This month, convicted Al-Qaeda supporter Kevin Omar Mohamed was arrested for the second time since his release from prison last year by Toronto counter-terrorism police. It was the second time in six weeks that Mohamed violated his parole.
He will now appear in court to face a terrorism peace bond, a set of conditions enacted to restrict the actions of those found to be national security risks.
As documented earlier this year by Canadian journalist Stewart Bell in an article for Global News titled “Canada’s Terrorism Offenders are coming out of Prison still radicalized,” Canada continues to release terror offenders who have been granted parole despite remaining a threat to public safety – like Suliman Mohamed, who was sentenced in 2016 for seven years for trying to join ISIS.
He was let out three years later on statutory release (a law requires that federal offenders who have served a fixed amount of their sentence be released under supervision). This was despite the fact that Suliman Mohamed’s parole report said he was a significant risk and still held on to his extremist ideology.
Across the Atlantic, similar issues have raised concerns in the UK. Known terrorism offenders (perpetrators of Nov 29, 2019 and Feb 2, 2020 attacks) were let out of prison having served only half their sentences.
They were known to the British police but the hope was that they had been deradicalized.
Should prisoners be released on a “hope?” Is there solid information leading to the conclusion that large numbers of Islamist terrorists can be deradicalized?
As we see from America, certain issues get attention while others don’t. In this climate, it seems that when anyone raise the alarm about radical Islam, there are no catchy slogans; instead there are accusations of racism and bigotry.
After a Canadian soldier was run over by an Islamist extremist in 2014, I wrote an open letter to Canadians. I had requested that the government close down certain radical mosques.
These mosques were supposed to be centers of worship and learning, but we knew youth were being radicalized there. I wasn’t trying to be funny or provocative. I just wanted to present a solution until the problem of radicalization could be resolved.
This is still being held against me.
The reason that Western governments don’t want to take a deep look at radical Islam is because they would then have to address the underlying problems that for decades have misguided some members of the Muslim communities.
No one is willing to do for many reasons, including greed for votes and political correctness.
However, until and unless the ideology and the teachings are challenged, there can be no deradicalization.
What are these issues that no one wants to address?
- Sharia law
- Women’s rights
- Hate for ‘the other’
- Hateful literature, like writings of Hasan al Banna (founder of the Muslim Brotherhood) and Mawdudi (founder of Jamaat-e-Islami)
- Complete unwillingness to accept the values of a 21st Century Western democracy
The fact is that even though certain mosques today spout hate for the other and encourage “victim ideology” which leads to radicalization, there is a complete absence of debate and discussion about the role of this archaic theology in the process of radicalization.
The Canadian government has further added to the problem by supporting politically correct motions like M103, which does not allow for any critique of Islam or Muslims.
This is the reason that radicalization is left unchecked. Why would any terrorist become deradicalized after undergoing years of indoctrination starting from a young age?
The Clarion Project’s Preventing Violent Extremism program speaks to ways in which radicalization can be stemmed by early recognition of symptoms and intervention before a person is already on the road to radicalization.
In a 2009 Wall Street Journal article, Hamid said that Islam should prove its peacefulness and called Islamic scholars and clerics “to produce a Shariah book that will be accepted in the Islamic world and that teaches that Jews are not pigs and monkeys, that declaring war to spread Islam is unacceptable, and that killing apostates is a crime.”
Is any government willing to take up this challenge and sponsor such a book?