We are willfully blind on three fronts: In the media, in politics and in our fear of infiltrating hotbeds of hatred, due to our sacred national tenets.
In the media we see this situation amply demonstrated by fear of appearing racist or simply calling a spade a spade when covering terrorist news. Dr. Roy has spared me the labour of having to address that side of the issue in this space.
In politics, we see politicians as fearful of touching this hot potato as they are of approaching the abortion issue. James Travers makes this point in today's Star, regarding both multiculturalism and immigration policies ("Immigration Under the Microscope"):
What's not so obvious is that the case and trials provide the catalyst for overdue introspection.
It would take a very courageous minority government to tip over two of our most sacred cows to examine the soft underbellies of immigration and multiculturalism.
Actually, Traver's column may very well refute my first argument; but happily so. It shows hope for brain-washed Star reporters and pundits.
Finally, we need to be taking on a collective responsibility for what is happening in our society. Live and let live just doesn't cut it anymore - Parents are too busy to pay attention to how their kids are spending their time; religious authorities don't challenge hate and fear-mongering going on in their own mosques and other institutions; community members ignore what they perceive to be a radical undercurrent in their midst.
The Record features a CP article today titled: "Eldest of the terror suspects, Jamal emerging as most likely leader", by Michael Czobit. Since I assume it is under a subscriber firewall, I'll give you some background:
At the Ar-Rahman Islamic Centre in suburban Mississauga, west of Toronto, Qayyum Abdul Jamal was an influential volunteer who encouraged young people to adopt extremist ideas, said Tarek Fatah, a spokesman for the Canadian Muslim Congress. Fatah knew Jamal, a father of four, as the fellow who cleaned the bathroom and took out the trash at the mosque, which was frequented by six others who were apprehended over the weekend in what police allege was a plot to stage a terrorist attack on Canadian soil...
"This is a guy who muscled into the mosque and threw out the old board," Fatah said. "I know he has not hidden his contempt for Canadian institutions and society."
Jamal discouraged young people at the mosque from participating in politics and urged them to commit to a "religiosity that isolates," he added.
My question is how did that "old board" get thrown out? Didn't someone think to challenge Jamal? Where were the parents?
In his book, Life Strategies, Dr. Phil McGraw says in chapter five, "You can't change what you don't acknowledge":
If you refuse to acknowledge your own self-destructive behaviors, not only will they continue, they will actually gain momentum, become more deeply entrenched in the habitual patterns of your life, and grow more and more resistant to change.
Well, I think we need to get Dr. Phil up here and challenge our head-in-the-sand approach. I'm sure the first thing he would do is grin and say, "Well, how's that working for you?"