Tuesday, January 23, 2007

I'm Sane - I Think


I experienced an, “Is it me? Am I crazy?” moment yesterday while reading an article by Colin Freeze in The Globe and Mail.

Thirty-one year old Shareef Abdelhaleem, a successful computer programmer, (well, not so much now) was arrested in June of last year and is awaiting trial in Mississauga, Ontario on charges of taking part in a terrorist bombing conspiracy.

His father, Tariq Abdelhaleem (an engineer) was interviewed by the Globe at a local Tim Horton’s franchise. Dr. Abdelhaleem refutes the allegations against his son.

“Why would he do that if he has a convertible BMW?” stated Dr. Abdelhaleem.

Huh? Say what? BMW ownership is supposed to indicate a lack of motive or inclination to commit a crime? Based on Dr. Abdelhaleem’s reasoning, we’re to believe that if a person is educated, owns a BMW and leads a “successful” lifestyle there’s no way they would take part in terrorist activities. I don’t think so…

But wait. There’s more. Dr. Abdelhaleem states that jihadist activity could never be justified in Canada. “I said it in my lessons. My son attended my lessons many times.”

Yes, and every child listens to every word their parents have to say and follows it to a “t.” No slip-sliding off the straight and narrow. No growing up and developing their own philosophy of life or – better yet – revolting against their parents’.

Furthering my sense of incredulity and “what the hell?” moment, is the following information:

“Dr. Abdelhaleem's true passion is Islam. He's a fundamentalist's fundamentalist, and has written several books with titles such as The Counterfeit Salafis, which are available from Saudi Arabia to Canada.

Salafism is a growing movement that argues that Islam must be brought back to the pure state in which the seventh-century prophet Mohammed introduced it. Because Salafism is deeply intolerant of rival sects, it is viewed with great suspicion in the liberal West.”

This kind of background information does nothing for my comfort level regarding the man’s son.

Dr. Abdelhaleem also states, “If there is any homegrown terror, it is the RCMP.”

While I grant you the RCMP may need a little shaking up and checking out, my money’s on the good old RCMP for not being a source of terror in this country. (Unless you happen to be a criminal and they feel you're in need of a little terrorizing to set you on the straight and narrow.) Call me naïve and overly-optimistic, but perhaps the Mounties “got their man” — or men, in this case, since others were involved. Time will tell. Shareef Abdelhaleem is innocent until proven guilty. The trial will unfold and (hopefully) justice will prevail.

In the meantime, I don’t think this man is doing his son any favour with his impassioned “defense.” If it were my child under arrest, I’d choose my words a little more carefully. And with a background like that, I think I’d stay in the background.


Postscript

Today’s paper provided yet more fodder for incredulity. (I’ll spare you the details.) There are some mornings I wish I hadn’t even glanced at the front page. Is the public’s desire for bad (or sickening) news truly that insatiable?

15 comments:

Trish said...

Oh gosh...that kind of "muslim" thinking is more than a little frightening. If they want to bring back 7th century religous life styles why did they come to Canada?

Afghanistan probably would have brought them closer to their dream.

Yeah I saw the paper this morning...I will be posting about it shortly *snort, groan*

oreneta said...

OK, I've got to go and look now, but Beth, your last comments make me cringe before I start. I have to confess, I'm with you on hte RCMP, they ain't perfect by a long shot....but I know who I'd trust.

Wonder what Heather Mallick (sp?) will have to say? hee hee hee

Beth said...

What you need is a dog like Lady from "Lady and the Tramp"...she always got the morning paper and came in through the little doggie door, ripping up the front page of the newspaper! Oh, when life was simple........

oreneta said...

I am sorry Beth, just read the article, and you know the bit that scared me witless and made me hold my breath....

"These are sub humans, these [police informants] and people like [Mississauga MP] Wajid Khan," said Dr. Abdelhaleem. ". . . They all sold their soul to the devil for a job. For money.

"Because in real life they are losers. They are not like my son," Dr. Abdelhaleem said,

Is this not the age old strategy before anihilation...convince the core that the others are not really human, that they have no soul, that they are losers and are of no importance. Read a few of Hitler's speechs.

Oh my God.

Arrest the father.

patricia said...

Oh yeah, that article and the BMW comment. I had to give my head a shake when I read that one!

And today's headline? Words truly do fail me.

Beth said...

Patricia: Why, oh, why does that trial merit headlines? And for how long?

oreneta: I read enough of Hitler's speeches in university. No more! But I certainly remember his "theme." And you have a point. I'd like to simply dismiss this guy as foolish - but shouldn't.

beth: Lady and the Tramp. Another of my favourite movies...didn't you once mention that you also loved Mary Poppins? How about The Sound of Music?
And, yeah, you're right. Some mornings I should just not even look at the paper.

trish: Uh-oh. Bet I know what you're posting about. I'm about to check.

Trish said...

Were you thinking "horses"?

**cringe**

Trish said...

Not even going to touch that one...

Beth said...

trish: Horses? We're reading different papers.
I was thinking more along the line of "pigs."
And I'm so glad you aren't going there...

Trish said...

Actually we get both G&M and Nat.Post so I had to make sure I was refering to the same paper as you.

So...yes the big headline was in both papers about the Picton trial is too gruesome for words but I am sure that won't stop Hollywood from making a movie about it in the future.

The story I was refering to was on the bottom of the first page of the "Review" section of the Globe.

I will never look at a horse the same way again..."hobby" indeed. Gaaa

Beth said...

trish: Found it. Geez. Yuck.
And they want greater tolerance for their "hobby?" Is there no level too low to sink for "gratification?"
(And wouldn't you know it - this is the day I posted a picture of a horse...)

Mom of Three said...

In keeping with the horse theme I say "WHOA!"

The father is telling me that the informants have sold out Islam for money, and yet we are, in the same breath, to assume that his son has done the same in favor of a BMW???

What to do about these folks, what to do...

Beth said...

Mof3: What to do? Be concerned and worry. (And I do both very well...)

Attila The Mom said...

Well, darnit---I don't get the Canadian papers---what'd it say??? LOL

Beth said...

attila: I gather you're referring to the "horse" thing that Trish and I were going back and forth about. I'm giving you the link but - YOU MAY BE SORRY. Don't be eating anything when you read this.

(Wow - the link is huge. And it's going out of the comment box. I'm going to break it up as I type. Hope you can follow it.)

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/
servlet/story/RTGAM.20070123.
wxsundance23/BNStory/Entertainment