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How deep-rooted are jihadists in Canada?

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Filed: Timeline

By Murtaza Haider


The jihadists have been making inroads among the Muslim youth in Canada. They have pried on the fascination with violence and provided an avenue to rationalise morbid fetishes.

Resorting to violence in Canada, which has treated immigrants with unparalleled generosity, makes no sense. Still, 18 youths from the Toronto region were arrested in 2006 for plotting violent acts against Canadians. Some accused have been convicted and are now serving long sentences.

Earlier in 2004, Momin Khawaja, a software engineer from Ottawa, became the first to be accused and convicted under the Canadian Terrorism Act for plotting a bomb attack. He was initially sentenced to 10.5 years, but later his sentence was increased to life imprisonment.

Despite the overwhelming evidence documenting the spread of extremism among the Muslim youth, most Muslims are in denial.

They still believe that this is all part of a big conspiracy to malign the Muslims. Mosques in Canada continue to host speakers from abroad who glorify violent struggles and try to recruit Canadian youth for the wars in Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan.


Muslim parents and elders in Canada have a choice.

They may retreat to their comfort zone and blame all this on a conspiracy or play an active role in raising their children by advising them of how fortunate they are to be in Canada; a place and people that has loved and nurtured them.

Murtaza Haider is a Toronto-based academic and the director of Regionomics.com.


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