October 24, 2004 by Allen George
Professor of Computer Engineering @ the University of Waterloo. Head of the Canadian Islamic Congress. Proponent of prohibition on campus (i.e. killing the Bomber, the Grad Club & Fed Hall). Supporter of the practice of considering of all Israeli citizens over the age of 18 as legitimate targets in suicide bombings and other attacks.
Whoa. Back up there. Supporter of what?!
Today morning I ran across this little story in the Globe and Mail describing Mr. Elmasry’s views on suicide attacks against Israeli civilians. To paraphrase both Mr. Elmasry and the article, he believes that since all Israeli citizens are drafted for a term in service in the Israeli army, they are valid ‘targets’ for Palestinian attacks. Although given numerous chances to clarify his view and perhaps reconsider his position, he reiterated his point – both on The Michael Coren Show and in a subsequent interview.
This is so wrong I don’t even know where to start.
Although I consider myself a fairly tolerant person, I’m extremely thankful that I don’t have to take any classes with Mr Elmasry. Doing so, would in my mind indicate that I have ‘come to terms’ with his views. Views which in my opinion are hate inducing, dangerous and misguided. Not to mention legitimizing the generalization of all Israeli citizens as targets.
Mr. Elmasry – what were you thinking? Will your views help either side understand each other? Bridge the gap between them to create peace? Or simply reinforce pre-existing opinions? As the head of the Canadian Islamic Council your statements are not that of a ‘random’ individual. Although you purport to speak for yourself, your position lends weight to your opinions that most would not have.
I understand that we as Canadians live in an accepting culture. In a university especially, different schools of thought are prevalent and should be accepted. I strongly question Mr. Elmasry’s right to advocate this position however. For example, although I disagreed with Mr. Elmasry’s position for alcohol prohibition on campus (disclaimer: I rarely drink) and thought it misguided, I shrugged it off. “He should be able to voice his views”. This, however, is different.
These statements incite hatred. In my reading of the article, they legitimize it.
As a University of Waterloo Computer Engineering student, I’m disappointed (to say the least) that Mr. Elmasry is a member of the ECE faculty. If it were up to me, he’d receive the boot – or failing that – as a distant second, a stern censure.
My opinions only above. As always, everyone is free to disagree. If you think that I’ve mischaracterized his position, or have read the article incorrectly, drop me a line.