Several attendees went to Syria and Iraq to fight for Islamic State
Years after several man who attended the 8th and 8th Mosque in Calgary went overseas to fight for ISIS, the mosque is shutting down and pondering reopening at a new location.
The mosque is closing because of the fallout of events first reported by CBC News around three years ago, when a group of people who went to the mosque were radicalized by ISIS and left Canada to fight in Syria and Iraq.
The individuals were identified as Salman Ashrafi, Damian Clairmont, Ahmad Waseem, Tamim Chowdhury, Gregory, Gordon and Collin Gordon. All of them were killed.
After news of the men joining ISIS became public, the Mosque became “synonymous with radicalization” according to the imam, Navaid Aziz.
According to Aziz, a room connected to the main mosque was being used by the men who joined ISIS, and he attempted to intervene. However, the individuals nonetheless left to go fight with ISIS.
Another individual who was a member of the 8th and 8th mosque and was known to Aziz was Farah Shirdon, who was featured in an ISIS propaganda video in 2014. In the video Shirdon burned his Canadian passport and threatened to destroy Canada and the US. A news report on Shirdon is below:
Unsurprisingly, the mosque was put under a terror investigation.
Aziz himself was originally under some suspicion, though after co-operation with authorities he was seen as an asset against radicalization.
He hopes to re-open the mosque somewhere else, saying the “dark element” over the 8th and 8th mosque made closing down that location necessary.
A clear threat of Islamist extremism in Canada
This story is another sign that there is a real threat from Islamist extremism in Canada. As we just discovered at Pierre Elliot Trudeau Airport, ISIS radicalization is a real danger in our country.
If we just pretend the threat is going to go away, we will never solve it, and it will only get worse. Only by empowering law enforcement and security agencies to combat Islamist extremism – which includes working with Canadian Muslims – will we be able to make Canada more secure.
To counter the threat, our leaders must first acknowledge it. Instead, Trudeau calls any discussion of this issue “Islamophobia,” and accuses Canadians of “bigotry” for expressing legitimate concerns.
But who wouldn’t be concerned by reports of Canadians being radicalized and then fighting for ISIS – one of the most evil organizations ever to walk he face of the earth?
Who wouldn’t be concerned by reports pro-ISIS people are working at airports with security clearances – even access to the tarmac in one case?
Being concerned about those things is logical and rational.
That’s why Trudeau’s efforts to stifle discussion and debate with Motion M-103, and his overall attitude of ignoring Islamist extremism – puts Canada at further risk, and dangerously divides our country.
Political correctness stops us from being able to talk clearly and plainly about facts.
For example, it is simply a fact that some in the Muslim community – as seen at the 8th and 8th Mosque in Calgary and the Trudeau Airport – support Islamist Jihadism and present a danger to our country and way of life.
It is also a fact that there are many in the Muslim community who are not supporters of violence and who have shown a willingness to work with law enforcement and security officials.
We need to appreciate and acknowledge both facts.
But if we are restrained by political correctness, that first fact – the threat of Islamist Jihadism – can’t even be talked about. Some on the far-left would call me an “Islamophobe” just for mentioning it. That attitude stops us from addressing the real issue, and it keeps the danger hidden under the surface.
Justin Trudeau doesn’t realize that we can protect the rights and freedoms of all Canadians – including Canadian Muslims – while still addressing the threat of Islamist extremism.
But that’s not what Trudeau wants. Instead, he would prefer to further his own political cause by demonizing Canadians who have legitimate concerns – instead of confronting the truth.
This is an attitude Canada cannot afford. We have been given a wake up call in these last few days about the threat of terrorism, and our leaders must not fall back asleep.
This moment in time calls for clarity and honesty, not political correctness.