Rachel Avraham explains how in recent months, there has been a rapid increase in radical Islamist sentiment within Canada and how government policies such as M-103 influenced this development.

Photo Credit: Wikipedia Commons

According to a recent report published in the Gatestone Institute, the Ottawa Public Library displays books that were written by Muslim Brotherhood leaders but the library rejected two books that are critical of radical Islam.  This incident is part of a wider phenomenon where radical Islamist thought is gaining prominence within Canada. Iranian dissident Arastu Sassani told JerusalemOnline that there are now many Saudi trained imams who are active in Canada that are disseminating radical Islamist thought. 

For example, Sheikh Said Rageah, a prominent Saudi educated cleric, advocates the death penalty for apostasy. “The good looking and charming man appeals to youth especially,” Sassani stated. She claimed that he admonished Muslim women who wear blue jeans and referred to life in the West as mental slavery: “It is imams like him and there are many who are transforming Muslims into traditional Islamists.”

Iranian dissident Avideh-Motmean Fars noted that in February 2015, the Muslim Student Association of York University handed out free copies of the book “Women in Islam,” which has a chapter that advises that wives should be beaten as part of a three-stage correctional process. Fars stressed that the dissemination of this book at a Canadian university and similar statements by imams in Canadian mosques highlight the threat that radical Islamist ideas pose to Canadian society.

“As a Canadian citizen, I feel concerned that many individuals from Canada have become ISIS terrorists,” Fars noted. “The fact is that there is an ideological network in Canada which has the money and infrastructure and therefore the ability to create the political, social and cultural space to support their objectives of developing extremism. The rise of Islamist radicalization in Canada is indeed alarming.” The question is, how did this all come about?

Muslim dissident Rahael Raza claims that the rise of radical Islam began in Canada in the late 1990’s, when US Customs officials arrested Ahmed Ressam after he came off a ferry from Canada in a car loaded with bomb-making materials. According to Iranian dissident Shabnam Assadollahi, Ressam belonged to a Montreal-based terrorist cell that had planned to attack the Los Angeles International Airport. Shortly after that arrest, Islamist terrorists were reported to be a leading threat in Canada.

In 2014, Pakistani writer Tahir Gora warned Canada about Muslim Brotherhood front groups targeting the Canadian Parliament and suggested that the promotion of certain Muslim candidates by Islamist organizations was not a good sign for Canadian politics. Assadollahi told JerusalemOnline: “We now see the result of this during the 15 months of Trudeau liberals being in power.” In order to highlight this, she cited M-103, otherwise known as the anti-Islamophobia motion, which is set to be discussed in the Canadian Parliament.

To its proponents, M-103 merely seeks to address discrimination against the Muslim community. Pakistani born Muslim MP Iqra Khalid says more than a million Canadian Muslims “are victimized on a daily basis.” But to its critics, this bill appeases radical Islam and poses a grave threat to freedom of expression. Iranian dissident Sima Tajdini explained that freedom of speech is one of the main pillars of the Canadian system and any attempt such as M-103 to restrict freedom of speech is simply wrong. Furthermore, Canadian activist Diane Bedderman argued that having a special piece of legislation to address discrimination against Muslims is “divisive in a multi-ethnic society.” The critics argue that M-103 is part of a larger trend since Prime Minister Justin Trudeau took power, where radical Islam is appeased and thus empowered.