Homegrown Terror – I Never Thought We’d See it Here

Naive…maybe.  I never claimed to be the most informed or wise individual who ever walked on two feet.

Other than understanding that nutcases have always walked among us I didn’t really expect that we’d see acts of terrorism on Canadian soil. Of course, I’m not completely ignorant nor looking at the world through rose-coloured glasses.  After 9-11, I think we all expected more terrorist acts after that tragedy but in the ensuing years they didn’t materialize.  So, an obviously misguided sense of security took hold of me, largely based on the notion that “No one hates Canada, we’re the good guys!”  I couldn’t have been more wrong.

Just our existence as an ally of the United States and Britain and of course the fact that we’re not a Muslim governed nation, make us a target for acts of aggression.

The senseless murders of two Canadian soldiers on home soil should be a severe wake up call to all of us.

People will try to dismiss the perpetrators of these vile acts as mentally unstable individuals. Somehow trying to disassociate the lunatic with any ties to a “legitimate” terror group.  Not an Al-Qaeda or ISIL cell member?  Who cares?  What does that matter?  Who radicalized the lunatic is not as important per say…as the fact that they were radicalized at all.  Obviously, the vile spew and influence of the jihadist movement has reached over our fence and influenced weak-minded individuals or emboldened closet jihadists to take up their cause.  Either way, it’s bad.  Real bad.

As we’ve now seen since our own taste of jihadist madness, Australia and France have now tasted the bitter pill as well.  It’s safe to say I think…Game On! and all western, democratic nations beware.

How our governments react to these threats will be the very tricky part.  Will they allow the threat of terrorists to infringe our freedoms and allow more police and government agency trampling of our rights?  Will those people who mistakenly believe it is the governments’ responsibility to protect them at all times allow the erosion of our freedom in favour of perceived security?

I hope not.  I hope that we maintain our collective cool.  We will be playing into the hands of these vile, hatred spewing nutcases when we start to unravel our own democracies out of fear.  Binding ourselves in laws and giving away our freedoms with the hope that the government and its agents will do right by us all.

One final thought; lots of banter about free speech and freedom of the press since the Paris attack on Charlie Hebdo.  Though I am not personally familiar with the publication, it seems that Charlie Hebdo is known for producing inflammatory material to many different groups.  From what I’ve read, I don’t think Charlie Hebdo is my kind of reading…whatever.  But for anyone to insinuate that the anger they inflamed, and it turning to murder, is in anyway understandable is reprehensible.

Is it understandable that people were angry and disliked the materials?  I think that’s quite normal.  I am allowed to dis-like it as much they are to like it and produce it.  I can choose not to look or read if I wish and just ignore it.  That’s the beauty of democracy and freedom.  Now, did the people at Charlie Hebdo poke the bear who doesn’t share their belief in free speech?  You bet they did.  Is it worthy of death? Hell no!  Is it a justification or even a lame excuse? No way.  But, what sets democracy apart from all other ideologies is the fact that we get to choose and choose on so many levels.  But with freedom comes inherent risk.  So we accept those risks if we choose to reside in the free nations.

The people at Charlie Hebdo must have known they were taking their lives in their hands by producing what they have. Right?  Did they?  I honestly don’t know.  If they knew, I’d commend them for their courage…I think.  If not, maybe I’d scold them for being naive.  Unfortunately, freedom isn’t an impenetrable shield from pyschos who do not share your views or beliefs.