Martin Rouleau, a 25-year-old Canadian man from Quebec, injured two soldiers in a hit and run, killing one. He was later pursued and killed by police. Today November 22, 2014, another man, Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, in Ottawa, the capital of Canada, killed a soldier and was later killed by police after having entered the Parliament of Canada and having been a door away from the Prime Minister. Rouleau and Zehaf-Bibeau (born Michael Joseph Hall) were recent converts to Islam. What causes people to commit such senseless and criminal acts?
Is it that Canada deserves to have its people killed for interfering in the affairs of ISIS? No one in their right mind would suggest that Canadians do not have the right or even the obligation to fight an extremist group like ISIS that engages in massacres and that has declared its intention to take its war to the rest of the world.
Is it because the Canadian government supports Israel? Like Canada’s war involvement against ISIS, Canada’s support for Israel may be a reason in the minds of the killer, but again one must be delusional to think that killing Canadians would make us support the cause of the criminals.
Is it because the criminals are Muslim? If that were the case, all one million Muslims in Canada would be killing people around them. I also doubt very much that the killers checked the religions of their victims. These two recent converts to Islam were obviously in desperate search of a simplistic cause, and ISIS attracted their attention. They would likely have become Buddhists if ISIS was Buddhist.
Is it because Muslim imams are preaching hate? Actually in the case of Rouleau at least, his imam, with the help of his family, was apparently trying to counsel him against radicalism.
No, the reason for these criminal actions is much more prosaic: the criminals are idiots. The criminals think that their despicable actions will make the world a better place. They think that killing a few Canadians will get us to stop fighting ISIS and will eventually turn Canada and the world into an Islamist paradise.
The criminals’ idiocy is also combined with propaganda they receive from various sources, and mainly from the Internet. The Internet today, in addition to being an essential tool of business and education, is also the most infested and widespread tool of hate in the history of humankind. It is an extensive source of lies and hatemongering against Israel, the U.S., Canada, and the West in general.
So what should we do? Should we cower under our beds, stop fighting ISIS, stop supporting Israel, stop supporting the liberal values that the criminals hate? Should we shut down the Internet? Should we turn into police states and monitor everyone’s conversations 24×7? Of course not.
What we should do is to be honest about the reason for the existence of ISIS. We should not lie like former Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien did when he said recently, “the fact is that the situation in Iraq has been caused very much by the intervention of 2003”. We need to recognize that ISIS is the result of Muslim regimes in the Middle East, including our “friends” Saudi Arabia and Turkey, never being challenged on their abuses of human rights. The U.S. intervention only loosened the grip of Saddam Hussein, and as we saw with Syria, a dictator’s grip will be loosened sooner or later. We should not refuse to support Canada’s military involvement against ISIS as the Canadian opposition is doing (see Confronting ISIS: The NDP Has Lost its Way).
I would never advocate that we judge the U.S., Israel, and the West by the same low standards that most of us currently use to judge Hamas, Hezbullah, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, or Syria, but we must judge Hamas, Hezbullah, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Syria by the same high standard that we use to judge the U.S., Israel, and the West. Treating Arab regimes like children incapable of mature actions has obviously not worked. Unlike children these entities are capable of wars and extensive human rights abuses.
Like other evils in history, ISIS must be met head-on and defeated, not weakened, not contained, but defeated. Pretending that the ISIS problem doesn’t exist will not do. Until ISIS is eliminated and its credibility is destroyed, a few idiots in Canada will continue to think that they are the warriors of a grand movement for a better world, and they will continue to be a threat to our security. Now is not the time to hide under our beds as Chretien would like us to do.