Toronto 18 leader apologizes....
His apology is below...but what is more interesting is what led him to change his views....
Amara told the judge he became "ideologically locked" into a position of extremism and isolated from broader society when he began plotting to bomb key targets in southern Ontario, but said his time in prison exposed him to people who "challenged and confronted" his views.Here is his full apology:
"I became friends with a Jewish inmate who was the first to greet me when I entered the range," Amara said. "He once told me that had we been living in Palestine we would have probably killed each other and died failing to realize what good friends we would have made if only we had talked."
The following is the text of an open letter to Canadians by convicted Toronto 18 ringleader Zakaria Amara, read aloud during his sentencing hearing today:
I hope my words reach you while you are in good health and fine spirits.
I am certain that many, if not all of you, will never forgive me for my actions.
I have no excuses or explanations. I deserve nothing than your complete and absolute contempt.
I only wrote these words to simply let you know how regretful and sorry I feel. All I can hope for is that you are all alive and well when perhaps that day comes when I demonstrate my regret in actions rather than words.
As for the Muslims amongst you, I have an additional comment to make. I cannot imagine the type of embarrassment or anxiety you must have gone through in the days following my arrest. I am sure many of you received unwelcome attention and felt hopeless in trying to explain that the actions of a few were not endorsed by the community. I am sure many of you probably cursed at me in you heads.
To you too I say that the gravity of the damage I caused to you makes any excuse or apology inappropriate.
I can only hope that when all of you, Muslim and non-Muslim, witness the type of man I will one day make out of myself and the type of activities I'll be involved in, then you will perhaps contemplate accepting me once more into the fold.