homegrown terrorists

so you've probably heard by now the huge bust the RCMP and CSIS did with regards to an alleged bomb plot. according to the globe and mail, the targets included political and economic symbols including the parliament buildings and peace tower in ottawa, along with the cn tower and toronto stock exchange in toronto. on top of that, there are allegations that the suspects intended on killing the prime minister, with one of them claiming he wanted to behead stephen harper.

17 suspects (12 men, 5 youths) were charged after a giant sting operation had them purchase three tonnes of ammonium nitrate from undercover officers. ammonium nitrate, a common fertilizer. just a third of that amount was used in the oklahoma city bombing. there are also more arrests forthcoming according to the authorities. the suspects are reported to be a part of a group of muslim extremists inspired by al-qaeda.

as expected, there's a bit of anxiety over these arrests, and the fact that these suspects were all canadian residents, with the majority having been born in canada. it also doesn't help that the hard-line muslims in canada tend to be a pretty tight-knit group with various individuals that have been involved in some major international altercations.

a toronto mosque was also vandalized over last weekend. whether the vandalizer(s) did it out of outrage over this attempted home-grown terrorist plot, or if they were simply doing it to take advantage of the situation, i don't know. all i know is that actions like this are idiotic and barbaric. really, how can we convince our fellow muslim citizens that we are a tolerant society, and that it is safe to take part in our society if idiots like this pull these kinds of stupid stunts?

it is fear that convinces a lot of people to not want to reach out and to not want to open up to others, chosing the relative safety of their own inner circles. it may also be fear that is causing others to lash out, to vandalize mosques, etc. how can we pride ourselves on being an open and involving society if we don't reach out to these communities and instead pull violent stunts against them? the surest way to make enemies is to ostricise and demonize them.

sure, these suspects, if found guilty, should be punished to the fullest extent of the law, as should those that have helped them with this plot. however, can we all at least remember to be calm and to get a sense of perspective? isn't everyone innocent until proven guilty? (even if three tonnes of fertilizer is suspicious). the last thing we want to become is victims of media fear mongering. just look at what happened to our neighbors to the south.

(source 1)

(source 2)

(source 3)

(source 4)