The judge said “The attack was motivated by the defendant’s radical religious and ideological beliefs but there is no dispute that the formation of those beliefs was in large part precipitated by mental disorder,” and judge acquitted him of terrorism charges while also finding him ‘not criminally responsible.’
In March of 2016, Ayanle Hassan Ali walked into a Canadian military recruitment office and began attacking Canadian soldiers with a knife.
Two soldiers were wounded before Ali was stopped.
And yet, even though the judge in the case clearly said that Ali had an ideological motive, he was found not criminally responsible, and acquitted of terrorism charges.
According to a CBC report, the judge said “The attack was motivated by the defendant’s radical religious and ideological beliefs but there is no dispute that the formation of those beliefs was in large part precipitated by mental disorder,” the judge says in his decision. “One of the beliefs that the defendant had formed in his mentally disordered state was that killing Canadian military personnel was justified because the military was fighting in Muslim lands.”
One of Ali’s lawyers said “They both decided that his relationship with Islam became tied up with his schizophrenia and he sat alone in his room for years hearing voices … and conflating in his mind the voices that he was hearing and the symptoms of the schizophrenia with messages of radical Islam.”
Of course what has been completely unaddressed is why Ali would have been drawn to radical Islam in the first place. There are many people out there with schizophrenia, and they don’t all follow the path of radical Islam and try attacking Canadian soldiers.
While the decision by the judge technically fits within established law, many people are questioning why the’ not criminally responsible’ provision was used in this case, and many will see this as a ‘convenient’ downplaying of the fact that radical Islamism remains a threat in Canada.
Photo – Screenshot