Islamic Jihad is the Problem
by Christine Williams
A growing problem of Muslim youth engaging in jihad terror activity is getting brushed off as a Western problem of being racist toward Muslims and making them feel alienated and/or angry, when in fact the root of the problem resides within the Muslim community at large.
Canada’s RCMP thwarted a terrorism plot — one that enlisted the help of Al Qaeda in Iran -- to derail a VIA passenger train. A combined effort between the RCMP, Toronto and Montreal Police and the FBI lead to the arrest of two men on terrorism charges: 35-year-old Raed Jaser of Toronto and 30-year-old Chiheb Esseghaier of Montreal.
Just prior to the arrests, the RCMP saw it fit to send out an email to warn the Muslim community that one of their own was being arrested in connection with terrorism, consistent with their practice of “outreach” to the Muslim community. The Muslim leaders notified called it “unnerving,” since Muslim leaders were similarly summoned by the RCMP just prior to the arrest of the Toronto 18.
Police began the meeting by thanking the Muslim Community for their work, and then “soberly” proceeded to reveal the sad news that two Muslim men were arrested for plotting an attack on Via Rail. But this is not bizarre, not by RCMP standards. Back in August 2011, RCMP investigators conducted searches of homes, computers and seized the equipment of three terrorism suspects who were arrested. One day later, at an emergency meeting on cultural diversity, RCMP and Ottawa police apologized that the arrests were made during Ramadan. Prospective attendees were also assured that no food or drink would be served during this “most important meeting”; nor would it exceed an hour, so that Muslim attendees could get to prayers on time. Hiva Mohammad Alizadeh, Misbahuddin Ahmed and Khurram Syed Sher were charged in offences aimed at plotting to launch a terror attack in Canada and supporting terrorism abroad.
That one meeting was not enough. In the days following, more than a dozen meetings with Muslim groups took place in Ottawa. They included visits to mosques and Muslim community centres. No other cultural, ethnic, or religious group gets such consideration during their holy season when a criminal arrest is made, only Muslims -- which is insulting to every Canadian, including Muslims. It is insulting and condescending to Muslims because it indicates a fear of the community, and insulting to other Canadians, as it sends a message that they are of lesser worth.
News of the plot to derail the VIA Passenger train comes on the heels of a double bombing at the Boston Marathon that killed three people and injured more than 170. Among the dead was an 8-year-old boy. Meanwhile an international manhunt is underway for a fourth young man from London, Ontario who is wanted for questioning in the terrorist attack on an Algerian gas plant back in January. Libyan-born Mujahid Enderi, who goes by the name of Ryan, is being investigated by authorities, along with Aaron Yoon. Ali Medlej and Xristos Katsiroubas, both 24, were also Londoners implicated in the terror attack, but they were among the 29 militants killed in the four-day siege and hostage-taking in Algeria that claimed the lives of 37 hostages.
In yet another case, Somali and Canadian security forces are now probing whether a former York University student was part of a team of suicide bombers that stormed a courthouse in Somalia’s capital of Mogadishu on Sunday, killing and injuring dozens. A separate car bomb targeted Turkish aid workers. Mahad Ali Dhore grew up and studied in the greater Toronto area and is reportedly one of the nine Al Shabab militants involved in the well planned execution.
According to Secretary-General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon: “The Internet is a prime example of how terrorists can behave in a truly transnational way; in response, states need to think and function in an equally transnational manner.” The internet is a powerful tool in promoting propaganda, financing, recruitment and indoctrination efforts, as well as the execution of strategies and attacks, including cyber-attacks. In addition, the fact that a dual Canadian citizen living in Lebanon was involved in a bus bombing involving Hezbollah in Bulgaria last year raises concern about Canadians traveling overseas to carry out terrorism acts. Last year The Special Senate Committee on Anti-terrorism reported that CSIS is aware of between 45 to 60 Canadians (most in their early twenties) having travelled or attempted to travel to countries like Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen and Somalia to join al Qaeda-affiliated organizations to execute terrorism-related activities. Some of them have returned to Canada after full terrorism training or even having executed terrorism acts abroad.
Infiltration strategies present another terrorist front. According to Iranian activist and translator Shabnam Assadollahi, Iran has been engaged in infiltration strategies that began in the early 90’s when Ayatollah Rafsanjani came into power with a goal of spreading terrorism abroad.
Despite the recent acts of terrorism against innocent citizens and the ongoing jihad in all its forms, excuses were made which blamed the victims and exonerated the perpetrators:
Former NBC News anchor Tom Brokaw strongly suggested that America is partly to blame for the Boston bombings, because the young, Muslim men involved may have felt “alienated” and angry over U.S. drone strikes on “innocent civilians” in Muslim countries abroad.
New Canadian Liberal leader Justin Trudeau said “there is no question that this happened because of someone who feels completely excluded, someone who feels completely at war with innocence, at war with society.”
Geraldo Rivera tweeted “regrets to my Muslim brothers/sisters. We know how Boston will aggravate life’s friction—Now’s the time for patience pride & understanding.”
The West is falling short in understanding the layers and complexity of the Muslim radicalization problem. Yet according to a Government of Canada report on Radicalization of Homegrown Violent Extremists, Sunni Islamist extremism poses the “leading threat to Canada’s national security,” which has proven to be “adaptable and resilient” and pinpoints Canada as a target for attacks. The report discusses the homegrown Toronto 18 and goes on to explain the jihadi propaganda drives, fundraising and establishing of connections between jihadists in Canada and elsewhere in the world, as well as the help that Canadian jihadis have received to enable them to travel to foreign conflict zones.
Blaming America, kowtowing to the Muslim community at large and appealing to a presumed guilt will not solve the problem of Islamic jihadists. Those jihadists are working to infiltrate, dominate, Islamize and kill Western citizens, justifying it all by their destructive ideology that is influencing Muslim youth in the West, who are being taught to hate and wage jihad on Western soil. Such messages are being promulgated through a high percentage of mosques, training manuals and radical mentors online and through al Qaeda camps overseas.
Racism is a separate phenomenon. Both Canada and the U.S. would do well to abandon the self-guilt rhetoric and pay attention to the reality at hand, recognizing that the problem is not with Western citizens making Muslims feel unwelcome or angering them through foreign policy. We need to accept that the problem arises out of an Islamic ideology that fuels victimology while teaching a vitriolic hatred of Jews, Christians, the West and infidels.
We continue to be played for fools and neglect the real issues in our responses to Islamic terrorism. Former Republican Representative Allen West gets it right when he commented that “the terrorist attack in Boston and evolving events indicate we have a domestic radical Islamic terror problem in America.” He went on to advise: “No more excuses. No more apologies. We are in a war of ideological wills and we shall prevail.”
Christine Williams is a Federally appointed Director with the Canadian Race Relations Foundation, a member of the Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center Task Force Against Anti-semitism, and a nine-time, international award-winning talk show Host and Producer at CTS TV in Burlington, Ontario.