mother Sonia is convinced there is more to the
story. She said there may have been others
involved who left her son to take the
Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada, Tuesday,
October 18, 2004
WE MUST take no
pleasure in being proved right yet again
about the origins of these artificial
We were greeted with
frank disbelief, then skepticism, when we
cited to New Zealand journalists in August
2004 the astonishing statistic that no
fewer than eighty percent of such
outrages, when arrests are made, prove to
have been the handiwork of disordered
members of the community itself and not
its perceived enemies.
For whatever reason
these people acted, the results were the
same: Public outpourings of sympathy,
funds for their community defence
organisations, and sometimes even the
enactment of fresh laws targeting those
who were in fact innocent.
Of course, Haas too may
be innocent of the charges against him in
this respect. He is not guilty until
proven so in a court of law. It is not
impossible, as his mother hints, that he
has been used as a pawn by immensely more
If he is ultimately
convicted, then we cannot help but feel
sorrow and sympathy for the tortured and,
indeed, disordered mind which was capable
of manifesting such outward hatred toward
those whom he identified as his
Sympathy and sorrow:
Those surely are the proper Christian
responses in a case as disturbing as
Haas (Artist rendition: James Levergood)
A MAN has been arrested in
connection with death threats and hate literature
found at Ryerson.
Kevin Haas, 21, has been charged with two
counts of threatening death, and seven counts of
mischief under $5,000. The Crown is seeking the
attorney general's approval to also charge
Haas with hate crimes.
Haas is not a student at Ryerson, nor is he a
member of the Ryerson community.
"Haas has been a person of interest because of
his relationship with a couple of people on
campus," said Det. Matt Moyer, the lead
investigator in the case, at a press conference
held at Ryerson yesterday.
Throughout the years, members of Ryerson's
Jewish student group, Hillel, knew of Haas from
various non-Ryerson events. But the group is not
acquainted with him.
Ryerson security had been on alert since late
last week, when both the Arab and Muslim Student
Associations found death threats slipped under
their office doors.
Nahla Darkazanli, president of the ASA,
discovered a threatening flyer in her office on
Thursday evening and immediately called Ahmed
Arshi, president of the MSA.
No one had been in the ASA office since the
Friday morning, Arshi
found the same flyer in his office. The
presidents took the flyers to security together,
and police were notified that afternoon.
The flyers display a black and white photo of a
white male with a caption that says: "Those who
follow the Islam faith need to be killed in the
worst possible way imaginable."
it went down...
23 - Multifaith Centre is spray painted
with the Jewish Star of David and the
words "Die Muslim Die."
- Posters threatening death are found
around Jorgenson Hall. In one of the
posters, a group calling itself "FBC
Ridaz" takes responsibility for the June
23 spray paint.
Blooded Israelis Brigades," took
responsibility for another
graffiti appears sporadically throughout
- Ahmed Arshi, president of the Muslim
Student Association, finds a note in the
group's mailbox saying "Your president is
14 - Group calling itself "Notorious
Motionz" slips notes under the doors of
the MSA and the Arab Student Association
saying "Those who follow the Islam faith
need to be killed in the worst possible
18 - Morning - the ASA is informed by
Ryerson Security that the sign by their
office was defaced and removed.
18 - Evening - Ryerson Security catches
Kevin Haas, 21, allegedly putting up
inciteful literature by the ASA office. He
is arrested at 7:25 p.m. and charged with
seven counts of mischief under $5,000 and
two counts of threatening
Of all the hate literature left on campus, the
most recent is by far the worst, according to
When Darkazanli went to the ASA office Monday
morning, her group's signboard was gone and a
message from security awaited her saying that the
sign had been vandalized the day before.
That night, two plainclothes security officers
were patrolling the third floor of the Podium
Building around 7:30 p.m. They noticed a suspicious
man pinning a flyer outside the ASA's office.
Security apprehended the man without a struggle. He
was later handed over to Toronto police.
Police are not seeking other suspects in the
case. But Haas's mother Sonia is convinced
there is more to the story. She said there may have
been others involved who left her son to take the
blame. Sonia said her son couldn't have written the
flyers the ASA and MSA received, although she said
she has never seen them.
After being held overnight on Monday, Haas
appeared in court around 1 p.m. yesterday. He was
escorted into the courtroom wearing a waist length,
black leather jacket and dark, baggy jeans. His
mother Sonia sat in the back right row. She wore a
pair of large brown sunglasses that hid her
She told reporters she is worried she will never
be able to show her face in a synagogue because of
the media coverage. Moyer sat with her and quietly
answered her frequent questions during the
Haas travelled to Israel this past summer and
also started attending an Orthodox synagogue
because he felt that conservative temples are
becoming too reformed.
Moyer's investigation of the hate literature and
threats at Ryerson leads back to last summer, when
the campus was vandalized with anti-Islamic
graffiti. Racist posters were also found scattered
throughout Jorgenson Hall.
Late last June, the words "Die Muslim Die" and
the Star of David were spray painted outside
Ryerson's Multifaith Centre. Towards the end of
July, hateful flyers were posted in Jorgenson by a
group calling itself "FBC Ridaz." In
the flyers, the group took responsiblity for the
previous month's graffiti.
Another group posted hate literature that read:
"The Islamic infidels have no belonging in Toronto
and in the world at all. Islam is a disease that
has made its way into the world and it must be
eradicated." This group called itself the "Full
Blooded Israelis Brigades."
51 Division's superintendant Randal
Munroe of Toronto police, speaks to media,
students, faculty and staff about the arrest
Tuesday afternoon at Ryerson. Next to him are
of the Canadian
Omar Alghabra of the Canadian Arab
Federation, and Claude Lajeunesse,
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