9 January 2016

Syrian Refugees Pepper Sprayed in Vancouver; Anti-Muslims Social Media Commentators Cheer

We woke up this morning to read this on CBC:

'This isn't who we are,' tweets Prime Minister Trudeau as organizers consider security for future events
By Rafferty Baker, Karin Larsen, CBC News
Posted: Jan 09, 2016 12:34 AM PT     Last Updated: Jan 09, 2016 11:59 AM PT

A crowd of refugees attending a welcome event at the Muslim Association of Canada Centre in Vancouver was pepper sprayed by an unknown man on a bicycle.

It happened outside the centre on the Kingsway near Victoria Drive around 10:30 p.m. as the event was winding down and the group of newcomers to Canada was waiting for a bus.
The National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM) sees the attack as potential hate crime.

"This is an act of cowardice condemned by all Canadians of conscience. We call on local authorities to investigate this assault as a potential hate crime so a clear message is sent that such abhorrent acts have no place in our communities," said NCCM Board Chair Kashif A. Ahmed, a Vancouver-based lawyer.

Nawal Addo, 17, was raised in Canada, but was outside with the group at the time of the attack.

"We were just standing outside and we all just started coughing and our eyes were burning. We were really confused about what was going on," she said.

Ammar Ramadan was inside the building at the time, but soon noticed the chaos outside.

"Next thing you know, people are running and screaming, everyone's dashing inside. A bunch of kids were crying. I was a little confused as to what was happening."

While most may condemn the attack, a proportionally small but violent few praise it. On the Facebook group, Canadians Against Justin Trudeau, a group that is equal part attacking Trudeau, refugees, and Muslims in general, the following was posted:

Also posted later on Canadians Against Justin Trudeau, this much longer exchange:

On another Facebook group called III% Canada (which takes it's inspiration from the American militia movement of the same name), this was posted in support of the attack:

A closer examination of poster Ian Thomson's open Facebook profile goes into more detail and finds approval from his "friends.:

BTW, Mr. Thompson also has these nuggets which sort of attest to his character as well:

In addition, this was later posted on the same group:

We shouldn't be surprised.

The hyperbolic and often incoherent rage directed towards Syrian refugees which has found a home on social media, especially in Facebook groups such as PEGIDA Canada, III% Canada, Canadians United 4 Canada, and Canadians Against Justin Trudeau, has become increasingly vitriolic. It is an echo chamber where very angry individuals fuel each others' sense of perceived victimization.... in large part due to the fact the Conservatives were defeated in the most recent federal election and the members of these groups really don't actually respect the democratic institutions they claim to defend when the results don't go their way:


Already posted earlier, but it serves to make this point as well.
The hatred is fueled also by far right websites such as Alex Jones' InfoWars, Gates of Vienna, World Net Daily, Pamela Geller, and  Breitbart among other in the United States, as well as their Canadian counterparts; Canada Free Press, Terrorism and Security Experts of Canada, CIJNews, and Ezra Levant's The Rebel. Anti-Muslim, anti-refugee, and anti-government memes and posts are disseminated uncritically if they support the posters' preexisting prejudices while those who question the veracity of the information are accused of being closet "lieberals."

Inevitably, the rhetoric will result in some expressing their aggrievement in ways other than on written or verbal such as in the case of the pepper spraying of Syrian refugees or, as occurred in Calgary, violently anti-Muslim and refugee graffiti. The criminal behavior will then simultaneously be justified, celebrated, dismissed as a "false flag," or blamed on the group being victimized themselves:

And so long as there will be those who dismiss, minimize, support, or celebrate attacks on minorities, the level of violence may well escalate.

UPDATE: Because they just can't seem to help themselves, more from another post on the Canadians Against Justin Trudeau Facebook group:

And finally, in what might be the most unwelcome Canadian political endorsement of 2016....


Into the Unknown said...

All this uproar never solved anything, from Delaware's minute men to England's White riots, it's always just been the same old pissing in the wind.

M said...

Where do I start here?? I don't condone violence at all first off, second off I do not condone racism. As an Anarchist I don't even believe in borders or nations or police. And I have participed in several marches against the Kalgary Klown Krew (Aryan guard and successors).

Since I don't believe in borders, it makes it hard to say anything regarding the refugee situation within the confines of usual public discourse. I believe in opportunity for all, no one is illegal...

What I am recently worried about is the situation in Europe where according to the (almost, except when it comes to Putin) unbiased news source RT and even so called western 'unbiased' things like Huffpost, police chiefs are warning the women in several European countries to "avoid going out alone". What the hell do I say now, as an Anarchist? Women have the right to go wherever the hell they please, and I'm not really blaming the police chief in this case because what else does he say? He is bound to piss off someone however it is worded. The situation is out of hand with rapes committed by refugees in Sweden, Finland, Belgium and Germany, and I have female friends and family here that I am now going to worry about. I don't think it would be right to ban them since probably a very small percentage are commiting these crimes, but what do we do? Vigilante justice against the rapists? Deportation? I don't like violence and borders are truly meaningless to me. What SHOULD the response be? It's tough when when you want to balance the rights of women to walk freely in their hometown (without exceptions - there is no reason they should be prevented from doing so), and the rights of people to flee war and come here for opportunity (like everyone else that settled here since the Natives were displaced)

What are the root causes of the rapes? Is it a criminal organization? If so, exile the members, and problem solved (?) I can't buy the rhetoric that it is Islam, although there are awful things in the Koran there are awful things in the Bible as well, and I have several close Muslim friends who would NEVER dream of doing such a thing. One told me recently that he is ashamed, of his religion, that the perpetrators in Germany were Muslim.
It is clear to see the problems with almost every single post you screen-shot and posted, however, the way the people in the anti-JT and Muslim forums talk is horrendous. They actually believe the outrageous things they write, it is absolutely an echo chamber and my view that it is important to balance the rights of women and refugees would definitely not be welcome in there. I hope this post makes it clear to the boneheads that read it (that is if they can read) that we are not burying our heads in the sand and allowing anyone to "secretly invade" or hurt us. We are concerned, but we also won't compromise and allow RACISM (I am not using that term lightly) to prevent us from getting together as a society and helping those who need it. To call anyone worried about the anti-muslim propaganda an the extent of the vitriol a "lie-beral" misses the point entirely

Also finally, maybe if the world stood up to American-Saudi-Israeli modern imperialism, aggression and "REGIME CHANGE" we would not have to re-settle millions of people who HAD HOMES...
People think the Americans are "spreading democracy", and buy the line that Assad's got to go because he's a ruthless dictator, BUT THEY'LL SUPPORT SAUDI ARABIA?! If you don't blame America and it's partners for the refugee crisis and the rise of ISIS then you need to research the published truth. There is no conspiracy theory there.