While I have written extensively on Omar Khadr in the past, the former child combatant has not been much in the news of late, and so I assumed he had more or less settled down into a normal life. However, such an attempt, it would seem, is fated to be lined with obstacles. given his notoriety and the reflexive mouth-foaming of the rabid right-wing that apparently would like nothing more than see their delusion that he is a terrorist fulfilled. In their collective hysteria, they see Khadr as a clear and present danger to all that is sacred.
How else to explain this?
The tenants of a north-side strip mall in Edmonton say they’ve been subjected to growing harassment, both online and through phone calls, after news surfaced of Omar Khadr’s recent purchase of the property.That this uproar is taking place in Albert is perhaps not surprising, but one hesitates to lump all inhabitants into the stereotype of that province: gun-toting, truck-driving good ol' boys. Yet there is clearly that element present, given the efforts to drive out of business all the enterprises that happen to be located in the strip mall:
The commercial strip is home to a variety of businesses, including an auto shop, a daycare, and a travel agency — all of which have been serving the community for several years. Most of the Google reviews on those businesses have been positive, until reports emerged on Monday of Khadr’s ownership.
“Don’t support this terrorist,” a Google review on Skyview International Travel and Tourism Inc.’s page reads. Bluesky Daycare, another long-standing business in the strip, has received several one-star reviews in the last two days.Few of those targeting the businesses will see the irony of their actions. In their zeal to see a 'terrorist' fail, they are engaging in their own form of economic terrorism, intimidation that serves no one well.
The owner of Bluesky Daycare, who did not want to be named for fear of threats to them, said they knew of a change of ownership, but were not aware of the new owner and have not met Khadr either. They’ve owned the daycare for five years, and it has been operational out of the strip mall for almost 30 years in total.
“I’m receiving these reviews, and they’re kind of scary,” the owner said of the influx of negative reviews the daycare is receiving online. “ ... It’s going to damage my whole business.”
But then, when you are dealing with hysteria, common sense and logic rarely prevail.