Berlin massacre sparks call for Canadian attitude shift

“What is clear that terrorists make no exceptions for Canadians,” said Prof. Norman Cornett.

“Don’t paint all Muslims with the same brush stroke,” urged Dr. Norman Cornett, following the massacre at a Berlin Christmas market, Dec. 19, which took the lives of 12 people and injured another 49.

Cornett sees the murders as a wake-up call for Canadians to the need to prevent a similar incident here.

“This is a game-changer,” the Concordia University professor told The Suburban, which has demonstrated that such attacks in Germany and France are not merely isolated episodes.

“What we value in Canada and in Quebec is openness and freedom,” Cornett said in an interview, “but we have to make some modus vivendi.”

He highlighted how German authorities’ close engagement of its citizens through social media helped investigators rapidly to zero in on suspects, and urged Canada to follow suit.

“The first thing that Berlin police did was to go online to ask the public for help—and they got 508 tips,” Cornett noted.

American’s have already embraced the paradigm shift that he proposes, with a “See it, say it” approach to threats of violence.

“We need a reasonable accommodation of security and liberty where every citizen becomes a soldier,” he proposed, “like the Ancient Greeks and Romans—and still to this day in Switzerland.”

Cornett urged Canadians to be more supportive of Canadian Security Intelligence Service, Royal Canadian Mounted Police and Montreal Police counterterrorism efforts.

“We want to be preventative here,” he declared. “We have to work out a new way, a Canadian way and a Quebec way to have security and wellness in our community. We need reasonable accommodation, security and tolerance.”

“What is clear is that terrorists make no exceptions for Canadians. We want to welcome people with open arms, but it is going to mean security and background checks,” for newcomers to Canada, Cornett suggested. “Canadians might find distasteful that [president-elect] Donald Trump talked about vetting, but we’re dealing with clear and present danger.”

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