He was a moderate — until he wasn’t. He was an ordinary Muslim, not an Islamist — until he starting talking about bomb making. He moved in and among the Muslim community — holding views on jihad violence and terrorism that the leaders of that community profess to reject and abhor. Khurram Sher is the living embodiment of the truth of what I am often vilified for saying, that there is no distinction in Muslim communities between those who hope to wage violent jihad and those who abhor it.
This doesn’t mean that all Muslims are terrorists or some other such nonsense. It simply means that those who hold to doctrines of violent jihad are not expelled from mosques, and mosques do not have programs teaching against these ideas that they ostensibly reject. “Former Canadian Idol contestant’s dinner chat moves from ice cream to ‘violent jihad’ on secret tapes, terrorism trial hears,” by Chris Cobb for Postmedia News, February 11 (thanks to Karl):
OTTAWA — In a secretly-recorded conversation played publicly for the first time Tuesday, accused terrorism collaborator Khurram Sher discusses bomb making and appears to suggest a repatriation ceremony at Canadian Forces Base Trenton as a possible target.
The conversation between the 31-year-old Montreal-born pathologist and two alleged co-conspirators then turns to their bearded appearances, which brings a suggestion from Dr. Sher that they might shave and “wear Canadian colours.” To which one of his alleged co-conspirators responds: “We’ll break their backs in their own country.”
During the July 20, 2010 conversation, recorded by the RCMP using microphones hidden in the apartment where the trio met, Dr. Sher also speaks of the ease with which he could buy components for bomb making.
“I can just go to, like, a hardware store and buy a few things to build a bomb. I’m sure it’s possible.”
Crown prosecutor Jason Wakely had told the court earlier that the conversation shows that Dr. Sher and his alleged associates were bent on “violent jihad.”
Dr. Sher is pleading not guilty to conspiring with two others to facilitate a terrorist activity, which police have alleged also involved a possible bomb attack in the Ottawa area. His trial in an Ottawa courtroom began Monday.
The hour-long conversation played with a written transcript displayed on TV and computer screens takes place during a dinner and starts with a mundane exchange about the food, the benefits of gluten-free products and the merits of President’s Choice ice cream. One of the three reads the list of ingredients from the ice cream package.
The banter is often lighthearted and peppered with laughter.
After dinner, the conversation turns more political with talk of Afghanistan, Islam and secure ways of communicating….