The Soldiers of Odin: Inside Canada’s Extremist Vigilante Group
It can be shamefully easy up here in Canada to sit back and watch the antics to the South, feeling safe an secure in our multicultural snuggie. The reality is that if you flipped over a few rocks up here, you’d find the same squirming underbelly of hate-fuelled maggots. Sure, our government pays lip service to the kind and peaceful society we all wish we lived in, but there is plenty of irrational fear to be found in the populace, and some of it is manifesting itself in right wing vigilante groups like the Soldiers of Odin. VICE recently created a mini-documentary about the S.O.O. that highlights their network of Canadian chapters and their close ties to neo-nazi and extreme right wing groups – despite their claims of “not being racist” and just being there to “protect our communities.” Watching this documentary demonstrates to me just how important education and accurate information is, because there are people who seriously believe that by accepting refugees into Canada, we are putting ourselves at risk of being overtaken by Sharia Law. I think it’s pretty clear that Canada is on a path to bettering our democracy and further separating Church and State – I’m more worried about the direction of the Trump administration, with the willy-nilly executive orders being handed down like he’s the incarnation of Mussolini. S.O.O. is similarly trying to capitalize on Islamophobia, stirring the pot with anti-Islam protests where they can and then offering a solution in the form of bigotry and biker vests. This is the kind of ignorance that can’t be allowed to fester, it jeopardizes not just the lives of Muslim Canadians, but the very tenets of diversity and acceptance that Canada claims to stand for. Some highlights from this mini-doc include: CSIS (Canadian Security Intelligence Service) states that white supremacist groups pose a far larger terrorist threat than ISIS on Canadian soil (I think the same could be said for the US); S.O.O. doesn’t have a problem with refugees per se, just the ones who “don’t want a better life” when they immigrate here; and repeated claims that S.O.O. isn’t racist, they’re just huge fucking bigots. Don’t try to patrol my streets, fuckers.