Many mosques and Islamic schools in Canada are placing young people at risk by espousing or at least not condemning extremist teachings, a new study says.
Co-authors Thomas Quiggin, a former intelligence analyst with the Privy Council Office and the RCMP, and Saied Shoaib, a journalist originally from Egypt, base their findings on research conducted quietly in mosque libraries and Islamic schools. The study says what worried them was not the presence of extremist literature, but that they found nothing but such writings in several libraries.
The authors say openly available material and analysis of social media postings helped confirm their views that many Canadians, including leading politicians, are turning a blind eye to the dangers. They argue the issue is too important to ignore, given that a number of young Canadians have become radicalized to violence. Canadian Muslims with humanist and modernist outlooks are being drowned out by those with extreme views, the study says. The struggle for the soul of Islam between Islamists and humanists goes on in Canada and the U.S., not just in the Middle East, Europe and South Asia. The report was not supported by Liberal senators on the committee. It was denounced by the National Council of Canadian Muslims as stigmatizing and failing to offer effective solutions to the challenge of violent extremism.