Extremist literature is widely available in mosques and Islamic schools in Canada, according to a new study, reported by the National Post.
The study was conducted by Thomas Quiggin a former intelligence analyst with the Privy Council Office and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and Saied Shoaaib, a journalist originally from Egypt.
The study found that not only was the material available, but in some places it was the majority of the literature available.
The co-authors argued that politicians have reacted insufficiently to the threat, and that extremists were gaining the upper hand ideologically.
“Further research is required to determine the depth and breadth of this problem,” the study concluded.
The findings are especially troubling in the light of another study, published earlier in August, which interviewed Canadian citizens who had travelled to Syria or Iraq to fight for jihadist organizations such as the Islamic State (ISIS, ISIL), as reported by Macleans.
In this study,titled Talking to Foreign Fighters: Socio-Economic Push versus Existential Pull Factors, researchers questioned 40 foreign fighters, 60 family members, friends and associates, and 30 online supporters from December 2015 to February 2016.
They have so far they have published findings from an initial sample of 20 jihadists. Their findings indicate that ideology was a primary motivating factor in the radicalization journeys by of those to whom they spoke.
“None of our sample indicated coming from familial situations of poverty or marginality,” they said. “On the contrary, many indicated they had fairly happy and privileged, or at least comfortable, childhoods. In general, there was almost no discussion of the economic situation of their families.”
Those interviewed “run the gamut from troubled youth with personal problems to accomplished young men and women from stable backgrounds,” the authors wrote.
“Anger and frustration have their role to play in the process, but it is the positive investment in an alternate world-saving role that matters most, no matter how strange it may appear to outsiders.”
They also saw that many seemed to radicalize and travel in “clusters,” as opposed to lone wolves.
Furthermore, they added that mentoring from someone seen as a religious figure was necessary for many to complete the process of radicalization. “In most cases, we would say the help and encouragement of some other outside mentors is required to complete the process of radicalization, to turn wannabe terrorists into deployable agents or independent martyrs for the cause. The process of self-radicalization needs to be legitimated to be complete.”
With the presence of extremist literature available in mosques, the ability of Canadians to be drawn into such an ideology seems clear.