Algonquin students and graduates took to Facebook and Reddit to comment on the charges to alleged terrorist recruiter, and Algonquin graduate, Awso Peshdary.
The Times enlisted the popular web page “Seen at Algonquin College 2014-2015” asking the over 3,000 members how they felt about the Peshdary charges. A link was also provided to the breaking story which ran in the previous issue of the times, providing context for those who may not be aware. The post was also linked on the Algonquin College subreddit.
Joel Samson, a computer systems technician student, commented, “Algonquin is just following this because as the expression goes; ‘There’s no such thing as bad publicity.’ Doesn’t mean Algonquin students have to worry about terrorism more than any other institution.”
Others had a similar opinion. Victoria Beer, a child and youth worker student posted, “It’s scary but it isn’t going to stop me from going to school. Just makes it more realistic that it is closer home.”
Keefe Lau, an accounting student, also brought a different side of the argument by asking, “Are those who support their country against other political entities who are trying to bring about change with violence a terrorist or are they patriots?”
The Algonquin subreddit also provided knowledgeable insight, even if the responses were few – just three have replied by Feb 24.
“I hope everyone involved is brought to justice,” posted Reddit user WizardlySquid. .
“I’m not saying that all Muslims actually believe this. Most Muslims are tolerant, who don’t do these horrible things and condemn those who do these things in the name of Islam,” the same user added.
User Northern_Pain wondered if this could have been caught, or prevented by the College itself.
“Only thing I am curious about is if there were any signs leading up to the grand reveal. Is there any reasonable way that either colleagues or an institution (like the college or Students’ Association) could have discovered this criminal activity earlier?” the same poster asked rhetorically.
The poster also suggested that the Students’ Association keep a closer eye on clubs, to deter extremists “In a place that is supposed to dictate tolerance, equality, and safety.”
Responses ranged from well-articulated opinions to Trailer Park Boys memes, however there were posts that stood out on both sides of the argument.
Peshdary’s case is still on-going.