Canada Must Address the Threat of Jihad
by Tarek Fatah
The Toronto Sun
March 15, 2016
Ayanle Hassan Ali attacked a Canadian Forces recruitment centre in Toronto on March 14, injuring two.
By now, most of us are familiar with the sullen-looking face of Ayanle Hassan Ali, who, according to Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders, said he was inspired by Allah to kill infidels in his name.
What may be the latest chapter in Canada's brush with Islamist extremism happened around 3:00 pm Monday. According to Saunders, Ali, 27, entered a military recruitment centre in a Department of National Defence building in Toronto, pulled out a knife and stabbed a uniformed officer at the front desk. He then tried to get past the desk but was tackled by a group of military officers.
One soldier was cut while stopping the suspect, according to Saunders. The two people injured suffered non-life-threatening injuries and were treated in hospital.
Toronto's police chief said this incident would have been far more serious had it not been for a group of soldiers who stepped in and grappled the attacker to the ground.
Authorities were initially reluctant to reveal either the name of the attacker or the Islamic dimension to the incident.
Even though the alleged attacker was arrested and witnesses told police they heard him say Allah had told him to kill, authorities were initially reluctant to release the name of the attacker or the precise words used in the attack.
The fact the alleged attacker was likely a Muslim Canadian gave it a political dimension and, like the rest of the world, the police seemed uneasy about mentioning this.
It took a number of hours before police released the alleged attacker's name and the Islamic dimension to the incident.
Saunders told a press conference on Tuesday that Ali said in the wake of the attack, "Allah told me to do this, Allah told me to come here and kill people."
This is not the first time we've heard reports of invoking Allah to justify murder. Earlier this month, a Muslim woman in Moscow beheaded a child in her care and told police Allah had asked her to behead the child. What is common in such incidents is that governments, police, and media are reluctant and hesitant to call a spade a spade.
Last week, I was in Delhi attending the World Global Conference where prominent former world leaders spoke, but not one publicly recognized the elephant in the room. From former prime minister of France Dominique de Villepin, to former president of Nigeria Olusegun Obasanjo, every aspect of international affairs and trade was addressed, but not the threat international jihad poses to humanity.
De Villepin criticized military attempts to defeat Islamic State and other terrorists, claiming the fault was with Western nations. He told the conference: "The western world is dominating the planet. One of the most important problems of today is the imbalance of power."
This "blame the West" narrative came up at another session of the conference, where municipal officials from the Netherlands and Belgium gave no hint of the jihadi terror brewing across Europe.
I was in a state of shock at the ostrich-like attitude of Europe's leaders. When my turn to speak came, I reminded the audience and my fellow speakers the threat posed by jihadis seeking Islamic supremacy was real and will not go away.
It was as if I had touched a raw nerve in the audience as they cheered my suggestion Western elites seem to have lost the will to defend Western values.
I was mobbed on stage by young men and women who thanked me for setting aside political correctness. We must do so in Canada as well.
Tarek Fatah, a founder of the Muslim Canadian Congress and columnist at the Toronto Sun, is a Robert J. and Abby B. Levine Fellow at the Middle East Forum.
Related Topics: Muslims in Canada | Tarek Fatah
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