Pro-ISIL Tweeters Celebrate Justin Trudeau Election Victory in Canada
Here in Canada we have just had a federal election in which the Liberal Party and their leader Justin Trudeau emerged victorious. The results were surprising. The election was expected to be a close race between the Conservatives and the Liberals, but the latter were able to get 184 seats in Parliament, enough for a majority government and to oust Steven Harper from power.
Many Canadians are celebrating Trudeau’s victory. Maybe due to his family name, his youthfulness, his pugilistic skill, his charisma or his policies there seems to be a real buzz surrounding him, much like when Barack Obama first became President of the US. Many people that I know, people who I have never heard utter a single word about politics, are discussing the results of the election and are very glad that Trudeau won and that the ‘wicked’ Harper lost.
In addition to Canadians that are celebrating Trudeau’s victory, there is another group, one much more vile, that is also pleased with the election results. Chronicled in a Daily Brief by Elliot Zweig for the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) are some examples of online pro-ISIL activists tweeting their approbation of Trudeau’s election victory due to his campaign promise to withdraw Canada’s six CF-18 fighter bombers from the anti-ISIL coalition headed by the US.
In Trudeau’s first press conference as Prime Minister designate he reaffirmed his campaign promise, which in response to ISIL supporters took to Twitter.[*] One ISIL hacktivist tweeted, “Canadian fighter jets to withdraw from fighting ISIS – yeah because they know whats good for them :).” Another ISIL supporter tweeted “Allah is great. Canada withdraws from the alliance against the Islamic_State after the election of new prime minister Justin Trudeau.” And another tweeted, “You would think they were united, but their hearts are divided. O Allah separate them and don’t leave any of them. Canada runs away.” Not all of the tweets were triumphant, one expressed skepticism towards Trudeau saying “doubt the new kuffar PM will stop harassing us here.”
It is possible that ISIL supporters are overreacting to Trudeau’s promises. There is always uncertainty when it comes to promises made by politicians. It is possible that Trudeau may not withdraw Canadian warplanes from the fight against ISIL, especially considering that he may encounter resistance from his American allies. But I suspect that Trudeau will keep his promise, especially given the fact that doing so will act as a repudiation of Harper’s hawkish foreign policy, which many Canadians were against. Furthermore the withdrawal of six warplanes, that since the start of their deployment have launched 180 air strikes against ISIL targets mainly in northern Iraq, will have an insignificant military effect on the fight against ISIL. To put things into perspective, in a single month 1,391 Russian sorties have struck 1,623 targets in Syria.
However, regardless of military and political considerations, in the immediate term ISIL, as evinced by their online supporters, feels a sense of triumph that one of the ‘Crusader’ nations fighting against them have decided to pull back. No doubt in the deluded minds of ISIL supporters this withdrawal is due to the might of the dreadful Caliphate.
Hopefully Trudeau does not believe that by pulling out of the direct fight against ISIL, that this action will placate ISIL and lead them to no longer target Canada. The problem with such a strategy is that ISIL possesses a completely intolerant ideology. Any ideology, religion or culture that differs, even in the slightest, from ISIL’s is considered haram and must be brought back into line with ISIL’s orthodoxy through submission or destruction. While many Canadians do not want to participate in a war against ISIL in a far off land, we must realize that as long as we retain our ‘Canadianness’ and as long as ISIL exists then ISIL will be at war with us.
Whether or not Trudeau understands this, I do not know. He seems to be to a sincere do gooder wanting to improve the world, but who is a bit naive to reality. People like him are well meaning and good intentioned but can cause great damage to societies and nations in their principled pursuit of fixing the ills of the world. I hope my assessment is wrong, after all I may be a tad too cynical.
With my cynicism in mind, I shall conclude on the following note. The day after winning the election Trudeau told a crowd, “I want to say this. To this country’s friends all around the world — many of you have worried that Canada has lost its compassionate and constructive voice in the world over the past 10 years. Well, I have a simple message for you: on behalf of 35 million Canadians: We’re back.” The crowd loudly applauded, but I wonder when these people returned home, long after the cheers subsided and in the silence of their thoughts, did any think how exactly will compassion combat or defeat ISIL?
[*] Trudeau also pledged to maintain and possibly to increase Canada’s support for the training of Kurdish fighters in Iraq.