Terrorism Tourism: A Letter in the National Post (by Adam Goodwin)

Terrorism Tourism: A Letter in the National Post

by Adam Goodwin | 2015 | Last Updated: August 11, 2015

The National Post

For blog readers who are not aware, the National Post is one of Canada’s major newspapers (along with the Globe and Mail). The newspaper also has a website (nationalpost.com) that posts many articles appearing in the paper addition. Most of the articles and stories tend to take a right-wing stance.

Canada’s Forty Second Election

Canada entered the campaign period for its forty second federal election on August 2, 2015. Canada’s three major politics parties, the Conservatives, Liberals, and NDP, along with Canada’s Green Party, are vying for votes to rule as the next majority party in Canada’s parliamentary system.

Recently, the Conservative Party of Canada, announced that if the party is re-elected during the election, the party will introduce legislation banning Canadians from traveling to certain areas of the world. Specifically, these regions include areas that are “hot spots” for extremist radicalism. There are a few different Canadian news sources that highlight the news:

  • August 9, 2015 article in the National Post (click here);
  • The Globe and Mail published an article on the announcement on August 9, 2015 (click here); and
  • The Toronto Star have an article from August 10, 2015 (click here).

My Letter

In response to the Conservative’s announcement, I penned a letter to the National Post. Part of this letter was recently published by the newspaper. To read part of the letter see below.

Image of Letter from Website

This is a screenshot (with the URL) of the letter appearing on the National Post‘s website. I, poorly, tried to erase the letters appearing above my letter to help alleviate confusion.

NationalPost Letter Adam GoodwinThe letter can be accessed by visiting: http://news.nationalpost.com/full-comment/letters-on-harpers-proposed-no-travel-zones-guilty-until-proven-innocent.

Text of the Letter

If you are unable to access the screenshot above or the URL, the text of the published letter is:

The Conservative Party’s announcement it will introduce legislation making travel to certain areas of the world illegal is wrong. I have travelled to places that would be classified as “hot spots” under such a law, regions where army or police do not patrol, travel that would oblige the Canadian Border Services to detain me on my return to Canada.

Such a law takes away from Canadians’ freedom. It instils fear through the use of anti-Islamic policies. It is the ultimate Big Brother government. It also takes away the focus from real issues affecting Canadians during the 42nd election.

This announcement tells people not to explore the world to experience and understand what is happening in other countries. To be told Canadians can only be curious about some of the world’s cultures, languages, politics, and religions is wrong. I do not, have not, nor will I ever support terrorism, terrorists, or extremists. But I will continue to travel and explore the world because the most pressing issue facing Western civilization is not terrorism. It is blissful ignorance.
Adam Goodwin, Windsor, Ont.

Your Call to Action

What are your thoughts on on the letter and/or Harper’s proposed law? Comment below or on social media!
Further Reading
Based on your reading of this blog post, you may also be interested in: Bucket List: June 2015.
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These are one person’s thoughts and opinions.  We welcome your feedback and own thoughts. Feel free to comment below or connect with us via social media.
Adam Goodwin is a Canadian who has lived and worked in Africa, Europe, the Middle East, and North America, who is currently attending one of the world’s best sport management programs at the University of Windsor.  He is a proud introvert and silent leader.  He has traveled to 50 major global cities around the world, and has worked with universities, non-profits, consulting firms, and sport organizations.  He has family and friends around the world.  Follow his travels, work, projects, and thoughts on Twitter (@adam13goodwin) and on this blog (click on the bottom right-hand corner to sign up for weekly email notifications).
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8 Comments

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  1. Probably some of your comments are correct but how else can we stop extremists ? What is an actual solution.

    • Hello,

      Firstly, thank you for reading and commenting!

      You pose a good question. How to stop the radicalism of individuals in any religion (my letter mentions Islam specifically, but it should be noted that it was meant to encompass any religion/culture that is “different” from Canada’s heavy Anglo-saxon influence) is a difficult process. Obviously by my letter, I think Harper’s plan will be ineffective and is counter-intuitive. Cutting off Westerns’ travel to other regions of the world will only propagate ignorance, rather than help quash the training and transformation of people to extremists. And that should hint at what I think many of these proposed policies are based on, ignorance.

      In terms of solutions, there is not a complete understanding of why someone becomes an extremist. The (some) media and (some) politicians love to simplify it as being a part of Islam. However, terrorism goes much deeper than this. Just look at recent American examples of home grown terrorists. It goes beyond Islam and religion. It can involve anyone, anywhere (not just the Middle East, and not just Muslims). This would be my first proposed step to finding a long-term solution to ending all terror, and shock and awe acts (from both terrorist groups and governments); developing a deep and robust knowledge about why someone would decide to radicalize.

      Secondly, as I noted above in this comment, banning travel may be a bit counter-intuitive. If we promote travel, and the exploration of cultures, religions, foods, peoples, communities, philosophies, and beliefs, this will likely play a huge role in bridging the huge gaps in knowledge that exist amongst many. There is not doubt that there are individuals around the world who want to attack Canada, and convert more people to believe that attacks against Canada will bring Nirvana. But, without understanding of other cultures and religions how can we (the average Canadian voting in the forty second election) hold our governments to account on policies they propose if we ourselves do not understand the problem. Promoting travel will go a long ways towards educating Canadians on what is really happening around the world.

      I have read all of the Dalai Lama’s books, so I will end with something he preaches time and again. If we want world peace, then we cannot expect there to not be any debate, disagreements, or differences. But, using our words to find solutions between these disagreements is much different than constantly having Western countries thinking that we can bomb the beliefs out of other cultures and religions. Just remember, Christianity preaches an eye-for-an-eye (i.e., you hurt me, I will hurt 100 of you). So the West itself needs to also reflect on the religious foundations that still heavily influence Western thinking and beliefs.

      Please feel free to comment about what I have written in this reply! I hope this attempts to provide a response to your question.

      Cheers,

      Adam

    • I forgot to mention in my reply, if you wish to ask questions (anyone), also feel free to tweet at me: @adam13goodwin (https://twitter.com/adam13goodwin).

      I should note that trolls on this blog or social media will be ignored and/or blocked.

      • Okay but won’t travel take years to form these bridges?

      • Yes and no. I think after one visit, changes start to take effect immediately.

        We must also remember the framework in which this entire story/issue started: A federal election. This is where soundbits, talking to your strong supporters, and differentiating yourself is key. You won’t hear any Conservative candidate speak out about this proposed legislation, but do you really believe all 300+ candidates think this is a good idea? Likely, a huge no. I bring up the framework for a reason.

        Terrorism has been around for centuries. Many think it is a recent issue since the attacks of September 11. However, this is a false sense of reality. There were the attacks on the Twin Towers in the 90s, and several attacks on embassies. It will rely on long-term thinking (i.e., eradicating ignorance, not certain religions).

        You want to remember who supports the Conservative party – typically Christians (though definitely not all of their votes come from Christians!). So, policies that rely on anti-Islamic philosophies will strike a note with traditional Conservative voters. People of certain faiths tend to look less favourably on other faiths. Anything that reinforces this will make certain sub-groups of the electorate happy and those entice them to vote a certain way. This is not an anti-Christianity statement (I am baptized). It is attempting to put things in perspective.

      • Interestingly enough, a TED Talk just appeared on my Facebook newsfeed as I posted this comment!

        Benedetta Berti outlines why it is important to understand extremists (i.e., my earlier comments) before launching the war party (if a war is even a good option). Here is the link: http://www.ted.com/talks/benedetta_berti_the_surprising_way_groups_like_isis_stay_in_power

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