Radical Islamic literature is shockingly common many Canadian mosques and Islamic schools, according to a new study.
Thomas Quiggin, a former Canadian intelligence analyst, and Saied Shoaaib, a journalist and native Egyptian, found that the radical literature was so common in many mosques and Islamic schools, it often comprised the entirety of their libraries.
“Further research is required to determine the depth and breadth of this problem,” according to the study.
Quiggin and Shoaaib noted that it is crucial that the issue be addressed, as many young Canadians have become radicalized by such literature. They explained that moderate Islamic viewpoints are quickly overtaken by the flood of radical philosophy frequently seen in the various Islamic institutions across Canada.
“The struggle for the soul of Islam between Islamists and humanists goes on in Canada and the U.S., not just in the Middle East, Europe and South Asia,” wrote the authors.
They gathered their research by going directly to the source, and visiting the libraries themselves. They refined their research by examining open source information and social media in order to show the pervasive nature of the problem.
Among some of the radical literature are the works of Sayyid Qutb, the spiritual inspiration for terrorists like Osama bin Laden. Additionally, the researchers found works by Ibn Wahhab, founder of the extremist Wahabbi sect of Islam, from which groups like al-Qaida often draw their ideology.
The Canadian Council of Imams has rejected the report’s findings, claiming that Muslim leaders in Canada consistently denounce Islamic radicalism.
Despite the council’s claim, radicalism is on the rise in Canada. Intelligence services report that as many as 60 potential jihadis currently walk the streets. It is believed over 100 Canadians have left the country to join Islamic State, though the exact number is unclear.
Canada’s government is taking steps toward curbing the radicalization threat by opening a national office of counter-radicalization, known as the Canadian Office of Community Outreach and Counter-Radicalization.
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