'Terrorism'? Who's to say?: Informed sourcesThen we learn of the preparations the RCMP made for the recent alleged terrorists:
July 19, 2005
What follows is a memo distributed to CBC staff describing the CBC policy on use of the word 'terrorism.'
'Terrorist' and 'terrorism': Exercise extreme caution before using either word.
Avoid labelling any specific bombing or other assault as a "terrorist act" unless it's attributed (in a TV or Radio clip, or in a direct quote on the Web). For instance, we should refer to the deadly blast at that nightclub in Bali in October 2002 as an "attack," not as a "terrorist attack." The same applies to the Madrid train attacks in March 2004, the London bombings in July 2005 and the attacks against the United States in 2001, which the CBC prefers to call "the Sept. 11 attacks" or some similar expression. (The BBC, Reuters and many others follow similar policies.)
Terrorism generally implies attacks against unarmed civilians for political, religious or some other ideological reason. But it's a highly controversial term that can leave journalists taking sides in a conflict.
By restricting ourselves to neutral language, we aren't faced with the problem of calling one incident a "terrorist act" (e.g., the destruction of the World Trade Center) while classifying another as, say, a mere "bombing" (e.g., the destruction of a crowded shopping mall in the Middle East).
Before the raids came the sensitivity training: Tactical-squad Mounties learned how to properly handle Korans prior to arresting 17 terrorism suspects on the weekend.Isn't it interesting how the Muslim fanatics' (or do I mean all real Muslims?, fifty percent? five?) deep concern with purification rituals and all things haram must now rub off on Canadian officialdom? I wonder if we will ever get to the point when terrorists have the right not to be arrested and handled by infidels. Without thinking like terrorists, I think we may however permit ourselves one wry smile at the news that one of the targets that the terrorists considered was CBC's Toronto broadcasting centre. (I will get a bit more reflective on issues of blood ritualism and post more here later in the day on the lead item in that story: the claim that another of the intended targets was the Prime Minister's head.)
And that's not all. The RCMP also made sure there were clean prayer mats on hand for their suspects when they were sent to jail cells.
Then, after everything wrapped up, authorities met with a number of Muslim leaders to impress upon them that officers were going after specific individuals, not the community as a whole.
"Our officers need to be respectful," said RCMP spokeswoman Corporal Michele Paradis.
"We want to make sure the investigation is pristine."