TORONTO - An arson at a Peterborough mosque gets a visit from the prime minister. An attack on our precious soldiers in the country’s largest city gets a tweet.
But at least Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called what happened at 4900 Yonge St. what it is.
“Canadians — and the @CanadianForces — will not be intimidated by terror & hate. May the CAF members injured yesterday make a full recovery,” Trudeau tweeted Tuesday.
It’s certainly better than his response after the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013 by two Muslim fundamentalist brothers when he ridiculously said, “We have to look at the root causes” and “We don’t know now if it was terrorism or a single crazy or a domestic issue or a foreign issue.”
But if only he would have brought the same outrage as he did when the Masjid al-Salaam mosque was set ablaze by an unknown person or persons.
“What happened to this place of worship just one day after the brutal terrorist attacks in Paris is reprehensible,” said Trudeau. “I have not met a single Canadian who was not as profoundly disturbed as I was to see this kind of hate crime taking place.”
What happened here in Toronto Monday was not a love crime. Ayanle Hassan Ali, 27, has been charged with attempted murder and other serious offences.
The attack has shocked the city.
Perhaps rather than a tweet, Trudeau, who came here for the giant panda bear cubs and other places for selfie shots, could have come here and made a strong statement like he did about the mosque incident.
He and Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan tweeting out that soldiers were “injured” makes it sound like they slipped on an orange peel when in fact they were wounded in the field of battle because they were wearing that uniform.
But at least he did call it terror.
However, he should have used the word terrorism because what happened at the Canadian Armed Forces recruiting centre was an alleged terrorist attack on our fighting troops. Someone allegedly attacking a Canadian military recruiting office wielding a knife while yelling “Allah sent him” there to “kill people” makes it pretty clear what we’re talking about.
But for the prime minister, it’s certainly an improvement from previous responses following terror attacks. He’s now using the “T” word — something he loathed to utter after Cpl. Nathan Cirillo was shot and Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent was run over in 2014. He told Parliament at the time: “I am deeply saddened by today’s horrific events ... and unreservedly condemn these brutal and heartless acts of violence.”
Vincent and Cirillo were victims of acts of war by two Muslim converts who had been radicalized.
It wasn’t easy to watch their hearses go by and we can thank our good fortune we did not have more funerals this week.