“We know that actually someone who has engaged and turned away from … hateful ideology can be an extraordinarily powerful voice for preventing radicalization,” Canada’s Prime Minister has said about those who may return to Canada after setting off and joining the ranks of the self-proclaimed Islamic State.
IS remains unrepentant about committing some of the most vicious cruelty toward humanity since the Schutz Staffel of Adolf Hitler led Nazi legions in the systemic elimination of millions of lives. Their God was national socialism, their mission foretold by the promise of an Aryan-dominated Thousand-Year Reich.
ISIS has (or had) its Caliphate and committed genocidal carnage, buttressed by acts of individual brutality intended to lead to a foretold end-days battle in the Syrian town of Dabiq.
In 2014, the masked figure who became the international voice of ISIS, dubbed “Jihadi John,” is seen in a video in Dabiq. The video shows the beheading of American aid volunteer Peter Kassig and 16 Syrian soldiers. Jihadi John spoke of ISIS “eagerly waiting for the remainder of your armies to arrive.”
There were more beheadings, sexual slavery, the setting ablaze of a Jordanian air force pilot, gay men being thrown from rooftops and calls on distant supporters to carry out acts of global terrorism.
The list of places struck by terrorist acts in the name of ISIS includes Paris, Brussels, London, New York, Orlando, Berlin, San Bernardino, Nice, Saint-Jean-Sur-Richelieu, Ottawa and Edmonton.
Largely Muslim nations such as Iraq, Syria, Pakistan, Indonesia, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Libya and Indonesia were all also subjected to horrible acts of terror.
When Justin Trudeau foresees a role of valued service to Canada for those radicalized individuals who may return home, the prime minister omits the fact that leaving this nation in order to take up arms with a terror group is a criminal act. Engaging with ISIS in Syria and Iraq would define the returnees as being complicit in the horrors inflicted there.
However, laws can and do change.
Prior to the 2015 federal election, Justin Trudeau insisted to a Winnipeg audience that he as Liberal Party leader would reject legislation then enacted by the Conservative government of Stephen Harper. Bill C-24 permitted revocation of Canadian citizenship from “a convicted terrorist” if that person were a dual citizen.
Zakaria Amara, a leader of the “Toronto 18” terror group, whose objectives included exploding truck bombs in downtown Toronto, qualified under that description.
Amara was convicted of terrorism, and had his Canadian citizenship revoked in September 2015. This left Amara open to possible deportation to his now sole nation of citizenship, Jordan, were he to be released from prison.
True to his declaration in Winnipeg, Trudeau supported the introduction and passing of Bill C-6. C-6 reversed the provisions of C-24, and federal Minister of Immigration Ahmed Hassen announced Amara’s Canadian citizenship would be returned.
Might Trudeau’s government harbour plans to decriminalize leaving Canada to join a terrorist organization? If so, has the prime minister discussed his plan with leaders of Canada’s Muslim communities? If not, why not?
Does the prime minister truly believe that those who once voluntarily engaged with terrorism can be the stewards of overseeing deradicalization?
More importantly, is he speaking for himself, or for all Canadians?
Roy Green is the host of the Roy Green Show on the Corus radio network and a commentator for Global News.