Opinion: Path to fame, road to infamy (Kingston Whig-Standard & London Free Press)

By Sikander Hashmi

This is the tale of two young athletes living in the same city and belonging to the same faith community. Both have made headlines recently. How they got into the headlines is what sets them apart.

In 2006, 16 year-old Nazem Kadri was attending A.B. Lucas Secondary School in London, Ont. On the other side of town, Ali Medlej was close to graduating from London South Secondary School. Both were Muslim teens of Arab descent. Kadri was a practising Muslim who served as president of his school’s Muslim Students Association and was into hockey; Medlej was on his school’s football team.

Kadri, now a star forward with the Toronto Maple Leafs, made headlines early this week after scoring his second career hat trick and subsequently being kissed by Don Cherry on national television. A few days later, Medlej was leading national newscasts for allegedly being part of a deadly terrorist attack on an Algerian refinery in mid-January. According to news reports, Medlej, 24, was killed along with high school friend Xristos Katsiroubas, 22, also a London student.

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