Black Lives Matter Toronto spokesperson Yusra Khogali's description of Justin Trudeau as a "white supremacist terrorist" at a recent rally has sparked significant backlash. Shantal Otchere defended the "white supremacist" part of Khogali's statement. Labelling our handsome PM a "terrorist" may be less solid, but it's worth exploring.
In politics, it is useless to cast off on others the responsibility for failure, retreat or tragedy. On the contrary, it is necessary to always and without complacency ask ourselves, each one of us and together, what we could have done otherwise to avoid such a tragedy and what could be done to prevent it from happening again.
Please, don't paint us as a racist, intolerant community - it will simply add to the fire we are already battling. Canada is a multicultural and inclusive society, a fact a small part of my province hates. By pushing us all aside and characterizing us all as something we are not, you will increase that resentment.
I am horrified by what happened in Quebec last week. Innocent people were killed and injured because someone indolently grouped together all sub-groupings of a faith into one broad category. The answer, however, will not be found in just ignoring the existence of such sub-groupings who are persecutors.
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.
Things move at such a drunken, furious pace in the social media world that Trump's own press secretary cited this tragedy as proof that a ban on Muslim countries was sensible. Of course, this was still when a witness was being reported as the suspect. And by "suspect" I mean "guilty terrorist," naturally.
We've lost those we've never heard of and those we worshipped from afar. The famous and the infamous. Those whose poetry and music and performances and stories and athletic prowess and acts of heroism and sacrifice we admired. We counted on them to help us get through the trials and tribulations of our lives.
Nov. 13 marked the one-year anniversary of the Paris attacks, where 130 individuals lost their lives as several Islamic State (ISIS) militants brought an onslaught of violence and chaos. The bloodshed and terror was a symbolic and ruthless attack against the western world, as Paris is the epitome of occidental culture, and has represented western ideals since the French Revolution in the 18th century.
What's true is violent extremism is a greater threat than terrorism in Canada today. Furthermore, it is supremacist-motivated attacks that make up the majority of violent extremist incidents as the TSAS report articulates. Not surprisingly, supremacist-motivated attacks are hardly ever the focus of media stories.
News last week about the two-year study of the traffic stop data collected by the Ottawa Police were quickly dismissed by the same researchers who conducted it, as "not necessarily indicative of causation, and it doesn't prove racial profiling." So what is the point of conducting such a study if those results cannot be used to speak about racial profiling, admit its existence and thus dealing with it?
The wedge politics and fearmongering of the Conservatives in the last election were resoundingly rejected by Canadians. Whether it is Kellie Leitch playing to xenophobia with her values test or Tony Clement gleefully trampling our rights, it seems the Conservative Party still hasn't gotten the memo.
I prepared for this trip months before, but not in the way I should have. With the recent bombings and terrorist activity in the countries I was about to visit, it seemed we couldn't go a month without an attack in Europe making headlines in Canada. This put me and my husband on high tourist safety alert.