Justin Trudeau’s Islamist Revival

790_largeby David B. Harris

Nothing says bug-eyed clerical fanaticism more than inviting a hate-spewing Saudi cleric to address your religious revival meeting. But this is part of the under-reported history of the Reviving the Islamic Spirit (RIS) Convention, a conference that Justin Trudeau, a frontrunner in Canada’s Liberal Party leadership race – and son of former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau – will address this weekend in Montreal. It’s also why moderate Muslims and non-Muslims are aghast at the prospect of Trudeau’s presence legitimizing the conference and some of its notables.

Immigration, Infiltration and Canada’s Growing Islamist Threat

by Jerry Gordon and David B. Harris (August 2012)

On December 14, 1999, Ahmed Ressam, an Al-Qaeda trained Algerian Jihadi and resident of Montreal, was arrested in Port Angeles, Washington after he drove off a ferry from Canada with a trunk load of explosives. Thus began the unraveling of the Millennium plot, an attempt by al Qaeda using sleeper cells in the US and Canada, to conduct an attack on the Los Angeles International Airport.

Canada has witnessed its own spectacular Islamist attack plots. On June 2, 2006, counter-terrorism raids in Metro Toronto and elsewhere in Ontario netted 18 suspected Al Qaeda terrorist cell (“Toronto 18”) operatives at several para-military training camps. In Toronto, the suspects were planning to detonate truck bombs, to open fire in a crowded area, and attack the Canadian Broadcasting Centre and the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) regional headquarters. In Ottawa, Canada’s Parliament was to be invaded and the Prime Minister of Canada, beheaded. A trial subsequently disclosed significant evidence that resulted in guilty pleas and convictions that were later upheld by an Ontario appeals court in 2011. In April 2004, a Canadian citizen of Lebanese Muslim background firebombed the library of the United Talmud Torahs Jewish School in Montreal, Quebec. This was a clearly Islamist antisemitic attack that sent a fearful message to Canada’s 380,000 Jews.

Then there was the gruesome evidence of honor killings in the Shafia and Parvez cases. The quadruple murder involving the Quebec Afghan Shafia family resulted in the conviction of the father, his second wife and son in a Kingston, Ontario Court in early 2012. In 2007, 16-year-oldAqsa Parvez was strangled by her brother in Mississauga, Ontario, allegedly because of Ms. Parvez’s penchant for Western dress, flaunting Sharia compliance traditions of “modesty.” The Parvez case sparked international outrage about Islamist treatment of women.

We have written extensively on the case of Canadian-born al Qaeda detainee at Guantanamo, Omar Khadr, who may soon be an unwelcome returnee in Canada. According to arrangements made between the US State Department and Canadian Foreign Affairs Ministry, Canada seems disposed to consider accepting Khadr’s return to Canada in order to serve the remainder of his sentence. He was sentenced to 40 years at a Guantanamo Tribunal in October 2010 for his act in August 2002 of killing of Sfc. Christopher Speer, a US Army Special Forces medic, after the battle for the al Qaeda bastion of Khost, in Afghanistan.

Then there were the human rights tribunals in Alberta, Ontario and elsewhere. Among other things, these saw free-speech advocate Ezra Levant and Maclean’s magazine pursued for what seemed to most Canadians to have been the reasonable exercise of rights of free expression under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Levant had published some of the Danish Muslim cartoons in the Western Standard magazine, while Maclean’s had published excerpts from the bestselling book by columnist Mark Steyn, America Alone. Questionable complaints against Levant were laid by a radical imam, and against Maclean’s, by the Canadian Islamic Congress, Muslim Brotherhood-oriented group. While the complaints ultimately did not succeed, the processes involved cast a chilling effect, at least for a time, over free speech in Canada.

Taken together, recent instances of home-grown Islamist terrorism, honor killings and suppression of free speech, can be regarded to varying degrees as byproducts of Canada’s very liberal immigration and multiculturalism policies.

Jerry Gordon:  David Harris thank you for consenting to this interview.

David B. Harris:  Thank you for inviting me

Gordon:  Why do you refer to Canada as Islamism’s “happy hunting ground”?

Harris:  The Islamists have been highly active in infiltrating and penetrating a variety of institutions within Canada, ranging from government and the private sector, through academe and certain police elements, not excluding the Royal Canadian Mounted Police “outreach” function. In recent days, FOX News and other news sources have reported that, through its Embassy in Canada, Iran may be attempting to recruit Iranian Canadians for the purposes of infiltrating government, and terrorism and subversion, some of it targeting the United States. These are disturbing and arresting developments in themselves, but especially striking to those of us who traditionally have been brought up to view Canada as, as the old expression has it, “the peaceable kingdom”.

Gordon:  Has Canada’s peaceable kingdom, its governing structure and multiculturalism given rise to this predicament?

Harris:  I think it has to be conceded even by those who have been among the greatest enthusiasts of multiculturalism – and here I refer to the statist multiculturalist phenomenon as understood in Canada – that multiculturalism has been a serious problem and promises to become an even greater one. In Canada, the state, which is to say, the Federal, Provincial and Municipal governments, has been inclined to involve itself, through funding and various other forms of support, in multiculturalist policies and a variety of related initiatives. These, taken together, seem to reinforce the separateness of any number of groups, including most notably those that might be inclined to self-isolate within the larger Canadian community. If we are dealing with certain sorts of radical groups, and the Islamists most emphatically count significantly among these, we find that radical tendencies within these streams will be inclined to be reinforced, rather than to diminish, over time. When one takes into further account the virtually unprecedented and unparalleled nature of immigration in Canada and Canadian immigration policy and approaches, one can see a combination that promises to be all the more difficult in the future for Canada and allies intimately involved with Canada.

Gordon:  How have Canada’s immigration policies aided the rapid growth of its Muslim population?

Harris:  The situation in Canada, especially Islamic radicalism, cannot be understood without registering the fact that Canadian immigration inflows are the biggest per capita of all 193 countries on the planet.

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