He has been convicted of plotting terrorist attacks against multiple targets in New York City and is now seeking to return to Canada to get ‘treatment’, ‘counselling’, and likely a shorter sentence.
This convicted terrorist could succeed as the Canadian government maintains policy goals that largely aim to re-integrate ex-terrorists back into Canada.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau believes that, “We also have methods of de-emphasizing or de-programming people who want to harm our society, and those are some things we have to move forward on.”
That is a problem. We are now beginning to treat seriously dangerous individuals, who have planned to kill, as victims.
For example, a manager of a Mosque in Toronto described the plan to kill countless people with a bomb, as an “unfortunate event”.
“We will actively monitor him and do whatever it takes to assist his family in providing them respite to help deal with this development in their life. We will do whatever it takes to welcome him back and are eager in seeing him and his family be able to thrive again and look past this unfortunate event.”
How can we describe terrorism as just “unfortunate”? As if it were a bad string of luck and nothing else. As if there should be no real consequences to choosing a decisive and violent action.
There should be, but many are simply not willing to accept the dangers that are present.
That report described returning travellers as a “huge challenge for security and law enforcement entities”. Yet the Liberal government believes that in a country as large and geographically distributed as Canada they could carefully monitor returning ISIS cases such as this.
This is highly doubtful as there are over 60 of these individuals already in Canada, and the argument made by most supporters of this policy seems to be that the government is currently limited by law to act on those individuals, and is, therefore, choosing rehabilitation as a tool.
For example, Lorne Dawson, a University of Waterloo sociology professor and director of the Canadian Network for Research on Terrorism, Security and Society, said in an interview with Global News that it would be folly to believe they aren’t using those powers. But there are limits, Dawson said, which is where re-integration and disengagement can fill the gap.
“If you can’t prosecute them or there’s long delays in prosecuting them or if peace bonds are only a partially effective measure … we can just do nothing. Just let them loose in our society,” he said.
Dawson’s comments reflect much of what the governing coalition believes. That the response to this entire scenario is not the creation of laws which aim to provide enough power for the government to act against terrorists, but rather the use of large amounts of cash (35 million dollars) to rehabilitate some of the most dangerous.
This simply blows me away.
It is important to note that this is not a unified political action.
The reintegration of violent extremists who have been active abroad has set off shouting matches in the House of Commons as the Conservatives have refused to accept the Liberal policy, in many cases accusing the Liberal government of greeting returning ISIS members with “group-hug sessions”.
What do you think? Can Canada re-integrate ex-ISIS members? Should we even attempt it? Let us know below!