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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….

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