Toronto Star reporter writes about "shockingly anti-western views" of many Muslims

San Grewal is a Toronto Star reporter who first burst into limelight after 9/11 when he did a story on the hate being preached in Toronto-area mosques.

Five years later, in the  August 13, 2006 issue of the Toronto Star, Grewal, writes with sadness how the “fear of Muslims” has seeped into Canada as well as the UK, and how, as repugnant as this fear is, in his opinion many Muslims are actually contributing to this fear, by their anti-westren views, while living in the west.

Grewal writes:

“But I regret to say that, in five years reporting since 9/11, I have met too many Muslims across the GTA who express extremely anti-western views. I have visited more than two dozen mosques and, in 2001, wrote of shockingly anti-western views expressed in many of them. I have also heard recent evidence in court against many of the 18 co-accused in the alleged terrorism plot by young Canadian Muslims to destroy buildings, kidnap politicians and harm innocent civilians. Yes, they are innocent until proven guilty. And yes, many Muslims in Canada have responded to the charges with the level of disgust the allegations warrant. But as each community Muslim steps forward to tell me — the brown-skinned reporter who surely must be sympathetic — that the charges of possible “homegrown” terrorism are part of a government conspiracy, I can’t help but shake my head and wonder, just how far apart are we from them.”

These are words from a journalist who sees himself as friend of the Muslim community. If Muslims do not pay heed to him, we risk a crisis that we will not be able to handle. By burning Israeli flags and waving Hizbollah’s Kalashnikov banners in Toronto, Muslim Canadians do no service to themselves. We simply alienate those who would be more than happy to be on our side as our advocates in our time of need.

The real problem is that many of these Islamists wear multiple masks. Within the poltical sphere, be it the NDP, the Liberal Party or the Tories and the Bloc, the same men and women who spout hate, masquerade as ‘moderate’ Muslims, and sprinkle just enough words about ‘multiculturlaism’, ‘charter rights’ and ‘pluralism’ to fool many in all the parties.

In the meantime the vast majority of Muslim Canadians, the 9-to-5 middle class secular liberal folks go unnoticed. Why? Because we don’t “look like Muslims”.

It is astonishing that the same guys who give feiry anti-west sermons are also working hand in glove with the RCMP and CSIS! (Read this story from the Globe & Mail).

Read and reflect.

Tarek Fatah
———————————–
Aug. 13, 2006. 01:00 AM

Fear of Muslims ties T.O. to Heathrow
Star’s San Grewal plumbs deep hate

San Grewal
TORONTO STAR

I walked out of Heathrow Airport yesterday afternoon in London. Before boarding the plane Friday in Toronto it was impossible for me, a Sikh male with brown skin, black hair and a goatee, not to wonder if travelling would be as it was after 9/11.

For about four months after the attacks on New York and Washington, many fellow passengers on flights I took to Winnipeg, New York and Las Vegas reacted to me as a child does on the first day of kindergarten. They were scared.

A lady in her 60s on a WestJet flight out of Hamilton told me she didn’t mean to be rude, but would feel more comfortable if she could move from our row.

I don’t really mind being the object of people’s fear. People fear what they fear. It helps them cope, stay away from danger, as our ancestors did when some large-toothed beast walked into their cave.

But I’m about to write something that’s not very politically correct: Increasingly, when I encounter people who are scared of me, after a terrorist act or threat, I get more and more frustrated, not with those who are scared of me, but with Muslim communities in countries such as Canada and England.

I get frustrated by what’s behind the fear I meet: People in the West are growing more uncomfortable, whether Muslim communities hold anti-western views or not, because the rest of us — I am not a Muslim — feel completely closed off from certain quarters of Muslim society.

As we wonder if extremists inside those quarters really do hate the West, we reflexively grow increasingly uncomfortable about their presence near us because we have no idea how deep that hatred might run.

A new Gallup poll revealed the discomfort Americans have about being near Muslims: “22 per cent say they would not like to have a Muslim as a neighbour; 18 per cent say they would feel nervous if they noticed a Muslim woman flying on the same airplane as themselves; while 31 per cent say they would feel nervous if they noticed a Muslim man on their flight; fewer than half believe U.S. Muslims are loyal to the United States.”

There are theories that these American perceptions are largely constructed by the media, which sensationalizes stories about Islamist terrorism, by the Republican U.S. government, which needs an enemy to justify its national security platform, and by run-of-the-mill racists, who enjoy fear-mongering.

More disturbing than any look I’ve gotten on planes are the number of mosques torched across North America and backlash attacks against Muslims reported since 2001. These are as unacceptable as any terrorism.

But I regret to say that, in five years reporting since 9/11, I have met too many Muslims across the GTA who express extremely anti-western views. I have visited more than two dozen mosques and, in 2001, wrote of shockingly anti-western views expressed in many of them.

I have also heard recent evidence in court against many of the 18 co-accused in the alleged terrorism plot by young Canadian Muslims to destroy buildings, kidnap politicians and harm innocent civilians.

Yes, they are innocent until proven guilty. And yes, many Muslims in Canada have responded to the charges with the level of disgust the allegations warrant. But as each community Muslim steps forward to tell me — the brown-skinned reporter who surely must be sympathetic — that the charges of possible “homegrown” terrorism are part of a government conspiracy, I can’t help but shake my head and wonder, just how far apart are we from them.

I wonder if I’ll ever step on a plane again and sit next to a friendly stranger who greets me with an honest smile.

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