Tag Archives: Mark Saunders

If Ayanle Hassan Ali is a terrorist, so was the Kalamazoo Uber gunman

Image description: the top results of a Google Image search for "terrorist". Of the 37 images shown, 35 are Islamic terrorists, one is a member of the KKK, and one is a bar graph which shows that terrorism by separatist organizations is orders of magnitude more common than Islamic terrorism.

Image description: the top results of a Google Image search for “terrorist”. Of the 37 images shown, 35 are Islamic terrorists, one is a member of the KKK, and one is a bar graph which shows that terrorist attacks by separatist organizations are orders of magnitude more common than Islamic terrorism in the European Union.

Today I’d like to compare two prominent incidents of violence from the last month – the stabbing of two active-duty military personnel in North York, Ontario by Ayanle Hassan Ali and the shooting of eight people in Kalamazoo, Michigan by Uber driver Jason Brian Dalton  – and look at how each of them was portrayed in the media. It shouldn’t be a surprise, given the names of the men involved, which of them got labelled a potential terrorist, but the comparison goes quite a bit deeper than it may appear at first glance.

In case you missed the story, Ali entered a Canadian Forces recruitment centre mid-afternoon on Monday, March 14, and (non-fatally) stabbed the person behind the counter. He then attempted to enter further into the centre, but was stopped by several soldiers, one of whom was (non-fatally) wounded. According to Toronto police chief Mark Saunders, Ali allegedly told the soldiers that “Allah told me to do this, Allah told me to come here and kill people”. He faces several charges in connection with this attack.

There’s been quite a bit of back-and-forth in the Toronto press over the past week about whether Ali’s attack on the military recruitment office constituted an act of terrorism. This past Tuesday, the Toronto Sun’s cover read “‘TERROR’. THERE, WE SAID IT”, and they leaned heavily on the notion that they were bravely defying a cadre of ultra-leftist social justice warriors which has somehow wrapped their commie tentacles around the public consciousness and coerced people into being terrified of calling Muslims terrorists: Continue Reading

“Better training”, “more oversight”, and other technical non-solutions to police brutality

In the aftermath of revelations of police brutality/corruption/violence/abuse/extortion/entrapment/[insert your choice of awful behaviour here], defenders of institutionalized oppression are often desperate to find some way of appeasing the angry masses without actually changing the deeply broken system which led to all the outrage to begin with.

These champions of the police, a group composed of politicians, police bureaucrats, P.R. flaks and pundits, as well as the arms dealers and prison operators who thrive on the criminalization of everyday life, are powerful but not very numerous. They therefore rely on arguments and policy changes which will appease and convince enough of the populace to either agree with them or at least stop actively resisting them, so that they can get away with not making meaningful changes.

There are many tried and tested strategies available to these people. One of the most effective is the appeal to prejudice, which is to say, fear.

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