among the signatories, we find distinguished members of international law community as well a younger researchers and assistants. The objective of this collective initiative is to challenge the invocation of the legal argument of self-defence by several States in the context of the war against ISIL or ISIS.
There's a growing number of people who think ending news reporting on acts of terror will somehow #SilenceTerror. And I could not disagree more with this all-too-convenient answer to a complex issue. Proper news reporting may seem to give credence to terrorist organizations who actively court such media attention, but it will never truly further their cause -- not when reporting often counters and negates the narratives spun by extremist organizations. Amid the shouting of social media, professional reporting offers fact, reason and, most importantly, context.
Muslims can learn from mother. They must be proactive in the fight against Islamist movements that lead to terrorism. Because self-distancing alone cannot fight terror. On the contrary, merely denying personal responsibility for an act tends to lead very quickly to the abrogation of the responsibility to act.
De-radicalization is really about a process moving toward disengagement. Academic research supports that changing what is in someone's head is difficult and may be impossible, as it isn't something we can "see, feel, taste" -- but their actions are. Disengagement means the bias present within the individual is something they have moved away from, and that should be our goal.
Before I talk about the wretched Muslims ruining America, I'm going to admit I'm not American. I am Canadian, which I realize is pretty unfortunate. To make up for this deficiency, I've always pretended to be American. I pretend because it is feels great to be "exceptional" and more civilized than the rest of the world. I pretend because it makes me feel safer to fear others who are different. I pretend because American Republican politicians aren't afraid to demonstrate their overt bigotry by generalizing an entire group of people. Now, it's time to finally stop pretending and fulfill my true destiny.
Why aren't more Muslims living in the West actively speaking out against a series of terror acts inspired by Islamic State ideology? Are the press releases against such acts released by traditional Islamic centres enough to show our solidarity with our neighbours? These are the questions in my mind.
Journalist Gwynne Dyer's book Don't Panic: ISIS, Terror and Today's Middle East rests on the premise that ISIS poses no major threat to the Western world. Dyer suggests the West is not affected by events in Syria and must not be involved in the civil war. However, there is a moral imperative that we need to acknowledge.
Those who were indifferent before the Paris attacks are now outspoken critics of Prime Minister Trudeau's commitment to accept 25,000 refugees and bring our CF-18's home. Some of the comments I have seen are downright vitriolic. It has been suggested to me by a number of people that we re-consider reminding people at this time that we're sponsoring a refugee family. It might be bad for business and could alienate more than a few friends. I find it incredibly sad that the current state of affairs is such that I have even faint concerns about a backlash for my desire to help those in need. I certainly won't let it deter me.
Islam unambiguously opposes terror tactics -- terrorism is not a religious ritual but a military strategy. Muslims condemn terrorism because it is as antithetical to their worldview. Almost all iterations of Islamic law explicitly classifies hirabah (terrorism and highway robbery) as a major sin. Indeed, the Qur'an proclaims: "If anyone kills a person without justification, it is as if they have killed the whole of humanity." Moreover, the Prophet Mohammed's strict rules of engagement even in times of hostility were blunt: "Do not kill women or children or non-combatants."