From The National Post
Islamist groups seek ‘parallel society’ in Canada: report
Stewart Bell, National Post · Saturday, Nov. 13, 2010
TORONTO — A newly released intelligence report says hardline Islamist groups want to build a “parallel society” in Canada, which could undermine the country’s social cohesion and foster violence.
The de-classified Intelligence Assessment obtained by the National Post says extremists have been encouraging Muslims in the West to reject Western society and to live in “self-imposed isolation.” The report focuses on groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood and Hizb-ut-Tahrir, which do not advocate terrorist violence but promote an ideology at odds with core Western values.
“Even if the use of violence is not outwardly expressed, the creation of isolated communities can spawn groups that are exclusivist and potentially open to messages in which violence is advocated,” it says. “At a minimum, the existence of such mini-societies undermines resilience and the fostering of a cohesive Canadian nation.”
The report was written by the Integrated Threat Assessment Centre, which monitors threats to Canada’s national security and is composed of representatives of CSIS, the RCMP, Foreign Affairs, National Defence and other agencies.
It was circulated internally last year after Hizb-ut-Tahrir invited Muslims to a conference in Mississauga, Ont., to discuss the establishment of an Islamic caliphate. A copy of the document was recently released under the Access to Information Act.
“While the issue of violence by Islamist groups has continued to be a counter-terrorism priority for Western governments and particularly security services for many years, Islamist social ideology appears to have gone unstudied, precisely because the use of violence is either unsupported or understated,” it says. “Nevertheless, several Islamist movements advocate a rejection of Western society and mores, and encourage self-imposed isolation of Muslims in the West.”
It says Islamists believe that Islam should govern all aspects of society and that Sharia law and state law should be “synchronized.” Extremists forced to flee Muslim-majority countries such as Egypt now preach these beliefs in the West, it says, adding, “By definition, their world views clash with secular ones. A competition for the hearts and minds of the diaspora Muslims has hence begun.”
“Some Islamists advocate isolationism and the establishment of a parallel society,” it says. “Isolationism can lead to conditions where extreme messages can incubate and eventually become the catalyst for violence. At a minimum, isolationism undermines a multicultural and democratic society.”
The report notes that Mennonites and Doukhobors have also sought to isolate themselves form the mainstream. “Why then, should Canadians be worried about Islamist extremists who reject democracy or isolate themselves from non-Muslims?” it asks.
But activist Tarek Fatah said there is a difference. “You can talk about the Mennonites but the Mennonites’ aim in life is not to destroy Western civilization, it is seclusion.”