This is a blog dedicated to a personal interpretation of political news of the day. I attempt to be as knowledgeable as possible before commenting and committing my thoughts to a day's communication.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

A Canadian In Syria

"At first you have to bring yourself to do it. You say, 'OK I'm finally killing someone now.' This is maybe the next step to being a front-line fighter, and I already had some goals of being a front-line fighter,"
"[You can do it and you won't be held accountable]. You kind of have to close your eyes and do it. You just shoot."
"[He had] always wanted something bigger, not something simple or boring."
Abu Huzaifa, 23, Pakistani-Canadian, jihadi nom de guerre Abu Huzaifa al-Kanadi (Abu Huzaifa the Canadian)
A Canadian who fought for ISIS in Manbij, Syria, and who has now returned home goes by the nom-de-guerre Abu Huzaifa al-Kanadi (Abu Huzaifa the Canadian). (John Lancaster / CBC)
"This guy is apparently in Toronto. Canadians deserve more answers from this government. Why aren't they doing something about this despicable animal that's walking around the country?"
"He should be arrested today. He should not be in the streets of Toronto. If he can be speaking to the media, he can then be identified by the government, by the police, and he can be arrested."
"How can anybody tell these kinds of things, talk about these kinds of things, and the government just shrugs its shoulders and says no, we can't do anything about it?"

Conservative House leader Candice Bergen  

"The security agencies and police agencies of the government of Canada are making sure that they know all of the facts that they need to know. And that they are taking all of the measures that are necessary to keep Canadians safe."
"The last thing that would ensure the safety of Canadians is to have a play-by-play commentary on security operations on the floor of the House of Commons."
Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale 
"At the end of the day, the question is, is he a threat or not? The service will be trying to identify that."
"If there's a law enforcement investigation, at some point they might announce he's being charged. If they don't have enough evidence, they won't."
Ward Elcock, former CSIS director

Where's the empathy for a young man confused about his identity, where he fits into Canadian society growing up in an immigrant family from Pakistan and never feeling as though he is Canadian entirely, riven by his loyalty to Islam and  his background as an East Asian whose values are so at odds with that of Canadian society? Uncertain where he belongs, but angry over the "Islamophobia" he knows surrounds him in Canadian society.

The blame heaped upon Muslims after 9/11. As though all Muslims were capable of -- much less willing to become part of a conspiracy for mass murder. On the other hand, looking online at various Islamist sites, the intrigue of it all, the romance; joining, becoming part of a vigilante group dedicated to righting the wrongs that Western society imposed upon Muslims, proving they are in no way inferior to those involved in scorning the worship of Allah.

By age 17 he was more than ready for a little exploration of his own, leaving Canada to join ranks as a faithful Muslim, to become an initiate with Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. Because of his youth, his untried status, the confusion he was imbued with thanks to the penetration of Western values in his otherwise-solid Muslim background, he and others like him were under close scrutiny as they were being exposed to Islamic State's modus operandi.

From his Islamic State tutors he learned the steps he must take, and he learned how easy it is to kill unarmed, defenceless elderly prisoners. Just convince yourself they have to die, just do it, and there, mission accomplished, they're dead. They had practised, there were mannequins and instructions and they followed orders. Simple. Direct. The three men killed were Muslim, and Sunni, but they suffered the misbegotten misfortune of opposing Islamic State.

It was  his role to fire directly at the back of one of the men's heads. It was not, he said, in an interview for The New York Times' special titled "Caliphate", an experience he had found enjoyable. He tried not to look at the man afterward, but watched as the three bodies were piled together, mission accomplished. On his return to Canada, after questioning by the authorities he had an interview with the CBC, when he recanted: "I did not [kill anyone]."

"You can put me through a polygraph and it will prove that I didn't kill anyone." And the reason his original story was that he had fired a bullet into the back of a man's head? "I was being childish. I was describing what I saw and basically, I was close enough to think it was me." Who was it, then? Someone else. He just thought how thrilling it would be to be viewed as someone cold-blooded enough to take part in an ISIL execution.

An experience that he evidently repeated on another occasion. Making him a bona fide killer. But of course calling him that would be tantamount to expressing "Islamophobia". It was, evidently, a lesson learned through repeated experience. An experience he now claims he had no wish to repeat, which led him, after the second killing to leave Syria and return to Canada.

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