TERRORISM IN CANADA
By Mack K.
In Canada, we often take for granted our safety and security. For example, in large parts of the world, armed gangs and militias can come to your town at any moment and steal, burn, and pillage their way through in a matter of hours. In the slums of America, gang related violence could kill anyone at anytime. In China and North Korea, minor infractions can land you in a gulag. In some Middle Eastern countries controlled by Muslim extremists, militants coming over the horizon and razing your village is a daily threat, and how much we take the fact that things such as these don’t happen in Canada for granted is amazing. However, as we learned in the 9/11 attacks, the Boston bombings, the London tube bombings, in rare occasions terrorists can infiltrate our society and commit acts of violence against the innocent. Recently such an attack has occurred in Canada. Corporal Nathan Cirillo of the Argyle and Sutherland Highlanders, while providing an honor guard for the Canadian parliament, was shot to death by Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, who according to police was a recent convert of a radical interpretation of Islam. However, it is not known whether his newfound religion prompted to assault. This followed another soldier dying in an intentional car crash with an individual, who may have acted with Zehaf-Bibeau, several days before the parliament hill shootings. Whether the men were affiliated with a terrorist network such as ISIS, Al-Qaeda or the Taliban or if they acted as individuals is unknown. This has sparked mass outrage throughout the nation, and the prime minister has stated, “Canada will not be intimidated”. However, unlike some of the anti-Muslim and anti-Arab sentiment that spawned in the wake of 9/11 in the US, social experiments have conducted by professional filmmaker Omar Albach have found that even in Ottawa people are still aware that these radicals represent less than one percent of the Muslim population of the world. He wore traditional Muslim garb on a bus, while his friend berated him for it, made racist remarks, and commented that he “wouldn’t feel safe” getting on the bus with him. They then gauged the reactions of random bystanders, and the results were surprisingly positive. Most people defended Mr. Albach. Some were quoted saying “You can’t stereotype and judge people by their clothes, or their nationalities or anything else, you know what I mean?’’ another thought that the shooting was “awful and tragic” but doesn’t think, “that’s any reason to persecute someone just because of what they’re wearing.” We could all learn a lot from these people. What we actually will learn from this tragedy is still to be found.