Homegrown a play worth missing: Editorial
By Toronto Sun
We have no sympathy for this devil.
No matter how playwright Catherine Frid wants to portray Shareef Abdelhaleem, in our view, in the world’s view and in the court’s view, he’s a terrorist.
He’s been convicted for his part in the 2006 plot to detonate a massive truck bomb in this city’s downtown core. He didn’t even mount a defence, other than arguing he felt entrapped — an argument practically laughed out of court by the judge.
And he’s the object of Frid’s affection in her new play, Homegrown, that debuted Thursday night — underwhelmingly, to say the least — in front of a full house at Theatre Passe Muraille in Toronto, as part of the SummerWorks Theatre Festival.
Abdelhaleem can try to minimize his role in the terror plot but there’s no disputing the fact he tried to make a killing off killing, by betting the stock market would crash after the Toronto 18 terrorist attack.
He intended to profit from the death and destruction the planned potassium nitrate bombs would cause when set off during the morning rush hour in the heart of downtown Toronto’s financial district.
Certainly he was a middleman. Certainly he was a terrorist. Certainly he’s sitting exactly where he should be — behind bars.
And certainly it’s insulting that taxpayers are helping to fund a positive portrayal of this terrorist.
SummerWorks received a grant of $35,000 from the federal government to fund the 42 productions it will put on. The Toronto Arts Council contributed $30,000 to the festival and $6,000 to the creation of Homegrown. The Ontario Arts Council contributed $24,500 to the festival.
This play has received a lot of attention as a result of coverage in this newspaper — and specifically the helping hand it received from taxpayers.
There are five more shows remaining in this short run during the festival.
There’s an easy way for Torontonians to have their say — don’t go.
Boycott the show. It deserves it.
There is one final act left, though, and that’s going to be played out in a courtroom starting Sept. 13, when Abdelhaleem faces sentencing.
Frid can show all the sympathy she wants for this man.
We hope the court shows none.