“Islamic banking” identified as attempt to introduce Sharia law in Canada

“Islamic banking” identified as attempt to introduce Sharia law in Canada

And elsewhere, notably in Britain. “Canadian Islamists trying to bring in Sharia,” by Khalid Hasan for the Daily Times:

WASHINGTON: Canadian Islamists who have been trying to bring in Sharia into Canada, so far without success, have now chosen another route – Islamic banking.

According to Tarek Fatah, founder of the Muslim Canadian Congress, “In 2003, we saw Islamists trying to sneak Sharia into Canada through the backdoor of Family Law and under the cover of Multiculturalism. Now, they seem to be taking a different route. They claim they are introducing the seemingly innocuous ‘Islamic banking’ by claiming such banking to be ‘interest-free’ and ‘Sharia-compliant’. This is one more ploy to prey on the fears and insecurities of Muslim Canadians. Invoking Islam to make a fortune is only one part of the agenda. The other is to try one more time to make ‘Sharia’ part of the Canadian lexicon. Only this time, it has the backing of corporate lawyers and senior bankers who see big money at the end of the line. The whole concept is a fraud that will further marginalise an already marginalised community.”

This position will probably lead to more death threats for Fatah and his organization, which has called for other anti-Sharia concepts like the separation of religion and state.

Because they don’t charge interest, financial services, like mortgages, offered by Islamic institutions tend to be higher priced than those from secular. Fatah said ideally, Islamic financial institutions should operate in places with a Muslim majority. “If it hasn’t picked up, this is because the Muslim community is not foolish,” he said. Islamic financial services in Canada are being pushed by banking executives from the Muslim community who feel that by creating a niche they will be able to tap into an area non- Muslims can’t access. “It’s a complete fraud because what you are doing is you are adding interest upfront and building it into your investments and dishonestly calling it interest-free,” he added.

A Muslim Canadian business executive who manages a shipping business in Pakistan, said, “In essence, ‘Islamic’ banking is manipulative, deceitful and fraudulent at several levels. Any finance student will tell you that interest-based banking as we know it today is a component of inflation, risk and the opportunity cost of money. It is centrally regulated and transparent. Furthermore, by having a more efficient Aggregate Demand-Aggregate Supply dynamic, one can minimise the inflation component but the other two components are the basis of a regulated banking system that is a key aspect of economic and technological growth. The Islamists have their own arguments which probably culminate in: ‘why do something with honesty and transparency when religion can be misused to obfuscate the issue and concentrate power in the hands of a few’!” A report by Brian Adeba in the Ottawa publication The Embassy, says rules on interest, real estate and overcoming apprehension from both within and without the Muslim community make it tricky for Sharia- inspired banks to be set up in Canada.

Befriending radical Islam

Can a good Muslin become a good American or Canadian?

Can a good Muslin become a good American or Canadian?

I received this email:

I sent that question to a friend who worked in Saudi Arabia for 20 years. The following is his reply:

    Theologically – no. Because his allegiance is to Allah, the moon god of Arabia.Religiously – no. Because no other religion is accepted by his Allah except Islam (Quran, 2:256).

    Scripturally – no. Because his allegiance is to the five pillars of Islam and the Quran (Koran).

    Geographically – no. Because his allegiance is to Mecca, to which he turns in prayer five times a day.

    Socially – no. Because his allegiance to Islam forbids him to make friends with Christians or Jews.

    Politically – no. Because he must submit to the mullah (spiritual leaders), who teach annihilation of Israel and Destruction of America, the great Satan.

    Domestically – no. Because he is instructed to marry four women and beat and scourge his wife when she disobeys him (Quran 4:34).

    Intellectually – no. Because he cannot accept the American Constitution since it is based on Biblical principles and he believes the Bible to be corrupt.

    Philosophically – no. Because Islam, Muhammad, and the Quran do not allow freedom of religion and __expression. Democracy and Islam cannot co-exist.Every Muslim government is either dictatorial or autocratic.

    Spiritually – no. Because when we declare “one nation under God,” the Christian’s God is loving and kind, while Allah is NEVER referred to as heavenly father, nor is he ever called love in The Quran’s 99 excellent names.

Therefore after much study and deliberation….perhaps we should be very suspicious of ALL MUSLIMS in this country. They obviously cannot be both “good” Muslims and good Americans or Canadians.

“84,000 Canadian Muslims think it’s justifiable to behead our democratically elected prime minister and blow up the very symbol and centre of our democracy!”

“84,000 Canadian Muslims think it’s justifiable to behead our democratically elected prime

 minister and blow up the very symbol and centre of our democracy!”

Tiny Minority of Extremists Update. “Disturbing reality buried: Fear of causing offence and wilful blindness will only end the day innocent Canadians die,” by Licia Corbella in the Calgary Sun, with thanks to James:

In the news business, it’s called burying the lead.It means you missed the most important or interesting part of a story and led with something less significant.

On Feb. 13, the CBC published and aired the results of an Environics poll, which on their website was billed as “Glad to be Canadian, Muslims say.”

Apparently “more than 80% of Canada’s roughly 700,000 Muslims are broadly satisfied with their lives here.”

[…]

Waaaay down in the online CBC story about this poll is the news that when “asked about the arrests last summer of the 18 Muslim men and boys who were allegedly plotting terrorist attacks in southern Ontario, 73% of Muslim respondents said these attacks were not at all justified.” That portion of the poll ended there. No more details. Why? The Environics website made no mention about this portion of the poll either.

However, on CBC’s The National television program on the same day, this part of the poll was fleshed-out and the results are alarming.

Fully 12% of Muslim Canadians polled by Environics said the alleged terrorist plot — that included kidnapping and beheading the prime minister and blowing up Parliament and the CBC — was justified.

Predictably, the CBC managed to find a talking head — in this case York University sociology professor Haideh Moghissi — who dismissed this disturbing revelation.

“It’s really negligible that 12 percent feel that the attacks would be justified,” said Moghissi. “I don’t think it even warrants attention.”

Clearly, other news agencies and those who put the poll results on the CBC website agree with Moghissi.

But just how “negligible” is 12% of 700,000 people.

Well, if Moghissi knew arithmetic like she knows denial, she’d know if this poll is accurate, 84,000 Canadian Muslims think it’s justifiable to behead our democratically elected prime minister and blow up the very symbol and centre of our democracy!

[…]

Isn’t this significant news?

Considering this poll was published on the same day it was learned al-Qaida — the Islamic terrorist organization behind the 9/11 attacks — was urging its followers to target all oilfields, including Canada’s, should wake complacent Canadians up.

“We should strike petroleum interests in all areas which supply the United States and not only in the Middle East, because the target is to stop its imports or decrease it by all means,” it states.

That threat was made on an al-Qaida online magazine called Sawt al-Jihad (Voice of Holy War) and was discovered by a U.S. non-profit group that monitors militant websites called Search for International Terrorist Entities (SITE).

In other words, the Environics poll indicates anywhere between 49,000 to 84,000 Muslim Canadians likely would view attacks on our oilsands development justifiable, and if that’s the case, it’s safe to assume some portion of those tens of thousands of people might be prone to carrying out such an attack.

We already know calls to martyrdom and jihad have been made from Canadian mosques, including one in B.C. and the one in Ontario the 18 alleged wanna-be beheaders attended. It’s safe to assume there are more.

But, hey, this is Canada, where in the interest of political correctness and fear of offending, the lead on these kinds of stories gets buried and our heads remain planted where there is no illumination and therefore, no truth.

That wilful blindness will likely only end the day innocent Canadians get buried instead of just leads by those who justify terror on their fellow citizens and country.

Yes. And this applies not just to Canadians.

Sleeper Cells in the United States and Canada

Sleeper Cells in the United States and Canada

There is every reason to suspect that we will endure suicide missions by Islamist sleeper cells. They are already in place. They are waiting for the right time. I know this from experience.

I have worked over 15 years as a U.S. Federal Agent, a U.S. State Department Arabic linguist, and the first civilian Federal Agent deployed into Iraq at the start of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003.  Since returning from Iraq I have been involved in terrorism analysis, specifically the mindset of terrorists. During my extensive research on sleeper cells I have talked with hundreds of people from the Middle East from all walks of life, and have talked with Iraqi Government officials, Iraqi military, and Iraqi police officers.  In addition I have interviewed numerous counter-terrorism specialists in the U.S. and abroad.  In the last year alone I have trained over 4000 U.S. Law Enforcement officers in Basic Investigative Arabic and counter-terrorism. The conclusion of my research is the title of this article.
Before I departed for the Middle East in 2003 I had been assigned to Kirtland AFB, NM.  Kirtland has some of the best scientists in the world working on U.S. Government projects.  I had been working closely with these scientists who specialized in nuclear energy, directed energy, laser technology, bio-weapons and more.  I fully understand the impact if suicide bombers begin progressing from conventional explosives to unconventional methods.
The Middle East
In Jan 2003, I was assigned to Arar Air Base Saudi Arabia.  Arar is located near the border of Iraq. My mission was to interact with Saudi military officials in order to determine the support we could expect from the Saudi government, to determine if Iraqis were monitoring the activities of the U.S. forces at Arar, and to infiltrate the encampments of the Bedouin community (Saudis and Iraqis living in the desert of Arar). This involved leaving the relatively safe confines of Arar Air Base and driving to the Bedouin camps. 
It was most important the Saudis did not know we were leaving the compound because they had forbidden us to do so.  Four U.S. special Agents would use our ATV’s and/or four wheel drive vehicles to conduct these missions. The Saudi Government had active spies collecting information pertaining to our troop strength, our weapons, and any other intelligence they could obtain. The Saudis were providing the intelligence to the Saudi Government, and we were very confident it was also being passed to Iraqi intelligence. 
During January 2003 and Feb 2003, Saudi Intelligence officers would boast that the American military was overreacting about Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction.  Their bravery changed as we approached the invasion of Iraq in Mar 2003.  The high-ranking Saudi officers were scrambling to obtain gas masks and other protective equipment.  They knew their equipment was substandard and they wanted U.S.-made protective equipment.  We gave them some of ours.  The Saudi Intelligence officers were visibly frightened about a potential chemical, biological, or nuclear attack and expressed their fears.  This was my first confirmation Saddam Hussein still had WMD material and the capability to use them. 
The Saudis knew Saddam had WMD and would use them if he had the opportunity.
When I arrived in Nasiriyah, Iraq (after the start of war) my team and I immediately began interviewing (in the field) Iraqis from all walks of life to determine where the WMD sites were located.  At the beginning of the war Iraqis were very helpful and provided us exact locations and proof WMD was at certain locations (primarily southern Iraq because Saddam knew the UN Weapons Inspectors had seldom inspected any locations in this area).  They had always focused in northern Iraq.
Four primary suspected WMD sites were located.  We tried from April until July 2003 to have the Iraq Survey Group come and excavate these sites.  They advised us they did not have the manpower nor the heavy equipment needed to excavate the sites, which were underground bunkers (beneath waterways).  We were frustrated.  I have received information from various sources that the WMD I had attempted to have excavated was subsequently looted (after the war) and transferred to Syria.
While in Iraq we determined the following:

1. Russian activity in Iraq had been rampant several months prior to the war and up until the day before the invasion.
2. Iranians were infiltrating southern Iraq by the thousands and were preparing to assist insurgents in removing U.S. forces from Iraq.
3. We found numerous pieces of evidence indicating WMD were in Iraq before the war began and some were still in Iraq.
4. I and other agents were informed by Iraqis that a civil war would erupt and violence against U.S. forces would increase due to the Iranian and Russian influence.

All of this information was provided through intelligence channels, but was ignored. Today we are seeing the results of our intelligence being ignored in 2003.
Vulnerability at home

Upon returning from Iraq I left Federal Service to pursue a career educating U.S. law enforcement in the U.S.  I wrote a book titled “Arabic for law enforcement and military”. During my lectures to local, county, and state law enforcement officers it was revealed the true first line defenders in the U.S. are not trained nor prepared to combat terrorism in the U.S. (through no fault of their own).  The local law enforcement agencies were not receiving adequate funds or assistance from the Federal Government to fight terrorism.  The majority advised they were supposed to be the first line defenders, but in actuality they did not even know what Al-Qaeda meant, and/or could not point out Iraq or Iran on a map. They had no Arabic language training.
I began conducting research and talking with experts from various fields and determined three significant facts that I corroborated by further research:

1. The terrorists groups such as Hezbollah, Hamas, and Al-Qaeda each had different leaders and to some degree operated in different ways, but they each had the same two goals (destroy Israel and destroy America and any country that supported either).
2.  Our nuclear research centers were very vulnerable to an attack and the potential for a suicide bomber using a dirty radiological bomb from these facilities was and is a high probability. Note: Vic Walter and Brian Ross of ABC News did an excellent report on the lack of security at these facilities. I received an enormous amount of information from individuals associated with Russian nuclear programs that there is nuclear material being sold on the black market and nuclear material is in the hands of Islamic Extremists. 
3. Terrorist sleeper cells are located primarily in North Carolina, Michigan, and Canada. The “sleepers” are prepared to conduct terrorist attacks within the U.S., and nuclear material is available to them. “Prepared” in this instance indicates they have the necessary tools to carry our their attacks and are prepared to die.

About nine months ago a lady from Morehead City, NC contacted me and asked for assistance because she had been ignored by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS), the FBI, and local law enforcement.  Her allegation: A group of people who were citizens of Lebanon was operating from NC and was involved in financially supporting Hezbollah.  The members were also befriending United States Marine Corps personnel (to include the Marine Corps Base Commander at Cherry Point USMC Base). The Lebanese citizens had free access to the Marine Corps base and had frequent parties with USMC members. She had ledgers; photographs of U.S. Marines with the Lebanese members, numerous passports (some falsified), duplicate drivers licenses, social security cards, and financial transactions log books both in Arabic and English. I obtained the information from her and conducted research.  I turned my information over to the NCSBI office.
Less than a week ago I met several citizens from the Middle East who are familiar with terrorist groups, their methodology, and more importantly the mindset of terrorists (specifically Al-Qaeda). They believe violence in Iraq will increase and the number of U.S. troops in Iraq is not a factor. The largest percentage of U.S. troops in Iraq are support troops and not combat troops. From the beginning of 2003 until now the number of troops who actually engage insurgents is actually less than 5% of all assigned troops in the region. Al-Qaeda now has a strong hold in Iraq and they will not let go. Terrorist operations are active in the U.S. and are being operated/financed in Michigan. U.S. citizens need to understand there are people trained and prepared to carry our suicide missions in the U.S. and nothing is off limits.  Churches, malls, and even the schools our children attend are not off limits to suicide bombers. It is only a relatively short time before the U.S. will begin seeing suicide terrorist missions.
I will continue to research terrorism related issues in the U.S. and Canada and will bring forward the results. My next project is to follow Dr. Paul William’s investigation into McMaster University located in Canada. My initial research indicates terrorists are being educated here with the approval of some university administrators. I have contacted the university and informed them of this project and will give them an opportunity to respond to each piece developed during my research on terrorism at McMaster.  McMaster is not alone when it comes to nuclear reactors located on major university sites.  Nuclear reactors are located on a large number of major university campuses in the U.S. There locations are not classified and are described on the internet.
Children are the ones who suffer in wartime and I want to prevent any child from ever having to experience a terrorist attack. 
To assist me in my endeavors to uncover the truths behind terrorist cells in Canada and the U.S. contact me at pdgaubatz@yahoo.com or visit my website.

‘I only buy and sell weapons for al-Qaeda’

‘I only buy and sell weapons for al-Qaeda’

Abdullah Khadr, the most visible exponent of what has been dubbed “Canada’s Al-Qaeda family,” details his relationship with the organization. By Colin Freeze in the Globe and Mail, with thanks to the Constantinopolitan Irredentist:

Asked by the Mounties if he were part of al-Qaeda, Abdullah Khadr responded, “No, I only buy and sell weapons for al-Qaeda.”Over the course of five interviews with the RCMP last year, the 25-year-old terrorism suspect admitted that he “knows everybody” in al-Qaeda and ran guns for the organization to the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. But he also insisted that if any terrorist “had anything planned for Canada, I’d be the first one to stop it.”

The Crown this week released two volumes of interviews Mr. Khadr gave to the RCMP between the time he was detained in Pakistan in 2005 and was released to Canada last year. Days after he landed in Toronto, the U.S. government had him arrested and launched an extradition case against him.

Mr. Khadr, a Canadian citizen who grew up in Afghanistan, seems to have been forthcoming during long questioning sessions with police. His lawyers suggest, however, all of the testimony could be tainted by torture he said he suffered in Pakistan.

Al-Qaeda Playbook Alert.

How Canada can save itself

October 11, 2006

Fitzgerald: How Canada can save itself

Some years ago, those pushing francophonie in Quebec — not because they were great lovers of La Fontaine and Montaigne, but because they simply wanted to suppress the anglophones of Westmount — had the bright idea of encouraging immigration into Quebec of large numbers of North African Arabs. These Arabs, you see, from Algeria (does the name Ressam ring a millennium bell?) would swell the ranks of those who spoke French. Thus they would be so much more welcome than, for example, people from Barcelona or Naples or Athens, who tended to want to have their children speak English.

It was an idiotic policy. Yet it remains, I am told, in place. For what those pushing francophonie coute que coute forgot was the little matter of ideology — the ideology of Islam, that is seldom sloughed off, and that causes its adherents to remain permanent threats to all non-Muslims. This remains true even if, in a position of what they regard as temporary weakness, they choose to hide or elide the inculcated hostility that is at the very heart of Islam, not as a religion (with its Five Pillars of worship), but as the geopolitical cult that it has always been, and to which it owes its seventh and eighth century origins.

Now it takes no great imagination to figure out that if St. Catherine’s Street, and St.-Laurent, become dangerous for American tourists, that those tourists will take their custom elsewhere. And it is not inconceivable that Muslims will make life unpleasant for those tourists, as they have for Canadian Jews in such places as Concordia University. Goodbye to the Festivals of Jazz and Comedy. Goodbye to the insectarium. Sorry, Montreal, and while we are at it, we can’t really risk Quebec City, or the Eastern Townships either. So the ball is now in the Canadian Court: do you recognize what you are creating for your own non-Muslim citizens (including some bringing capital and entrepreneurial flair with them), for those French would-be emigrants who will be fleeing the Muslims of France and should be made welcome in Quebec, and for American tourists who contribute a good deal to the Quebec economy?

If you haven’t given this some thought, start now. And begin, instead of dismissing the problem, by actually assigning government officials and members of the press the task of studying Islamic tenets and the treatment of non-Muslims under Muslim rule.

There are Canadians who come to this website. May they do all they can to alert others in Canada to visit and study the articles and informed comments as well. May they alert others to study the scholarly articles posted at http://www.dhimmitude.org and www. secularislam.org. The testimony of ex-Muslims both at the latter site and at http://www.faithfreedom.org, ought also to be widely read, understood, and assimilated — especially by those whose family members are, for reasons often of personal need or even desperation, thinking of marrying a Muslim, or of themselves converting.

If 100,000 Canadians would fully inform themselves about Islam — and not be satisfied with the antics of Irshad Manji — that would be enough. It is a race, an intellectual race with political, economic, and social consequences. Will knowledge of Islam — not apologetics — be widely disseminated in time to keep our lives from becoming even more unpleasant, expensive, and dangerous as they necessarily will, from burgeoning Muslim populations? We know that the lives of the indigenous non-Muslims in France, in Holland, in England, in Italy, have become, and are becoming still more, unpleasant, difficult, expensive, and dangerous, precisely because of their burgeoning Muslim populations. They can handle diversity — Hindus, Buddhists, Confucians, and so on. An alien creed is one thing; we can tolerate and accommodate it. What cannot be accommodated, however, is a creed that is not only alien but hostile — hostile in its very essence, its quidditas — to all who do not adhere to that creed. Islam owes its very origins to its usefulness as a geopolitical cult, justifying and promoting the conquest by formerly pagan Arabs of the Christians and Jews (and then Zoroastrians) who lived in Mesopotamia, Syria, Judea, Egypt, North Africa, and Spain. Only by incorporating elements, often themselves distorted beyond recognition, of Christianity and Judaism, could the conquering Arabs hope to appeal to the more settled, advanced, rich, and populous Christians and Jews. (Those Arabs did not carry Islam with them out of the Arabian Peninsula — Islam itself was probably concocted in Mesopotamia, or in what is now Jordan, or possibly even by Abdel Malik in Damascus.) They could subdue those Christians and Jews by the sword, but they also wanted to subdue them permanently, through the spread of an ideology that would cause the subjugated peoples to collaborate willingly in their own subjugation.

Really, the problem in Canada is compounded by the unpleasant need of many (not all) Canadians to define the country as “not-America” — just as New Zealanders have a foreign policy far to the left of what it should be, in their intense desire to be “not-Australia.” But they should focus on the common threat. And if they do not want to look to Washington and the Colossus of the South for inspiration, then they should look to Western Europe and its people — those who have virtually no voice in controlling their appeasement-minded and desperate elites, especially in France, and whose way of life is now so endangered by the Muslim presence.

It will require not soldiers, but a great national or civilizational effort at education. Much depends on the scope of that education, on its thoroughness, truthfulness, and the speed with which it is accomplished.

Somali-Canadians join African ‘Taliban’ Some return home to serve in hardline Islamic militia

Somali-Canadians join African ‘Taliban’

Some return home to serve in hardline Islamic militia

 
Stewart Bell
National Post

CREDIT: Agence France-Presse; Getty Images
A gunman of the Islamic Courts Union crosses a street in central Mogadishu, where the Islamist group has imposed rigid, Taliban-like order.

TORONTO – A number of young Somali-Canadians have returned to their homeland and joined a hardline Islamic militia that some call Africa’s Taliban, sources have told the National Post.

The Shabbab, a Somali youth militia whose leader is believed to have been trained by al-Qaeda in Afghanistan, includes several Canadians in its ranks, the sources said.

Somali-Canadians are also said to be serving in other militias, as well as in senior positions in Somalia’s interim government and its opponent, the Islamic Courts Union.

The Canadians are described as refugees who moved to Toronto and Ottawa in the 1990s, some of them university students, who have returned to Somalia over the past two to three years.

“Some of the militia members of the Shabbab are young diaspora members who returned to Somalia from Canada,” a leading Somalia expert, who asked not to be identified, told the Post this week.

“The Somalis who are here, and others who have recently been in, confirm that quite a few of the Shabbab are in fact diaspora members, not just from Canada but quite a few have come back from places like Pakistan.”

Some analysts believe Somalia is on the verge of becoming the next big destination for young extremist Muslims who want to participate in armed jihad.

The participation of a significant number of Canadians in the conflict has raised alarms in Ottawa, which fears Somali militia members will escalate to terrorism or return to Canada and radicalize a new wave of extremists.

It was just such a scenario that unfolded after the Soviet War in Afghanistan, when foreign volunteers became the first generation of al-Qaeda terrorists. Others returned to the West and began recruiting others into terrorism.

“I think that’s the real concern is that there’s going to be blowback after their time is done in Somalia,” the expert said in an interview. “Its very troubling.”

Somalia is one of the world’s most lawless nations. A thoroughly failed state, it has had no central government since the fall of Siad Barre in 1991. Warlords have ruled ever since but in recent months militias loyal to courts that enforce shariah Islamic law have taken control of the south.

Fighting under the banner of the Islamic Courts Union, the militias have gained popular support for their efforts to restore order, but they are also controversial because they are so similar to the Taliban, imposing rigid social restrictions such as a ban on watching World Cup soccer. Public executions have occurred as recently as yesterday.

The Shabbab, which consists of 300 to 400 young fighters of various nationalities, is a particular concern. It is headed by Aden Hashi Farah Ayro, who was allegedly trained by al-Qaeda and is blamed for the killings of international aid workers and journalists.

In his mid-30s with a turban and goatee, Ayro came out of the shadows only last month, appearing before his militias after they had captured the strategic seaport of Kismayo. Surrounded by bodyguards who looked Arab and Central Asian, he reportedly said that, “Among our militia will be Somalis and foreigners.”

“The Shabbab are very powerful,” the expert said. “They’re the shock troops, they are the commissars. They are hardliners, they are true believers. I think the closest thing you could equate them to is the mujahedin,” said the expert, using the term for Islamic holy warriors.

While the Shabbab serves as the military youth wing of the Islamic Courts, it is uncertain whether the courts and their leaders exert any real control over the jihadist militia.

“What that means is you’ve got some kids who may or may not be under the control of political leaders and that’s the big question, we simply don’t have an answer for whether they are answering to anyone but themselves.”

Adam Esse, a leading member of Toronto’s large Somali community, said Somali-Canadians have long been returning to their homeland for family and business reasons.

“It could be Canada is not good for everybody,” he said.

He said he knows of one Canadian who now holds a senior position in the Islamic Courts, but he was unaware of any Canadians who had joined the militias.

“Could be but I haven’t heard,” he said. “I heard only one person…. I know him personally but he left here a long time ago. Recently I heard that he was one of the leaders.”

During a visit to Somalia last year, Mr. Esse said he learned that 11 ministers and deputies in the interim government were Canadians. He said it was also possible Somali-Canadians had joined the militias. “I’m not denying, what I’m saying is I haven’t heard of it.”

Canada is home to tens of thousands of citizens of Somali origin, mostly refugees who migrated in the 1990s. The majority live in Toronto but Ottawa also has a significant Somali-Canadian community.

While Somalis are generally considered moderates, there have been indications of radicalization within the community, including the arrest last summer of two Somali-Canadians accused of supplying weapons to an alleged Toronto-based terror group inspired by al-Qaeda.

Mohammed Abdullah Warsame, who was born in Mogadishu and emigrated to Canada in 1989, is accused of training at two terrorist camps in Afghanistan. An FBI affidavit says the Toronto resident taught English at the camps and once met Osama bin Laden, whom he found “inspirational.” Al-Qaeda paid for his return to Toronto in April 2001, the FBI says. He was arrested in Minneapolis in 2003.

Like the Taliban, the Islamic Courts have been accused of links to terrorism. Islamic Courts leader Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys is on the Canadian and United Nations lists of restricted terrorists, and has been accused of harboring terrorists wanted for attacks such as the bombings of two American embassies in 1998.

The UN said Thursday it was pulling its staff out of areas controlled by the Islamic Courts, citing written death threats. On Sept. 17, an Italian nun was murdered in Mogadishu, following controversial comments made by the Pope. A Swedish journalist was also recently murdered. A suicide bomber attempted to assassinate the president of the interim government, Abdullah Yusuf, last month.

“The courts are associated with international terrorist groups like al-Qaeda,” the prime minister of Somalia’s transitional government, Ali Mohamed Gedi, said in a statement last month.

“The Islamic courts brought weapons, other explosives and foreign fighters to Somalia. Wherever they go they deny people the right to freedom of speech, rights of association and entertainment.”

Hassan Shire Sheikh, Uganda-based coordinator of the African Human Rights Defenders Project at York University, said it was difficult to come up with “meaningful information” about the presence of Canadians in the executive and military wing of the Islamic Courts.

“According to a little information available to me … there are a good number of Somalis with various Western naturalized citizenships within the rank and the file of the ICU, and [that] may warrant more systematic investigations.”

A source in Mogadishu said there were Canadians in the Islamic Courts movement. “Some of the ICU members are mixed, Somali-American, Somali-Canadian. Primarily they are in the business sector,” he said.

sbell@nationalpost.com

SOMALIA TIMELINE

1960: British and Italian parts of Somalia merge and gain independence.

1969: Muhammad Siad Barre comes to power in a coup.

1974: Widespread drought and starvation.

1991: Barre is ousted, warlords take over.

1992: U.S. Marines deploy to Mogadishu, paving the way for a UN peacekeeping force that includes Canadians.

1995: UN Peacekeepers leave.

1990s: Tens of thousands of Somalis take refuge in Canada.

2000: New government chosen.

2001: Another drought hits.

2004: A Transitional Government is chosen.

June 2006: Militias loyal to the Islamic Courts Union take control of Mogadishu and the south. A stand-off between the Transitional Government and Islamic Courts ensues.

September 2006: Suicide bomber tries to assassinate Interim President.

October 2006: Islamic Courts declare holy war against Ethiopia. UN orders staff out of areas held by Islamic Courts, citing death threats.

Ran with fact box “Somalia” which has been appended to the story.

© National Post 2006