Canada needs to revamp its approach to Islamic extremism if it hopes to prevent another homegrown radical from setting off a bomb, says the founder of an international anti-radicalization think tank.
In an exclusive interview with Postmedia, Maajid Nawaz - a former Islamist radical and founder of the U.K.-based Quilliam Foundation - called for a society-wide effort to undercut the intellectual and theological planks of Islamist and jihadist ideology.
“There certainly needs to be training. Counter-radicalization training involves de-radicalization training on how to disengage somebody from the theory of violence, and it involves taking them beyond that actually and discrediting the theory of Islamism in their minds,” said Nawaz.
“A lot of this, Muslims simply don’t know.”A lot this, infidels simply don't know either.
Two years ago, Tarek Fatah expressed some other hesitations re anti-extremism--and encountered much infidel ignorance. He warned a Senate committee looking into the matter that
‘de-radicalization’ initiatives by Canada’s security agencies were doomed to failure because the very men and women partnering with the RCMP in this exercise were not just part of the problem, but in many ways the cause of radicalization.
For example, in mosques across Canada, our Friday congregation begins with a prayer to Allah for a victory of Muslims over the kufaar (Christians, Jews and Hindus). In such a climate, relying on Islamic religious clerics and Islamists to fight radicalization is like employing the fox to guard the chicken coop.
Some senators looked at me with incredulity, taken aback by what I had said.
I suggested to the senators that some Islamic clerics are taking us for a ride. For example, a Canadian cleric, a white convert to Islam who is touted as a ‘de-radicalization counsellor’ by the RCMP, was last week in the Gulf Emirate of Qatar, holding meetings with the leadership of the Taliban....
De-radicalization, I told the senators, was just an empty meaningless word. The real challenge was to prevent radicalization and this required confronting the rhetoric of political Islam rather than appeasing those who fanned religiosity and made Muslims believe their first loyalty was to Islam, not their community of fellow Canadians and Canada.
“To ask ‘former radicals’ to de-radicalize radical Islamists is like asking Marxists to convert Communists into liberal democrats,” I told the committee. ...My take on it is slightly different: you can't expect to "deradicalize" anyone until and unless you address the siren call of jihad, a core Islamic tenet, and how compelling and all-consuming it is for those who fall under its spell. And, when someone has fallen for it, what's likely required is the type of concerted deprogramming that's used to de-brainwash someone who's become stuck in a dangerous cult. However, given the jihad's widespread appeal and its mainstream status in much of Islam, that deprogramming style is probably not feasible.