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Mark Steyn on the poisoning of Robert Spencer

“The social-justice crowd are moving toward the same point as the Charlie Hebdo killers, and for the same reason: They’re too stupid to argue.”

Yes.

Here is an excellent take on what happened to me in Iceland and its larger implications.

Mark Steyn

“The Poisoning of Robert Spencer,” by Mark Steyn, May 18, 2017:

For years now I’ve said that anti-free-speech leftists and the men who slaughtered the staff of Charlie Hebdo, shot up Lars Vilks’ event in Copenhagen, etc, are merely different points on the same continuum: They’re both in the shut-up business: both groups find it quicker and easier and more satisfying to silence you than to debate you.

There were those who found the comparison offensive – to whom I would on good-humored days grant that the two points on the same continuum were nevertheless some distance apart.

Well, they got considerably closer in Reykjavik last week.

Robert Spencer, the author of several bestselling books on Islam, a brave crusader against the dopier multiculti illusions and the proprietor of the indispensable Jihad Watch, gave a speech at the Grand Hotel, went to unwind at dinner afterwards, and was poisoned by a social-justice warrior. Here’s Robert’s account of what happened

That’s quite a sophisticated operation – a two-man team, the first a fake fan, the second a post-kiss-of-death gloater.

Before the banking crash of ’08, Iceland was flush, and celebs like Elton John were flown in for gala bashes. But it’s all quietened down a bit since then, so the Spencer event was a big deal. He drew an audience of 500 – which in a town of 125,000 and a nation of 300,000 is pretty impressive. There was lots of coverage of his visit – none of which actually quoted him or excerpted his speech or interviewed those who were interested in hearing what he had to say. Instead the media preferred to cover the few dozen protestors of his trip. In all the column inches devoted to Robert Spencer, no journalist thought to seek a comment from Robert Spencer. There are two sides to every story – except this guy’s story: he doesn’t deserve a side.

This kind of dehumanization sends a message – and the man who poisoned Robert got it loud and clear:

Those who paint the targets, and those who shoot at them, think they’re doing something great. Not only does the Left fill those whom it brainwashes with hate, but it does so while portraying its enemies as the hatemongers, such that violent Leftists such as the young man who drugged me feel righteous as they victimize and brutalize for the crime of disagreement.

I have no doubt whatsoever that whoever poisoned me in Iceland went away feeling happy over what he had done. If he told anyone what he did, I’m sure he was hailed as a hero. I’m also aware that many who read this will crow and exult in knowing that someone who hates my opposition to jihad terror and Sharia oppression made me seriously ill. This is how degenerate and evil the Left has become.

I don’t know how I’d stand up to a cocktail of Ritalin and Ecstasy. I do know there’s at least one person in my modest entourage it would kill. And I have no doubt that had the fellow in the restaurant switched on the radio the following morning and heard that Robert Spencer had died in hospital overnight he would have celebrated.

Like the guns at Singapore, the social-justice mob’s fingers are pointing in the wrong direction: They accuse their opponents endlessly of “otherization”; yet they are the ones who so deny the humanity of “the other” that it seems cool and heroic to attempt to kill a chap who gave a speech you object to – even though you never heard the speech, and, even if you had, are incapable of articulating what exactly in it you take issue with.

Douglas Murray and I noted after the tenth anniversary of the Mohammed cartoons how strangely controversial the post-event dinner has become. In Copenhagen, the restaurant panicked at the sight of the PET – the Danish security-service agents – and canceled our booking. As Douglas wrote:

Ten years ago, you could publish depictions of Mohammed in a Danish newspaper. Ten years later, it is hard for anyone who has been connected with such an act to find a restaurant in Copenhagen that will serve them dinner.

For those in Robert Spencer’s line of work, these events are undeniably stressful. There are security precautions, of course, but you never know, from the Vilks event in Copenhagen to Robert’s in Garland, Texas, whether some jihadist will succeed in breaking through. There’s a sense of relief when you exit the stage and it’s all gone off without incident. You’re looking forward to a drink and a bite to eat in convivial company. And you’re on your post-performance high, so you’re generally bonhomous when people approach professing to be fans and seeking a selfie or an autograph. And there’s three or four and they’re all around you, and you put your drink down on the table – as Douglas and I did again and again in the bar we wound up in late that night. And the fans move on, and you pick up your glass without a thought…

Robert Spencer will never do that again.

The social-justice crowd are moving toward the same point as the Charlie Hebdo killers, and for the same reason: They’re too stupid to argue. For the Islamic imperialists, debate is a largely alien concept. For the left, it’s simply too much effort. As I said here many years ago, the great appeal of multiculturalism is that it absolves you from having to know anything about other cultures: If they’re all equally valid, what’s the point? Slap on the CO-EXIST bumper sticker and off you tootle. No need to worry whether the “C” might have a bit of a problem with some of the other letters, and that indeed, if not for the “C”, you wouldn’t need a bumper-sticker admonition to CO-EXIST in the first place. But, after two generations of social engineering, of the substitution of attitudes for education, it would require too much effort to equip yourself to argue against the difficult questions a man such as Robert Spencer raises. It’s literally easier to kill him.

Not yet in the blood-lusting exultant scimitar-raising style of the decapitators of French priests. But just through whatever you’ve got in your stash that might ensure he’ll be flying out of Reykjavik by the handles. So for the moment there is still a continuum. But it’s narrowing, and will narrow still.

Get well soon, Robert.

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Was it Terrorism or “Senseless Violence” that occurred in Canada?

At 9:52 AM EDT in Ottawa long haired 32 year old Michael Zehaf Bibeau wearing a black and white scarf and dressed in black   equipped with a double-barreled shot gun, stormed Canada’s War Memorial on Capitol Hill in Ottawa. He shot and fatally wounded a member of The Honor Guard , 24 year old Pvt. Nathan  Cirllio , a reservist with the Argyll and Sutherland Regiment who was on duty with a companion  who was wounded in the attack.  According to the Toronto Globe and Mail, Zehaf-Bibeau was considered to have been “a high risk traveller and had his passport revoked”.

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Michael Zehaf Bibeau : Source ISIS Tweet. For a larger view click on the image.

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Kevin Vickers, Sergeant at Arms,  Ottawa Parliament.

Bibeau then drove to the Parliament building in a stolen black automobile with no license tags. He ran with weapon in hand into the Parliamentary center complex apparently running past  a room where Canadian PM Harper was speaking. In the ensuing gun battle Bibeau was shot dead at approximately 10:30AM by Kevin Vickers, the Sergeant at Arms before he could barge into the Caucus room filled with various party delegation  members.  Wednesdays are busy days in Canada’s parliament as  there are also tours   for visitors.   While the Sergeant at Arms is an honorific post at the Canadian Parliament, Vickers is in charge of protection for the Parliamentary Center complex.  He was appointed  to this post in 2005. In 2009, Vickers was given an award by a  Canadian Progressive Muslim group for his unbiased multicultural  security practices. He was a trained law enforcement officer, former member of the famed Royal Canadian Mounted Police who served 25 years including stints in Canada’s Northwest Territories.

MPs gathered for the  Wednesday caucus overheard 20 to 30 shots fired. The entire parliamentary district, several embassies , including the US , and  the  nearby Rideau  Mall Center remained  locked down, while police comb the area in search for rumored accomplices. Prime Minister Harper was escorted to safety. However, his trip to Toronto to attend a ceremony conferring an honorary Canadian Citizenship on Pakistani teenage Noble Laureate Malala Yousafzai was unavoidably cancelled.

Upon hearing the news, social media in Ottawa and Canada lit up with expressions of thoughts and prayers for the family of Pvt. Cirillo and concerns for the safety of those in Ottawa under lockdown.

ISIS immediately sent out a picture of Zehaf Bibeau.  Bibeau, has had a troubled family life and  number of convictions for possession  and distribution of drug s and parole violations. In 2011, he was arrested  in Vancouver on assault and robbery charges. In 2012 he was arrested on additional charges of making threats in Vancouver. The ferocity of the attack in Ottawa by Bibeau  indicates he was highly motivated and aggrieved. Bibeau’s  murderous actions may have been  Jihadist inspired by ISIS given his use of the terrorist group’s Twitter site.

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Martin Couture-Rouleau from his Facebook page.

Then is the similar  case of  25 year old Martin Couture-Rouleau, who flouted his newly adopted Islamic Jihadist faith and its doctrine of hate towards Jews, Christians and other unbelievers in posts on his  Facebook  page .  As a result of his new found faith he succumbed to the excesses of murderous and barbaric  ISIS.  What is interesting in Couture-Rouleau’s case was that the anti-terrorism unit of the RCMP had been monitoring his social media and  chatter focusing on his intention to leave to join ISIS.  That was prompted by his parents’ calls to the police concerned about his newly adopted  views  espoused at the local mosque he attended  near Montreal.   Apparently under Canadian law there wasn’t enough evidence to connect him to a terrorist group after his arrest In July, 2014,  before boarding a flight to Turkey to join ISIS.  He was  subsequently  released to regularly meet with Police until just before   he perpetrated Monday’s vehicular murder.  Like Bibeau, following his arrest, he had his passport removed as  “a high risk traveller”. Superintendent Martine Fontaine of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police said at a televised news conference:

It’s very difficult to know exactly what an individual is planning to do before a crime is committed,” Superintendent Fontaine said. “We cannot arrest someone for thinking radical thoughts; it is not a crime in Canada.

Prime Minister  Harper announced Canada’s joining  the US led Operation Inherent Resolve with a Canadian Air Force  F-18 squadron to conduct air operations against ISIS in Syria and Iraq.  That triggered a spike in social media by the Islamic State calling for Jihadist wannabees to attack Canadian and US military.  Couture-Rouleau’s  jihadist  attack  culminated Monday, October 20, 2014  in his running down two Canada Force soldiers  at  a strip mall  in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec.  He killed  53 year old Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent and wounded the other serviceman. Police shot and apprehended   Couture-Rouleau.  Following  today’s Ottawa attack, the Canadian federal  government issued a  temporary ban on use of many public places to prevent a repetition.  Ironically, Canadian  Public Safety Minister  Blaney raised the Canadian national terrorism threat level to “medium” on Tuesday , just prior to today’s attack in Ottawa.

In the U.S.,  today’s attack that killed a member of  the Canadian Honor Guard  at the Ottawa National War Memorial ,prompted  the Administration to bolster security at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers in Virginia’s Arlington National  Cemetery. The U.S. is concerned about the emergence of self-actualized jihadist supporters in our midst.  An example is  the prison convert  to Islam who beheaded a fellow woman employee in Moore, Oklahoma. Then this week there was the apprehension of three underage Denver area girls from  Sudan and Somali émigré families who left unannounced, boarding a flight in Colorado only to be apprehended by German police when they arrived in Frankfurt before they  could board  a connecting flight to Turkey.  Their ultimate destination was Syria to join ISIS.  Both the Canadian attacks and US one  raises the policy question about how to combat the jihadist theocratic message of ISIS. That message is anchored in the Qur’anic canon of  foundational documents and  codified  under Shariah law in the ‘sacred manual’, The Reliance of the Traveler.

President Obama  was interviewed in the Oval Office following a phone conversation with  Canadian PM Harper. He  conveyed  the collective thoughts and concerns of this country  for what Canada has endured this week.  Choosing his language carefully to avoid any  controversy over what motivates such actions , he condemned what he termed “senseless violence”.  PM Harper said that “a terrorist murdered the  soldier in cold blood”.

Mark Steyn, American-Canadian  commentator and author of the recently released  book Undocumented, was interviewed on Neal Cavuto’s Fox News program today. He said, “violence against the state isn’t “senseless”.  Steyn  thought the President’s “senseless violence”  comment  brought to mind the  equivocating  term “ workplace violence”, as  in the Moore, Oklahoma beheading and Maj. Nidal Hassan‘s murderous jihad rampage at Fort Hood in 2009. Steyn instead  put the blame  for this week’s Montreal and Ottawa  attacks  squarely on Canada’s policy of multi-culturalism that tolerates Islamic theocratic doctrine supporting the barbarity of ISIS and similar Jihadist, Salafist groups.  He noted that while ISIS beheads  captive unbelievers  and violators of  Sharia, so does Wahhabist Saudi Arabia, an ally of the U.S. in the coalition of Operation  Inherent Resolve.

David B. Harris, former planning director for the Canadian Security and Intelligence Service (CSIS) and columnist on counterterrorism, spoke by phone with Cavuto about  Canada’s  dilemma. He was asked  if he thought the  Ottawa  event was a terrorist attack? He suggested  that, while it required confirmation, it certainly had the appearance of one. However, Harris  said that Canada may be unprepared for more such attacks in view of the significant number of Canadians who have left to join up with ISIS.  They  include  some who have become prominent ISIS  spokespersons, who may return to foster such domestic terrorism.  He drew attention to  a  Canadian Senate  testimony by Michel Coulombe the current head of  CSIS, who  indicated that Canada could be overwhelmed by such  ISIS inspired homegrown  terrorist  threats lacking the resources and legal means to combat them.

Watch this Fox News report  video report on the shootout today inside the Canadian Parliament:

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on the New English Review. The featured image is of police officers take cover near Parliament Hill following a shooting incident in Ottawa October 22, 2014. REUTERS/Chris Wattie