The recent acts of terror that two French-Canadians, Martin Couture-Rouleau and Michael Zehaf-Bibeau committed against Canadian soldiers in Ottawa and Quebec have turned the attention of the Canadian public and media toward the Muslim communities who live in Canada. Different news agencies that reported these attacks pointed out that both the attackers were converts to Islam, "radicalized" and wanted to join the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS). And since ISIS is an international Islamist terrorist organization against which our government has declared war, Muslims of Canada and their religion are blamed, or at least suspected, of being culprits in the recent terrorist attacks in Canada. Different news reports, while claiming that not all Muslims are extremists, still hint that some are. Imams and religious Muslims are placed in front of cameras as suspects and are required to apologize and express regret for a crime that they have no connection to whatsoever.
While Islam and Muslims are alluded to as being the "enemy within," which radicalizes Canadians to go on jihad, what our media and establishment ignores is the desperate social status of these individuals who have committed the acts of terror, and moreover, the complicity that the Canadian media and government have had in their radicalization. The conversion of these Canadians to Islam and the acts of terror that they carried out show how Islam and the world conflict in which Canada is part of, are used by these desperate men to channel their social anger and desperation. Their acts of terror, instead of proving any connection between them and the phantom of Caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and ISIS in the Middle East, seems to be more a show of protest by two desperate and bankrupt French-Canadians who used the slogans of ISIS and the new "war on terror" by the American and Canadian governments, to express their personal tragedies, failures and protest against the system.
Even though these two individuals were broke, desperate and demonstrated the social disaster in which many Canadian have-nots live in our very rich country, the Canadian media, which is owned by the rich and powerful choose to largely ignore their utterly desperate economic conditions and shift the blame to Islam and the conflict with ISIS in the Middle East as the main factor that created our "enemies within." The buzzword that the Canadian media and security forces are using these days to describe these two French-Canadians is that they were "radicalized" men who had converted to Islam and were fans of ISIS. Because of their terrorist acts and conversion to Islam, they fit a grand political and national narrative that shows them as enemies of the nation who serve a foreign enemy with which Canada is at war in the Middle East. Their acts of terror serve as a self-fulfilling prophecy that legitimizes, in a way, the recent decision by the Stephen Harper government to join the new U.S. war in the Middle East.
However, what our media is failing to show is that our establishment must blame itself for the radicalization of many Muslim Canadians. The support that the Harper government gave to the Syrian opposition against the secular government of Bashar Assad and the encouragement that the Canadian media gave to many Syrian jihadis from 2011 to 2013 can be easily found online. While today our government complains about the "radicalized" Muslims who are fighting with or are inspired by ISIS, has itself hosted many of these jihadis since 2011, supplied them with money for their jihadi propaganda and maybe even weapons. The Canadian media did the same. The recruitment of Canadians by ISIS to fight in Syria was not done only in our mosques, as our security agencies and media propagate nowadays, but these recruitments were made in the media. The Toronto Sun, the CBC and all our media produced many articles, interviews and documentaries that praised and motivated our Canadian jihadis to go and fight in Syria. But even though our government has itself to blame for the acts of terror that Couture-Rouleau and Zehaf-Bibeau carried out in Ottawa and Quebec recently, like always, the blame is exported to some actors and parties who have no share in what te Canada is undergoing today.
Even though the Canadian establishment and media like to shift the blame on Muslims and Islam for what Couture-Rouleau and Zehaf-Bibeau did in Ottawa and Quebec, the fact is that Muslims and Islam are no party in this tragedy. Couture-Rouleau and Zehaf-Bibeau were made in Canada. They were Canadian-born and shared the tragedies that many poor Canadians share nowadays in our ultra-rich country. Even the present conflict and birth of ISIS in Syria has many Canadian government connections. The fact that our government supported the Syrian opposition from 2011 to 2013 but now calls this opposition a terrorist organization, is another matter. However, the fact that the ISIS terrorists or Couture-Rouleau and Zehaf-Bibeau claim to be fighting for Islam, cannot and does not implicate Islam or Canadian Muslims in anyway with these horrendous acts of terror. The sacred texts of Islam do not teach Muslims to terrorize humanity, conduct acts of terror, stone and crucify or shock and awe people as ISIS, the Americans and their allies are doing nowadays in the Middle East. Even though for many readers Islam today is perceived as a religion of war, the fact is that Islam is purposefully "jihadised" by Western powers in the Middle East. By "jihadising" Muslims and Islam, the powers of the West create a necessary bogeyman through which they legitimize their imperial policies in the front of their scared and ill-informed home audiences in the West who keep on wondering and asking why their governments are so addicted to war.
* Independent Journalist