Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Some Muslim teachers and Imams are terrorists

I am not a Muslim but I have studied part of the Qur’an and I recognize many verses in that Holy Book that advocates peace, justice and the wellbeing of others.

There is mounting evidence of radicalization, extremist agitation and terrorist threats and violence in Canada and around the world that has galvanized the attention of many. Around the world, thousands have been maimed, tortured, killed and forced into sex-slavery, as a result of the surge in the violent Islamist fundamentalist ideology that appears to excite wannabe homegrown terrorists in democratic countries.  

Syed Soharwardy, an Imam in the City of Calgary in Canada, has stated that extremist jihadist ideology is being spread in schools and universities, often under the guise of academic freedom and away from the eyes of CSIS (Canada’s Intelligence Agency). He said; “The money comes in different ways, in secret ways. Money comes through institutions. There are two organizations in Canada that are basically U.S. organizations that are operating in Canada. One is called Al Maghrib Institute; the other is called Al Kauthar Institute. Both work in universities, not in mosques. Both give lectures. Both organize seminars. They are the ones who brainwash these young kids in lectures.” unquote         

There are some terroristic-minded people conducting university campus programs that are hijacking the minds of our youths in Westernized nations and through instructions from abroad, students are offered a one-sided perspective of the role of Islam and its role in terrorist organizations. I admit that there are some radical teachers in all religions but most of them don’t advocate violence.  

Islam can be one of the most misunderstood religions. For some people, it is a religion of war, whereas for others, it is a religion of peace. Because many young Muslims are uncertain about some aspects of Islam, there is a great need for an academic understanding of Islam. However, the teaching of Islam in our schools and universities should not include supporting the ideologies of ISIS and other terrorist organizations nor should they be recruiting students to join these criminal organizations.

The question of Islam's compatibility with democracy has been the most frequently asked question since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. It would appear on the surface that there is no real compatibility between the followers of Islam in the Middle East and democracy elsewhere.

Islam is one of the most rapidly growing religions in the world. There are at least a billion Muslims worldwide. Unfortunately, the violent activities of Islamic terrorists and their public announcements that often appear in the Internet, is terrorist propaganda that remains to be not fully understood by our young people whose minds have not yet matured. That is why it is so important that the favorable aspects of Islam should be taught in our high schools so that both Muslim and non-Muslim students alike have a better understanding as to what Islam is all about. I am however not advocating that Islamic law should be taught in Westernized schools. That is because it in my opinion, conflicts with the democracy of the Westernized world.

One of the lessons taught should attempt to answer the question: “Can Islam support democratic values and practices and can gender equality be achieved within an Islamic society?”  

There are strong fundamentalist Islamic norms and values within the Muslim community however there is also a pronounced anti-Western attitude being inseminated among young Muslims by those who advocate terrorism to obtain their Islamic goals of conquering the lands of both Muslims and non-Muslims alike.

Canada faces a variety of terrorist threats, derived in part from extremist ideas and orientations. Canadian based Sikh nationalists were responsible for the 1985 Air India bombing, which was at the time, the world’s worst act of aviation-based terrorism. The murder of two Canadian Armed Forces members, in 2014, by self-proclaimed jihadists, definitively demonstrated the reach of the global Islamist fundamentalist movements reaching into Canada.

Externally, Canada has been explicitly threatened by Islamist groups such as ISIS and Al-Qaeda. These groups continue to recruit Canadians to launch individual attacks within Canada and to join their cause. The murders of the two soldiers in 2015 are considered to be a response to such calls.

On July 8, 2015, the Canadian Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence released its interim report on Countering the Terrorist Threat in Canada that is the result of a nine-month-long investigation into the problem of radicalization and violent extremism in Canada.

The Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Steven Blaney appearing before the Committee said; “Canadians know that the threats posed by violent jihadism, radicalization and terrorist attacks are not future possibilities in a faraway land. We saw it in Montreal with 10 young individuals. We have also seen, as you know, an attack here in the federal Parliament. We have seen the B.C. plot, the CN Tower plot, the Toronto 18, plot and the VIA Rail plot.” unquote That`s clear evidence that Islamic terrorism has creeped into Canada.

While the most recent threats derive from organizations like ISIS (aka ISIL—the Islamic State) in Iraq and Syria which includes the foreign participation of more than 130 Canadians and at least 3,000 Europeans. Canadian law enforcement agencies also deal with many other forms of extremism brought about by hate which in itself, brings about violence.

Homa Arjomand, a former Iranian refugee who led the international campaign against Sharia law in Ontario, testified that “Under the notion of freedom of religion, the state (the Province of Ontario in Canada) has legally funded religious schools and centres and placed the children under religious dogma and tradition. With money pouring from Saudi Arabia, Iran and other states, and with [mullahs] and imams being imported to Canada, the result is very obvious. The state has paved the path for more segregation, isolation and discrimination.” unquote

While terrorists outside of Canada are promoting their own fundamentalist brand of Islam—Wahhabism, it is already here in Canada.  Wealthy Saudis, Qataris and Kuwaitis are using charities as conduits to finance Canadian mosques and community centres. As a result, many homegrown terrorists in Canada are groomed by some Imams (Muslim religious preachers) in their mosques and terroristic-minded speakers speak to the young people in Community centres.   

Another member of the Muslim community, Michelle Waldron, whose family has been directly affected by radicalization, warned Canadians that foreign-trained imams are “blurring the line between traditional Islam and their politically motivated ideology, which opens the door to violence and strife.” She told the Senate committee that her son, Luqman Abdunnur, who was reportedly under national security investigation, was radicalized at a mosque in Ottawa, and arrested three days after the October 2014 Parliament Hill attack. Waldron called on the committee to create a certification or licensing standard for clergy and religious leaders in Canada.

I have some concerns about the licensing of religious leaders no matter what their faith is. In Canada, religious leaders can only be licenced to conduct marriage ceremonies since anything else a religious leader does  is not require him or her to be licensed since nothing else he or she does constitutes a legal ceremony.

Section 2 of the Canadian Charter of Freedoms and Rights states that everyone has fundamental freedoms such as; (a) freedom of conscience and religion and (b) freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression etc. This doesn’t mean that anyone can advocate acts of terrorism in any form or for any reason whatsoever.

However, for someone to say that Americans are oppressing people overseas and that its military is too strong or to say that the Canadian armed forces have no right to attack ISIS in Iraq is not illegal. Such a person is merely exercising his or her right to free speech.

What goes outside the bounds of free speech is anything like the following speech by the late Al-Qa’eda Leader al-Zawahiri who later was killed by an American drone.

“Kind, beloved brothers, you know that my brothers and I in our Al Qaida-jihad group have love and respect for you, and we know your status, and we commend your steadfastness, and we look at you as the hope of the Umma in establishing the Islamic governance in the Levant of resistance and jihad, and that you are the hope for liberating Bayt al-Maqdis (Jerusalem) and that you blessed jihad is an advanced step toward on the path of bringing back the mature Caliphate on the Manhaj (approach) of the prophet, soon Allah-willing.” unquote

Umaima Hassan, one of al-Zawahiri’s four wives urged Muslim women to raise their children for jihad. She wrote; “I advise you to raise your children in the cult of jihad and martyrdom and to instil in them a love for religion and death. In doing so, each woman would raise her child to be a new Saladin (a 12th century Kurdish general who defeated the Crusaders in battle) by telling him that it is he who will restore the grandeur of the Islamic nation and he will liberate Jerusalem.” unquote

If anyone in a Westernized world were to make such statements for the purpose of promoting such acts of terrorism to wannabe homegrown terrorists (generally young immature people) it would be an act of terrorism and punishable by imprisonment. The glorifying of terrorists and their causes will encourage the emulation of the terrorist acts of violence with terrible consequences thrust upon innocent people.

On June 19, 2014, the Canadian Senate authorized the Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence to study and report on security threats facing Canada. On July 8, 2015, the Committee released its interim report on countering the terrorist threat in Canada which is the result of a nine-month-long investigation into the problem of radicalization and violent extremism in Canada. One of its recommendations was that the Government update the hate laws of Canada and consider including glorification of terrorists, terrorist acts and terrorist symbols connected to extremism. 

Humera Jabir, writing for the Toronto Sun said that the Senate’s recommendation focuses almost entirely on combating the so-called “extremist” thinking in Canada, and for this reason, the Senate is under the false assumption that the mere presence of “extremist” views is what causes individuals to become terrorists.

I disagree with that view. For example; if Criminal A convinces Criminal B into shooting someone so that Criminal A can reap the benefit of that crime, surely one can assume that the crime wouldn’t have taken place if Criminal A hadn’t proposed to Criminal B to shoot the victim.

Terrorist organizations in various parts of the world are encouraging our young people to take up arms and murder our own citizens. That is a conspiracy just as it would be in the scenario I wrote about in the previous paragraph. Those who encourage our citizens to murder our citizens are just as guilty of murder as the person who acts on that encouragement. We cannot ignore them any less than the murderer who acts on those encouraging remarks proposed by the terrorist outside of Canada.     

Jabir further states that this shift in focus away from terrorism toward extremism is nothing short of a transition from policing crime to policing thought.

That is pure unadulterated rubbish. Hate crimes in Canada are illegal and if as an example an extremist publicly advocates killing Jews, the police have every right to exercise its duty to hunt down that extremist and charge him with a hate crime. If anyone publicly advocates genocide—which is also a crime in Canada, the police will act irrespective that the person who uttered such hateful words and in doing so, is telling people that is what his thoughts are. 

The law permits us to express our thoughts no matter how vile they may be to a friend or family member but if we advocate a hate crime via the Internet, we can be charged. When terrorist organizations or their spokespersons are suggesting via the Internet that our citizens should kill other citizens in our country in the name of Allah or at the behest of ISIS or al- Qaida, our police would be neglectful if they didn’t make every attempt to arrest such spokespersons. Now that would be impossible if these terrorist spokespersons are not in our country. 

Adam Yahiye Gadahn shocked his Southern California family and his country when he surfaced online a decade ago as the U.S.-born spokesman for al-Qaida by delivering denunciations and threats to his homeland by video. He became the first American charged with treason since World War II. He was killed in January 2015 by a CIA drone strike in Pakistan.         

During the Second World War, Irish-born traitor William Joyce, (also referred to as Lord Haw Haw) was remembered for his propaganda broadcasts that opened with Jairmany calling, Jairmany calling”, spoken in an unintentionally comic upper-class accent. He was born in Ireland but had a British Passport which made him answerable to the British for his traitorous conduct. Throughout his broadcasts, the Reich Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda attempted to discourage and demoralize American, Australian, British, and Canadian troops, and the British population within radio listening range and to suppress the effectiveness of the Allied war effort through his propaganda. After the war, he was captured and later hanged by the British.  

The Americans, British and Canadians are on the same page. Anyone who attempts to persuade any of our citizens to betray our countries will be sought after and if found, dealt with severely. 

Jabir also said that the most egregious of the Senate’s recommendations suggests the possibility of imams being certified and trained with government involvement. He objects to the Senate’s recommendations that would also see Muslim Canadians involved in public outreach vetted by CSIS prior to engagement with public officials to ensure that “extremists” do not influence Canadian discourse and institutions with their “clandestine” Islamism.

I agree with his concern about Imams having to be certified and trained before they are permitted to preach in their mosques. To subject Imams to this kind of treatment when other religious leaders don’t’ have to undergo that procedure conflicts with section 15. (1) of our Charter that states; “Every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right to the equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination and, in particular, without discrimination based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability.” I think that unless the Imam has acted in a terroristic manner, he should be presumed to be legitimate. If the government learns otherwise, they can send undercover agents into the mosques to determine if the Imams are advocating terrorism. 

There is a recommendation of the Senate’s Committee of the thought-policing crackdowns on visits by foreign individuals whose ideas the government deems a threat. I agree with that recommendation. Every nation has a right to turn away from its borders anyone whose interests are in conflict with those nation’s best interests.

Canadian border agents can turn away any non-Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada looking to visit or return to Canada based on a number of factors, including past criminal convictions, health or financial problems, and a general risk to security. For example, Canada's decision to turn away controversial Florida Pastor Terry Jones (now deceased)  from entering Canada to give a series of speeches was correct. He constantly publicly condemned homosexuals and also publicly burned a Qur'an, so to permit him to continue spewing out his hateful blather would not be in the best interests of Canada.

The Senate Committee said; “Canadians must be vigilant, because violent extremism is a genuine threat, both to Canadian lives and to the Canadian way of life. But we must be vigilant in a thoughtful, balanced way, without undermining the values that make us great. We must find every resource, tool and technique available to a civilized society to diminish and defeat a most uncivilized force. Our goal is to lessen the risk to all Canadians, including the risk to vulnerable young Canadians who might be lured to extreme ideas and violent action.” unquote

I am in total agreement with that statement because the threat of terrorism and radicalization is current and among us. We need to understand that we are all part of this threat together and the solutions recommended in the Senate Committee’s report are important to all Canadians and permanent residents. Solutions needed to work to bring all Canadians and permanent residents together as one happy family are those solutions that are legally valid and appropriate. Anything less than those two attributes would put us in the same class as ISIS and Al-Qaida and other nefarious terrorist organizations whose members have no appreciation of democratic law nor have empathy for their fellow human beings.    

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