WATCH ABOVE: We’re learning more about the B.C. connections of a Canadian now fighting for ISIS in Syria. Jeremy Hunka reports.
VANCOUVER — There’s a B.C. connection to the militant group Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, the Jihadist organization that has been beheading American journalists and causing other terror in the Middle East.
A popular former student at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops, Collin Gordon, has gone off to fight in Syria with ISIS.
The news has come as to a shock to those who knew him. Alfred Achabo, former classmate and friend of Gordon, told Global News he was a “social guy, very popular. Everyone knew him.”
When asked whether Gordon talked about religion, Achabo said he didn’t, preferring to talk about music and parties.
“We are all in shock. It’s sad that he went from the most popular guy now to an extremist,” said Achabo. “The last time we saw him, my sister and I, he look disheveled just walking down the road. Everyone is surprised that he’s now a Muslim and has these radical views.”
When they were friends, Achabo said Gordon never talked about religion with him.
WATCH: Aaron McArthur asks Achabo about his former friendship with Gordon.
The local imam in the area, Mazhar Mahmood never knew Gordon, but he is also at a loss to understand what prompted the young student to go off and fight. He says that ISIS is taking verses from the Koran out of context and distorting the religion of Islam, which is supposed to be about peace, unity and comfort.
“This has done great damage to the Muslim society and the Muslim Nation at large,” said Mahmood.
TRU won’t comment on Gordon’s history as a business student, citing confidentiality. But one political science professor, Derek Cook, is holding a public forum on the subject of ISIS tomorrow night.
“What can we do as a university to steer our students in the right direction and away from violent extremism,” asks Cook.
–With files from CFJC.
© Shaw Media, 2014