A Canadian businessman from Calgary named John Ridsdel has been beheaded by ISIS affiliated terrorist group known as Abu Sayyaf in The Phillipines. Abu Sayyaf had kidnapped Ridsdel last September and had demanded ransom for his release & beheaded him when they did receive funds by their deadline. Ridsdel was kidnapped with along with another Canadian, a Norwegian as well as a Filipino woman. Their fate remains unknown. At present, Abu Sayyaf is believed to be holding nearly two dozen hostages
Although Abu Sayyaf is affiliated with ISIS, its origins date back 25 years. Their primary goal is the establishment of an Islamic state in the predominantly Muslim Filipino province of Sulu. Although they have primarily engaged in kidnappings, they have also carried out terrorist attacks most notably against the SuperFerry 14 in February 2004 which claimed the lives of 116 people. It is the deadliest terrorist attack undertaken at sea. It took then Filipino President Gloria Arroyo nearly 9 months to acknowledge Abu Sayyaf was responsible for the attack.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has rightly called Ridsdel’s beheading “an act of cold blooded murder.” Yet I wonder if Trudeau believes that the people in Abu Sayyaf responsible for killing Ridsdel feel “completely excluded” from society as he suggested was the case with The Boston Marathon Bombers.
The execution of John Ridsdel is yet another reminder that jihadism is a global phenomenon which has a foundation of Islamic supremacism, not one of exclusion or alienation from society at large. It is the same ideology that has resulted in blooshed in Ottawa, Boston, Copenhagen, Paris, Brussels, London, Madrid, Sydney, San Bernardino, New York, Fort Hood, Peshawar, Jerusalem, Mumbai and now a remote province in the Philippines.
Undoubtedly there will be more places to add and I’m afraid we will be no closer in recognizing that Islamic supremacism, not climate change, is our greatest global threat.