According to Robert Fisk, as a Brown-Skinned Muslim Canadian, I should be ‘checking the airline timetables for a flight out of town.’
This has been a good week to be in Canada Ã¢?? or an awful week, depending on your point of view – to understand just how irretrievably biased and potentially racist the Canadian press has become. For, after the arrest of 17 Canadian Muslims on Ã¢??terrorismÃ¢?Â charges, the Toronto Globe and Mail and, to a slightly lesser extent, the National Post, have indulged in an orgy of finger-pointing that must reduce the chances of any fair trial and, at the same time, sow fear in the hearts of the countryÃ¢??s more than 700,000 Muslims. In fact, if I were a Canadian Muslim right now, IÃ¢??d already be checking the airline timetables for a flight out of town. Or is that the purpose of this press campaign?
First, the charges. Even a lawyer for one of the accused has talked of a plot to storm the Parliament in Ottawa, hold MPs hostage and chop off the head of Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Without challenging the Ã¢??factsÃ¢?Â or casting any doubt on their sources Ã¢?? primarily the Royal Canadian Mounted Police or CanadaÃ¢??s leak-dripping Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) Ã¢?? reporters have told their readers that the 17 were variously planning to blow up Parliament, CSISÃ¢??s headquarters, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and sundry other targets. Every veiled and chadored Muslim woman relative of the accused has been photographed and their pictures printed, often on front pages. Ã¢??Home-grown terroristsÃ¢?Â has become theme of the month Ã¢?? even though the Ã¢??terroristsÃ¢?Â have yet to stand trial. [read]
[Hat Tip: Kabob Fest]
From the moment they rounded them up they were terrorists, case closed. Forget about the long judicial system they have to go through before they actually achieve that status. I read the papers here in Toronto everyday and watch the nightly news and even I have to convince myself sometimes that these guys haven’t gone through the system yet. It’s already game over.
This kind of scares me. I was born in this country and with headlines insisting that these brown-skinned Canadians are home-grown terrorists I can see clearly the slippery slope the media is taking this country. It translates to brown-skinned peoples (such as myself) should be considered terrorists even if they are Canadian. This is the mould that’s being created. As Fisk points out, Muslims are now being edged into the “other” category in the sense that that there are two types of Canadians: “Canadian-born” (Muslims) and just “Canadian”. The former are potential terrorists or at the very least a threat and the former are the pure and true types of Canadians.
It’s kind of ironic in a Ã¢??twisted fateÃ¢?? sort of way because a few days ago before this all happened I was having a discussion with my professor and our little political science research group. We were attempting to define (for Ã¢??funÃ¢??) what a Canadian is and we were using all sorts of historical texts and media themes to try and reach some abstract definition. Perhaps I should, next time, excuse myself from the conversation as I’m apparently no longer a Canadian, just…“Canadian-born”.
So look out for the brown-skins because weÃ¢??re coming to get you!
(Because obviously we have nothing better to do with our time)