Monday, June 05, 2006

Toronto Star whitewashing the profiles of terror suspects?

Canada: Here is an interesting contrast between the Toronto Star who I have Blockquoteto admit owns this story in terms of coverage though not honesty and the Washington Post description of one of the suspects, Qayyum Abdul Jamal.
T-Star: Qayyum Abdul Jamal drove a school bus and went for bike rides with his children. Jamal was a quiet man, a female neighbour said, declining to give her name. She, her husband and children live across the street from the Jamal family, in a group of townhouses at 6260 Montevideo Rd. in Mississauga. "He and his family are part of the community," the neighbour said. At unit 77, Jamal had been sitting on a bench on his front step reading a newspaper when the police surrounded the home Friday night. The neighbour said she heard Jamal say "What are the charges?" Jamal, 43, the eldest of the men arrested Friday, has four children, all boys. The oldest is seven and the neighbour said the youngest is a baby. Another neighbour said Jamal had been living in the house for about four years. Jamal's first wife died a few years ago .
He seems to be a nice chap until you read the Washington Post's lead.
MISSISSAUGA, Ontario, June 4 -- Qayyum Abdul Jamal and several others arrested Friday in what Canadian police say was a foiled bomb plot were regulars at al-Rahman mosque here, a storefront space sandwiched between a Hasty convenience market and a beauty salon in a small strip mall. The 43-year-old Jamal, the oldest of those nabbed in the sweep, lived with his family just down the road, in a neat, suburban townhouse complex where neighbors said he spent a lot of time fixing cars in his driveway. "He was quiet. Didn't say much," said his next-door neighbor. But that was not true at the mosque. Jamal's angry view of the world, and his belief that the West is at war with Muslims, boiled over there, others say. It was so strident that it startled Wajid Khan, a Muslim member of Parliament who stopped at the mosque last year on his regular rounds of his district just west of Toronto. "I was concerned that he had found a bunch of young kids and he was able to influence them," Khan said in an interview Sunday. "I took issue with him. I think we have to be extremely vigilant in the Muslim community. We have to watch out for people who are trying to teach disaffected youths that it's the Muslims against the rest, a war of civilizations. Anyone talking through his hat should be kicked out and reported."
The Canadian Press wire service adds more details though doesn't name the MP Khan.
One of the 17 men, Qayyum Abdul Jamal, 43, was known in the community for his extremist views, a source said Sunday. Jamal became the imam of a small mosque after "a tussle" with more moderate members, the source said. "The fundamentalists threw out the moderates and took it over," said the source, who added that a federal MP became involved and complained about his "extremist" sermons.
NYTIMES with more on Jamal.
Members at a mosque prayer meeting on Sunday said the six fellow worshipers who were arrested included the eldest, Qayyum Abdul Jamal, 43, described by several acquaintances as a school bus driver and an active member of the mosque who frequently led prayers, made fiery speeches and influenced young people who attended the services. "He spent a lot of time with youth," said Faheem Bukhari, a director of the Mississauga Muslim Community Center who sometimes attended prayers at the mosque. "He'd take them for soccer or bowling, and talk to them." Mr. Bukhari said Mr. Jamal never openly embraced violence or talked about Al Qaeda, but was "very vocal and I believe could incite these young kids for jihad."
One thing about the Washington Post story by Doug Struck If you want someone to end your article with a subtle jab at the White House and the "heavy handedness" about the war on terror, Mohamed Elmasry is the last guy you want to go for a quote trying to get sympathy.
Mohamed Elmasry, head of the Canadian Islamic Congress, said the Canadian government is now too preoccupied with security to look at the causes of radicalization. "Our prime minister is copying the Bush administration, saying these people are after our freedom and our lifestyles," he said. "I don't see how that is preventive. Relying on police and law enforcement and intelligence will not solve the problem."
Too bad he said this in 2004
Levant pointed to controversial comments Elmasry made in October, 2004, when he said all Jews over the age of 18 are fair targets for suicide bombers. Elmasry made the comments on The Michael Coren Show, an Ontario program that runs on Burlington's Crossroads Television System. Elmasry later repeated the comments in a Globe and Mail interview, but eventually claimed he was expressing a widely-held Palestinian view, not his own personal belief. The comments sparked outrage at the time, and police launched a probe to determine whether the comments constituted a hate crime.
You should have ended with Fatah who hit the right tone about all of this.
Most Muslims here are not overtly religious, and do not take their politics from the mosque, even if they attend, argues Tareq Fatah, who hosts a weekly television show on the Muslim community and helped form the Muslim Canadian Congress. "These are Canadian-born kids," he said of those arrested. "They don't know what an empty stomach is. Not one of them would be able to survive two days in Somalia. They don't even know what unemployment is." Yet there is discrimination in Canada, he argues, that helps propel some youths into the arms of what he called "religious fanatics who are predators and scavengers." They use the American-led wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the Canadian military's growing role in Afghanistan, to convince youths that Muslims are victims, he said. "These are people speaking in our name, killing in our name, and being offensive to all the values that Muslims hold. And yet we Muslims allow them to be among us," he said.

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