Extremist literature common in many mosques and Islamic school libraries in Canada, study says
OTTAWA — Many mosques and Islamic schools in Canada are placing young people at risk by espousing — or at least not condemning — extremist teachings, a new study says.
Co-authors Thomas Quiggin, a former intelligence analyst with the Privy Council Office and the RCMP, and Saied Shoaaib, a journalist originally from Egypt, base their findings on research conducted quietly in mosque libraries and Islamic schools.
The study says what worried them was not the presence of extremist literature, but that they found nothing but such writings in several libraries.
The authors say openly available material and analysis of social media postings helped confirm their views that many Canadians, including leading politicians, are turning a blind eye to the dangers.
Canadian Muslims with humanist and modernist outlooks are being drowned out by those with extreme views, the study says. “The struggle for the soul of Islam between Islamists and humanists goes on in Canada and the U.S., not just in the Middle East, Europe and South Asia.”
I imagine a lot of Kiwis are like me - we've considered Canada a fairly close kindred spirit to New Zealand in a lot of ways. People there are fairly laid back, there is an indigenous population, a lot of immigrants and it's a British Parliamentary democracy with which we share a language - pretty similar really.
If this is happening over there then could it happen over here?
Then there's another report of "radicalism" among Canada's Muslim youth.
What motiviates a Canadian Jihadist?
A study stresses real religious zeal, not loners seeking a way out
A new study based on interviews conducted over social media with foreign fighters in Iraq and Syria raises doubts about the commonly held notion that young men in North America and Europe who are drawn to violent Islamic extremism must be marginalized loners looking for an alternative to their dead-end lives.
Three university researchers who contacted dozens of jihadists from abroad in Iraq and Syria, including some Canadians, say they seemed to be drawn mainly by the religious ideas—“no matter how ill-informed or unorthodox”—behind jihadism. Rather than being isolated individuals who self-radicalized in front of their computer screens, the report says they usually found mentors and, at least in the case of the Canadians, joined the fighting in “clusters.”
In the working paper entitled Talking to Foreign Fighters: Socio-Economic Push versus Existential Pull Factors, the researchers caution against assuming that radical Islam appeals only young men on the edges of society, those without good job prospects or supportive family and friends.
They suggest previous academic studies have put too much weight on those “push” factors—the problems and frustrations in the lives of young men who turn to extremist Islam and, ultimately, terrorist violence. “Based on what we are hearing in interviews with foreign fighters—more interviews than anyone has yet to report on—we think more attention and significance should be given to the repeated affirmations of the positive benefits of being jihadists,” they say.
As well, the paper points to the importance of influential radical voices who carry some form of religious authority. “In most cases, we would say the help and encouragement of some other outside mentors is required to complete the process of radicalization, to turn wannabe terrorists into deployable agents or independent martyrs for the cause. The process of self-radicalization needs to be legitimated to be complete.”
Question: Could those "influential radical voices who carry some form of religious authority" partly be found in all the "extremist" literature found within their own Canadian mosques? And if the literature is present there must be people in authority at the mosques who know and approve this right?
Well monitoring mosques is a good starting point isn't it? We are left wondering how well - or even if - mosques are monitored to ensure they don't promote "radicalism". Or do we continue to go on trust? In Canada? In New Zealand? There is now, if there wasn't before, good cause to monitor mosques, is there not?
Don't tell me doing so would be racist, please.