For five years, between 2008 and 2013, I was [Trudeau's] constituency executive assistant. I ran his life outside of Ottawa. I sent him to churches, mosques, temples — Sikh, Buddhist and Hindu. If his riding had had synagogues, I would have sent him there, too.
The riding of Papineau is fairly evenly split between French Canadians and recent immigrants. Historically, Parc Extension, the neighbourhood where the mosque is located, has always welcomed new immigrants.
To keep alive the social bonds brought from abroad, the local place of worship is often the heart of an ethnic community. It stands to reason, then, that a Member of Parliament would find himself meeting with that community there.
The conversations Trudeau had with those gathered at these visits were ordinary, day-to-day events. People would talk about what concerns them most: immigration, employment, public safety and the economy. That is the reality of Trudeau’s work in his riding. Much of what you may have heard recently is fantasy.
This is not to say the mosque in question is without controversy. It preaches the most rigid interpretation of Islam: Wahhabism. We now know from leaked U.S. government memos that “known Al-Qaeda members were recruited, facilitated or trained” at the mosque in the late 1990s. This information was made public in April 2011 — a month after Trudeau’s visit.
While Trudeau did not return to Al-Sunnah Al-Nabawiah following the revealed contents of those secret U.S. memos, I briefly wondered if I would have done anything different had I known.
It’s difficult for me to answer, but we never shied way from speaking with those we disagreed with. If nobody from the outside reaches out to the individuals in the congregation, all they’re going to hear are voices from the inside...Dearest Infidelle: They're Wahhabis. Multiculti bromides about "reaching out" and having "conversations" to the contrary, they are never going to hear your voice because to them you are a filthy kafir.
Your idea (Justin's too, apparently) that you can find common ground with Wahhabis and connect with them in some meaningful way--that's the fantasy.