Sun, February 18, 2007
Disturbing reality buried
Fear of causing offence and wilful blindness will
only end the day innocent Canadians die
By LICIA CORBELLA
In the news business, it's called burying the lead.
It means you missed the most important or interesting
part of a story and led with something less significant.
On Feb. 13, the CBC published and aired the results of an
Environics poll, which on their website was billed as "Glad
to be Canadian, Muslims say."
Apparently "more than 80% of Canada's roughly 700,000
Muslims are broadly satisfied with their lives here."
That's a nice and cuddly kind of story, but hardly
surprising. I've been to Afghanistan -- where many of
Canada's latest Muslim population comes from -- and even the
upper-middle class in Afghanistan live in difficult
conditions. I stayed in Kabul's only five-star hotel in
December 2003 where hot water was available one-to-two hours
a day, electricity was sporadic and my lovely room was
Poor and middle-class Afghans -- the vast majority --
have no running water, no heat, no electricity and most are
totally illiterate to boot.
They are handsome hospitable people -- and extremely
resourceful -- but Canada's homeless shelters would look
like luxury to your average Afghan refugee. But I digress.
Waaaay down in the online CBC story about this poll is
the news that when "asked about the arrests last summer of
the 18 Muslim men and boys who were allegedly plotting
terrorist attacks in southern Ontario, 73% of Muslim
respondents said these attacks were not at all justified."
That portion of the poll ended there. No more details. Why?
The Environics website made no mention about this portion of
the poll either.
However, on CBC's The National television program on the
same day, this part of the poll was fleshed-out and the
results are alarming.
Fully 12% of Muslim Canadians polled by Environics said
the alleged terrorist plot -- that included kidnapping and
beheading the prime minister and blowing up Parliament and
the CBC -- was justified.
Predictably, the CBC managed to find a talking head -- in
this case York University sociology professor Haideh
Moghissi -- who dismissed this disturbing revelation.
"It's really negligible that 12 percent feel that the
attacks would be justified," said Moghissi. "I don't think
it even warrants attention."
Clearly, other news agencies and those who put the poll
results on the CBC website agree with Moghissi.
But just how "negligible" is 12% of 700,000 people.
Well, if Moghissi knew arithmetic like she knows denial,
she'd know if this poll is accurate, 84,000 Canadian Muslims
think it's justifiable to behead our democratically elected
prime minister and blow up the very symbol and centre of our
The Environics poll interviewed 500 Canadian Muslims and
2,045 members of the general population between Nov. 30 and
Jan. 5 and is said to be accurate within 4.4 percentage
points with regard to the Muslim respondents and 2.2 points
with the larger sample group 19 times out of 20.
So, let's err on the side of caution here. Let's subtract
the margin of error -- 4.4% -- from 12%. That comes to 7.6%,
so let's say, just to be really non-alarmist, we round that
down to 7%. That still means 49,000 Canadian Muslims believe
conducting a terrorist attack on their own country -- Canada
-- is justified.
Is it just me, or does this not strike anyone else as the
opposite of "negligible?"
Isn't this significant news?
Considering this poll was published on the same day it
was learned al-Qaida -- the Islamic terrorist organization
behind the 9/11 attacks -- was urging its followers to
target all oilfields, including Canada's, should wake
complacent Canadians up.
"We should strike petroleum interests in all areas which
supply the United States and not only in the Middle East,
because the target is to stop its imports or decrease it by
all means," it states.
That threat was made on an al-Qaida online magazine
called Sawt al-Jihad (Voice of Holy War) and was discovered
by a U.S. non-profit group that monitors militant websites
called Search for International Terrorist Entities (SITE).
In other words, the Environics poll indicates anywhere
between 49,000 to 84,000 Muslim Canadians likely would view
attacks on our oilsands development justifiable, and if
that's the case, it's safe to assume some portion of those
tens of thousands of people might be prone to carrying out
such an attack.
We already know calls to martyrdom and jihad have been
made from Canadian mosques, including one in B.C. and the
one in Ontario the 18 alleged wanna-be beheaders attended.
It's safe to assume there are more.
But, hey, this is Canada, where in the interest of
political correctness and fear of offending, the lead on
these kinds of stories gets buried and our heads remain
planted where there is no illumination and therefore, no
That wilful blindness will likely only end the day
innocent Canadians get buried instead of just leads by those
who justify terror on their fellow citizens and country