Nov. 30, 2015
Canada has produced a series of individuals who have become suicide bombers, ISIS propagandists and jihadist fighters in a variety of conflict zones. How this radicalization is occurring is unclear to many observers. It is worth noting, however, that Canada has a series of deep networks which have the ideology, money and infrastructure to support their objectives of developing extremism. They have the ability to create the political, social and cultural spaces for extremism to flourish. Radicalization and political violence (terrorism) are the two most visible offshoots of this overall process.1
The most advanced networks in Canada are operated by the Muslim Brotherhood, the Iranian sponsored Khomeneists, Hizb ut-Tahrir and the organizational structures bought through Wahhabist money. Of these, the most systemic threat to Canada may come from the Muslim Brotherhood. Intelligence and law enforcement agencies appear to have become focused on catching ‘terrorists’ but have not disrupted the networks producing them.
The Muslim Brotherhood, a Sunni aligned extremist organization, may be the largest and most effective of these groups in Canada. With some 700 oath of allegiance or bay’at2 swearing members3 and thousands more followers in Canada, the front organizations of the Muslim Brotherhood operate a series of mosques, prayer rooms, schools5, cultural centres and federally registered charities.6 Members of the Muslim Brotherhood (al-Ikhwān al-Muslimūn) are often referred to as Ikhwani and the group as “The Ikhwan.”
It is critical to understand the ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood and Jamaat-e-Islami as they are the well spring of ideology for almost all other major Islamacist supremacist organizations,10 including ISIS.11 Abū Bakr al-Baghdādi 12 is the first Caliph of the ISIS Caliphate. He quotes ideas and beliefs from al-Maududi and from the Brotherhood’s Sayyid Qutb (and others)13during his only public sermon in Mosul in July of 2014. This was immediately following the ISIS victories in Syria and Iraq in June of 2014.14 Of note, al-Maududi himself is a former Muslim Brotherhood member15, along with other key extremist figures such as al Qaeda’s Ayman Zawahiri16 and al Qaeda co-founder Abdullah Azzam.17
The ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood is Islamacist and political, that is to say that its objective is to impose its interpretation of Islam over all of society18, to the exclusion of all other religions, political systems, economic methods and social structures. Hassan al-Banna’s well-known edict on this world view was reduced to the simple motto “Islam is the solution.”
In one notable event in the early 1970s, the Muslim Brotherhood publicly stated that it renounced violence.20 However, this view was officially reversed following a policy review after the Muslim Brotherhood government of Egypt was ejected in 2013. On 28 January 2015, the Muslim Brotherhood stated it would return to violence with the following statement:
“It is in incumbent upon everyone to be aware that we are the process of a new phase, where we summon what is latent in our strength, where we recall the meanings of jihad and prepare ourselves, our wives, our sons, our daughters, and whoever marched on our path to a long, uncompromising jihad, and during this stage we ask for martyrdom.”21