CANADIAN JOURNALIST SHEDS LIGHT ON HOME-GROWN TERRORIST'S BRAIN
"I was one of you."
So you say, Abu Anwar al-Canadi or John Maguire, in your video warning, before calling on Muslims in Canada to sharpen their knives or prepare their explosive devices.
Then we shall respond as the polite Canadian. Sorry it didn't work out, John. Sorry you grew up in the greatest country in the world, with one of the best standards of living, with free health care, with clean water and fresh air, with good schools, with the freedom to think and say almost anything, with economic opportunity, with the ability to worship any God, join any group, vote in regular elections, protest anything, and yet it was all wrong. Sorry it wasn't enough.
"How can you stand to live among them peacefully?" you ask. "According to Islamic principles, you are living in a land of war."
Sorry, if we missed that part. Sorry about the bombed-out buildings behind you in the video and the gun you're holding. We shall try to remember, on silent nights, surrounded by loved ones, we live in the land of war.
"I was a typical Canadian. I grew up on a hockey rink and spent my teenage years on stage playing guitar."
Sorry, about the hockey and music. We didn't realize hockey was so dispiriting and wrong. How fortunate you weren't here for the outpouring for Alfie and Beliveau, for the collective sigh for Bryan Murray — it would have made you especially angry. December and just so much hockey. So infuriating.
You learned to play guitar. Sorry about that. We know the Taliban banned music during their reign. When they were tossed out, we know one of the first things Afghans did was to recover musical instruments hidden behind walls or buried in the ground. The sound of music, now, must be maddening. Sorry that it soothes and lifts us. Sorry that we sing.
"A Muslim has absolutely no place living in a land such as Canada, or America, or Europe today, except to carry out his duties to fight in Allah's cause."
Sorry, John, about all the Muslims who live in peace here, without menacing knives or rigged explosives. Sorry about all the mosques being built in Ottawa and the respectful worship inside. Sorry Calgary elected Canada's first Muslim mayor, a popular man who appears to have found "a place" in the public square. Sorry we have a Muslim hockey player in the NHL, Nazem Kadri, and too many Muslim MPs, past and present, to mention.
"I had no criminal record. I was a bright student. I maintained a strong GPA in university," you tell us of your Kemptville and Ottawa roots.
Sorry your teachers wasted so much time expanding your mind, when they should have narrowed your eyes. Sorry about those stated educational values at North Grenville District high school, still on its website: caring, courage, empathy, fairness, generosity, honesty, perseverance, resiliency, responsibility, respect.
Sorry the school left off "indiscriminate" chaos against innocent Canadians, now an avowed goal of yours. Sorry you had to go to school with girls, who did crazy things like drive cars and dream, and learn, and take orders from no man.
"You have absolutely no right to live in a state of safety and security when your country is carrying out atrocities on our people."
Sorry, John, that we are going about our lives in safety, having days that are carefree, moments of joy, nights of ecstasy. Sorry we sometimes do our best to help other people — race to "atrocities" in the name of Canada in places such as Haiti or the Ukraine or Ebola-stricken parts of Africa. Sorry we sleep like babies at night, curled up with our children, secure. Sorry about trying to be happy, absolutely.
"All people of Canada, you are said to be an educated people. So what is preventing you from being able to put two and two together?"
Sorry we still don't get it, still can't add your two and two, in this vast, gorgeous place where languages and colours and faiths have found a way to peacefully get along for 150 years, a place built on the shed blood and broken bones of our ancestors.
"I was one of you." Sorry to say it, dear John: Not sure you ever were.