“Wars are not fought for territory, but for words. Man’s deadliest weapon is language. He is susceptible to being hypnotized by slogans as he is by infectious diseases. And where there is an epidemic, the group-mind takes over.” – Arthur Koestler
Canada’s National Post newspaper has published an article by Stephane L. Pressault, the Project Communitas national co-ordinator at the Canadian Council of Muslim Women, about the death of the Canadian Muslim John Maguire, a.k.a. Yahya Maguire, a.k.a. Abu Anwar Al-Kanadi. In the very first paragraph he notes that Maguire was a “young convert to Islam”, and “Canadian-born” and, regretfully, that he “received notoriety when he publicly declared war against the land that raised him. He became the face of terrorism and homegrown radicalization in Canada.”
I feel no sorrow in correcting Stephane L. Pressault’s naïve assumption of how the majority of Canadians like me—those not living within the city limits of those bastions of the so-called “Canadian multiculturalism” experiment, Toronto and Montreal—interpret the story of Yahya Maguire, a.k.a. Abu Anwar Al-Kanadi. Not only do we see Mr. Yahya as “the face of terrorism and homegrown radicalization in Canada,” but worse yet, we see “terrorism and homegrown radicalization” as the face of Islam. Sorry, but that’s just the way it is, right or wrong.
As for that “collective apology from Muslims,” Canadians like me gave up on that one long ago. Silence is also an opinion. Tarek Fatah wrote an entire book just to convince Jews that, as a Muslim, no matter what they’ve heard about the Umma’s “collective” tendencies toward anti-Jewish hatred, he did not hate Jews. Imagine how many books Muslim apologists need to write just to convince Canadians like me that, simply because all homegrown terrorists originate from “the Muslim community,” we should find no valid reason to conclude that Islam the religion is in any way responsible for effectuating this insalubrious phenomenon.
Mr. Pressault, in blaming the Muslim community for Yahya Maguire’s horrid end, confesses, “We left him to learn about Islamic history on his own. We didn’t give him the opportunity to learn about the great visionaries and scholars that can be found in our tradition.” And what tradition would that be, Mr. Pressault? You mean the one without internecine violence and assassinations and imperial conquest? You mean the one that doesn’t blame the West and those damn Zionist Jews for all the ills of the Middle East?
The Muslim community didn’t fail Mr. Yahya Maguire. Islam did. Good Muslims are already blamed too often for the sins of religiously inclined idiots like Yahya Maguire. Mr. Maguire’s misfortune was that he picked up on and chose to follow veridical Islam—the Islam preponderant in the world today and not the version you never had a chance to share with him, Mr. Pressault. He was, in Arthur Koestler’s words, “hypnotized by slogans.” And that’s one of the biggest differences ordinary Canadians like me notice between Judaism and Islam and between Christianity and Islam: potential converts to either Judaism or Christianity can study for years, all on their own, either a Tanach or a New Testament, and never feel inclined afterward to travel to Syria in order to murder Muslim and/or Christian children, rape their mothers and crucify or decapitate their fathers. Only the “traditions” of Islam present this danger.
Mr. Maguire was driven “by a vicious ideology,” not killed “by a vicious ideology.” Mr. Maguire was chasing after the same “rush” Osama bin Laden chased after: “One day in Afghanistan was like one thousand days of praying in an ordinary mosque.” And like Osama bin Laden, Mr. Maguire was killed by real soldiers fighting to prevent this vicious ideology (like so many vicious Islamic ideologies before it) from reaching its imperialist goals.
Canada didn’t fail Yahya Maguire. Yahya Maguire failed Canada. Yes, he “knew our culture, our history, our ideals, our politics and policies,” but contradistinctive from ordinary Canadians like me, and like me, many of them totally fed up with politicians of every stripe, Mr. Maguire became Abu Anwar Al-Kanadi and made the conscious decision to betray the country of his birth and its highly-regarded principles. Apparently he wasn’t bothered by the genocide in Darfur or the mistreatment of women and homosexuals and foreign workers in Saudi Arabia and didn’t raise his voice about Boko Haram bombing and kidnapping his fellow Muslims in Nigeria. But he had a hell of a time dealing with “Canada’s military intervention in Libya.” Go figure.
It’s not my fault, nor the fault of any Canadian politician of any stripe, that Maguire wasn’t “critically engaged.” Maguire was no more isolated and alienated than I am right now, and I feel not the slightest inclination to travel to a faraway land to enlist in a band of depraved and psychopathic Islamists and join in their murdering frenzy as a means of assuaging my frustrations with the government of Canada and its foreign policies. What did John F. Kennedy say? “Don’t ask what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.” How very foolish and insouciant of Mr. Pressault to blame the “high ideals” of youth for the homicidal behaviour of a religious nut whose personal morality, as it turns out, reached no higher than a sewer grate.
I would encourage Mr. Pressault to clean up Islam’s back yard before he criticizes Canada’s back yard. Also, I would like to remind him, as Arthur Koestler warned, that “Man’s deadliest weapon is language” and that the “group-mind” that seems to have taken over the religion of Islam should be of more concern to him than mourning the death of yet another overzealous, new-convert-to-Islam, Canadian terrorist.
Michael Devolin has been a member of JDL Canada since the 1980s, and has served as the personal bodyguard to Meir Weinstein, National Director of JDL Canada, at several high-profile trials, including the Jim Keegstra hate crimes trial and the Imra Finta war crimes trial.