The picture was one of dark coffee shops and murky conversations, a sort of secret society where members of the Muslim community in a Toronto suburb came together to discuss dreams of jihad.So who you gonna believe? The young jihadi who went from dreaming about holy war in suburban coffee shop to training for it up in cottage country to putting in a group order for ammonium nitrate ("the fertilizer of peace"), or the pro-censorship CIC functionary who has a good reason for wanting to keep Canadians in the dark re "jihad is the way, sharia is the goal"?
In the eyes of Shareef Abdelhaleem, a member of the so-called "Toronto 18" terrorist group whose trial wrapped up yesterday, this is the reality in his Mississauga neighbourhood.
The court has heard that Abdelhaleem not only discussed jihad, but watched videos of insurgents overseas, and spoke freely of his desire to return to his homeland in the Middle East to perform "the ultimate duty for God."
During two days of animated testimony last week, he suggested "Muslims in general" spoke, and dreamed, of the same thing -- an assertion that has upset Muslim leaders both in Mississauga and on the national stage.
"We Muslims are harmed double ... when people come forward with such nonsense," said Zijad Delic, an imam and executive director of the Canadian Islamic Congress. "We are harmed as Canadians and we are harmed as Muslims, because our image has been distorted."
Dr. Delic says 99.9% of Muslims in Mississauga and elsewhere are dedicated, engaged citizens who strive to contribute positively to the Canadian fabric. The same figure was cited by Abdelhaleem in court, but to an opposite purpose.
"I had the same outlook to almost 100% of the Muslim community," Abdelhaleem said, noting he often heard older men in Mississauga coffee shops discussing how, if only they were younger, they would sign up for jihad overseas. Such talk really flared up, he said, in the wake of controversial incidents, such as the death of children in Iraq.
"You hear about it, you're upset, and you talk."
But "nobody goes," he pointed out, suggesting his own talk of jihad, which he had been spouting for a decade, was the same sort of pipe dream. "Everybody always goes home."...
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
Mississauga--home to Hamas-boosting Palestine House and holy war conspirators gathered in dimly-lit donut shops, or merely another ho-hum, non-descript portion of the Greater Toronto Region: Discuss. From the National Post: