Did Toronto Star deliberately downplay ISIS connection in Scarborough attack?

These days more than ever it seems your appreciation of reality will depend on which media you choose as your primary source of news and information.

Last Saturday, a self-proclaimed ISIS supporter allegedly screaming  ‘Allahu Akbar’ attacked people at a shopping mall in east end Toronto with a large knife she had concealed in her clothing and also with a golf club.

That is, unless you were reading the report of the incident on the Toronto Star web site. In which case, a random woman attacked people at the mall for no known reason whatsoever.

Here is how another local news outlet reported the incident, under the headline ‘Woman screaming ‘Allahu Akbar’ charged in Toronto store attack: Sources’:

Toronto Sun: “Sources told the Toronto Sun that a woman, wearing an ISIS bandana, allegedly entered Cedarbrae Mall in Scarborough Saturday afternoon and then the Canadian Tire store, where she walked to the paint section.”

She allegedly ranted “Allahu Akbar” — God (Allah) is greater — before swinging a golf club at employees — at the same time of bloody terrorist attacks in London, sources said.”

Compare that with the report on the incident the Star provided under the caption ‘Toronto woman charged with assault at Scarborough mall’:

Toronto Star: “A Toronto woman is facing seven charges after two people were attacked Saturday in a Canadian Tire store at Cedarbrae Mall.”

The RCMP’s Toronto-based Integrated National Security Enforcement Team is working with Toronto police on the investigation, said Corp. Louise Savard.

Savard would not say why the INSET team is involved because the investigation is ongoing.

The specialized teams are aimed at tracking, deterring and disrupting terrorist groups or individuals who pose a threat to Canadian national security, the RCMP website says.”

Would not say why the anti-terrorist team is involved?

The incident was not reported in the media until Tuesday, when the alleged attacker appeared in court. Take a look at the stark differences in how the two Toronto news outlets reported the details of the woman’s bail hearing.

Toronto Sun: “Before Tuesday’s proceedings started, Justice of the Peace Alice Napier asked Rehab Dughmosh, 32, to identify herself in court ….. “ISIS — I pledge to the leader of the believers — Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi,” blurted the woman through an interpreter.

Al-Baghdadi is the leader of the Sunni militant jihadist group known as the Islamic State of Iraq (ISIS) and the Levant.

Now compare that with how the Toronto Star reported the hearing:

Toronto Star: “When asked to identify herself for the record, she instead made reference in Arabic to “the leader of the believers,” according to the court’s translator.

The rest of her statements were one-word answers to questions asked by the judge.” 

 What is going on here? 

Keep in mind that this incident occurred on the same day as the London bridge attack and was reported Tuesday, the day international media was reporting that a man attacked police with a hammer while yelling ‘this is for Syria’ at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.

And yet the Toronto Star, Canada’s largest newspaper, appears to have gone out of its way to downplay the connection between this attack in Toronto and Islamic terrorism.

Perhaps there is a reasonable explanation for the glaring differences between these two reports of the same disturbing incident. If so, it isn’t immediately obvious. Lacking such an explanation, it’s difficult not to see this as an example of a major mainstream media outlet deliberately constructing an inaccurate version of reality as opposed to objectively reporting the news.

You can read the original reports here:

Woman screaming ‘Allahu Akbar’ charged in Toronto store attack: Sources; Toronto Sun

Toronto woman charged with assault at Scarborough mall; Toronto Star

 

 

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Targets of Islamic terror: Sympathy for France, Belgium… condemnation for USA. What is going on here?

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The Charlie Hebdo attack in France. The terror attack on concert goers and cafe patrons in  Paris last November. The terror attack at the airport in Belgium this year. Each a terrible act of vicious violence perpetrated on unsuspecting, innocent people in the name of Islam, the “religion of peace”. These attacks were widely seen as not just attacks on individuals, but as assaults on the principles, values and humanity of the European countries in which they were perpetrated – and by extension, on Western civilization itself.

That is why the outpouring of sympathy from within the targeted countries and from the entire civilized world was most commonly expressed using symbols which embodied the collective violation of all that is decent and honourable about those nations.

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And there was certainly no shortage of sympathy on display for the those countries in the immediate aftermath of the tragic events.

So why is the country that is collectively suffering from the latest in this series of  Islamic terror attacks receiving such a different response? Why, rather than being the beneficiary  of mass sympathy, is the massacre in Orlando that has left 49 people dead and as many injured eliciting mostly condemnation of the victimized nation itself?

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Let’s do a simple comparison. On November 13 of last year, Islamic extremist gunmen entered a nightclub in Paris, opened fire on the crowd, killing 90 and injuring many others.

On June 12 this year, an Islamic extremist gunman entered a nightclub in Orlando Florida, opened fire on the crowd, killing 49 and injuring many others.

Following the Paris attack, there was a mass outpouring of sympathy and goodwill for the people of France and condemnation of Islamic terrorism.

Following the Orlando attack, there was a mass outpouring of condemnation of American society – focusing primarily on gun laws but also branching off into homophobia, men in general, religion in general and even American Islamophobia.

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Nobody with a sprig of sense would have insisted that the Charlie Hebdo attack , the November terror attacks in Paris or the attack at the airport in Belgium this year were first and foremost issues of local gun control.

What happened in Orlando was just as much an atrocity fuelled by Islamic hatred of  collective Western values as the attacks in Europe – only this time perpetrated on the American people. And yet the focus of condemnation is being directed against the target of the hatred – Americans and their society. What is going on here?