This convert's mother explains how he came to espouse Sharia and jihad. The Muslim cleric quoted at the end of the story says that clerics try to "guide" young men like this one in a "different direction," but that it "doesn't always work." How they come to misunderstand Islam in these ways, and why all Misunderstanders of Islam seem to misunderstand it in the same way, and how exactly these clerics try to disabuse young Muslims of "extremist" ideas -- these questions and more are left unexplained..
"Quebec mother of terror suspect warns other parents," from CBC News, March 4:
The mother of one of the 50 to 60 Canadians being monitored by the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) because of alleged terrorist activities abroad says she no longer recognizes her own son.
The Quebec woman, who agreed to speak to CBC News on condition she remain anonymous for her own safety, said she wants to warn other parents about the risks awaiting young Muslims like her son.
She said after her son converted to Islam, he was recruited online by a radical Islamist group.
'An easy target'
The woman said her son was by nature a pacifist but was perhaps an easy target.
"They played on his generous nature," she says, adding she watched her son change gradually after he converted.
"He stopped listening to music because it was a sin," she says. "He started to cut off contact with girls, then later, with boys who didn't share his vision."
She said he became more and more critical of Canadian society, saying, "Canadian laws are not good. It's Sharia law that should be applied."
"He is convinced that jihad is a part of the religion," she said, adding he told his parents he wanted them both to "burn in hell" if they did not convert as well.
On the no-fly list
The young man has left Canada for Syria, and his mother is aware that CSIS agents suspect him of involvement in radical Islamist activities.
She said his name is on the no-fly list maintained by the U.S. government's terrorist screening centre....
Shaykh Omar Koné, a Sufi cleric who leads the congregation at Montreal's al-Iman mosque, said he sees more and more young people participating in this radical discourse.
He said clerics try to guide them in a different direction, but it doesn't always work.
Koné said parents of young Muslims must be vigilant and must not turn a blind eye to radical ideologues who might be trying to influence their children.