On March 2nd of this year, an article was posted to the McGill Daily website which states at the top of its home page that “The McGill Daily is located on unceded Kanien’kehá:ka territory” just to make the guilt issues clear. The article is headed “Bomb threat targets Muslim students at Concordia”, with the sub-heading “White supremacist group promises to spread [their] fight to McGill too”. Written by Ryan Canon, and with the ominous caution “Content warning: violence, white supremacy, Islamophobia”, the article begins by telling us that “Early on Wednesday March 1, several media outlets in Montreal received a bomb threat claiming to be from the ‘Council of Concerned Citizens of Canada,’ a white supremacist organization also known as C4.”
The article continues with the sub-headings “Islamophobic bomb threat at Concordia”, “Subsequent threat against McGill”, “Who are C4?”, and “Rising Islamophobia in Canada”. We are also treated to such highlighted comments as “The email stated that C4’s goal was to injure Muslim students at Concordia, and began by citing the election of U.S. President Donald Trump as inspiration for the group’s violent agenda”, together with “A disturbing effort to intimidate the campus population, and in particular, to target Concordia’s Muslim student population during ‘Islam Awareness Week’ (IAW).” We are also told that “No faith community should have to live in fear about the safety and well-being of its community members.”
The text comes to an impressive blast of 1497 words against “white supremacists”, “Islamophobes”, and anything else to the right of centre.
There is one problem though. In the second paragraph, we are told that “So far, only one suspect, 47 year old Hisham Saadi, has been arrested in relation to the bomb threat at Concordia: he has been charged with mischief, issuing a death threat, and inciting fear of a terrorist attack.”
And the very last paragraph headed “Update” tells us that “It is now being reported that Hisham Saadi, the man charged in connection to the bomb threat, was a PhD student in economics at Concordia. This story will be updated further as more details emerge.”
Almost seven months later there is no update to the original article, although Google News does not as yet reveal the disposition of the charges. Perhaps they were dropped in the interests of “political correctness”?
Hisham Saadi’s qualifications for membership in the Council of Concerned Citizens of Canada would appear to be tenuous at best, (Facebook accounts under that name can be found in Egypt and Iraq as well as other places), but why wreck a perfectly good excuse to smear the enemy? After all, facts are little more than aggravating annoyances to the politically-correct, and can quite legitimately be altered, ignored, or even created to order so as to advance the cause.
As the charges include “issuing a death threat, and inciting fear of a terrorist attack” it is clear that the police are alleging that the email referred to above was authored by Saadi, but Ryan Canon and McGill Daily went with smearing C4 anyway, despite what their own story tells us about the accused and the charges he faces.
Update: I have been reliably informed that “C4” – the Canadian Council of Concerned Citizens – never even existed; it appears to have been an invention of the accused, Hisham Saadi…
You can read “Bomb threat targets Muslim students at Concordia” here.
A list of Ryan Canon’s articles appearing in The McGill Daily can be viewed here.