Paper delivered to the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology,
3 February 2011 by: David B. Harris – Director, International and Terrorist Intelligence Program; INSIGNIS Strategic Research Inc.
Mr Chair, Honourable Senators:
Only a decade or so ago, I testified before a United States’ congressional subcommittee that Canada was a land of 29 million; today, that number has rocketed to almost 34 million. Canada’s immigration intake is the biggest per capita in the world, at about 250,000 per annum. Immigration Minister Jason Kenney boasted that we welcomed 519,000 newcomers altogether in a single, recent year.
One cannot discuss immigrant integration in the national security and public-safety context without appreciating the sheer magnitude of Canada’s immigration, refugee and related intakes.
Such numbers may not be an issue on planets rejoicing in peace and prosperity, but here on Earth, in Canada, things are different. Mass immigration of Canada’s kind has potential adverse consequences for security and stability.
Population movements are relevant to many Canadian security challenges. CSIS Director Richard Fadden signalled concerns about China’s political influence operations, operations that can involve expatriates and others, and go directly to the sovereignty and independence of this nation. Regarding terrorism, Ontario’s appeals court recently reflected with foreboding on the broadening vistas of violence in an age of mega-terror: we face an existential threat, warned the judges. Indeed, Iran, with its nuclear weapons’ development and thousands volunteering for suicide missions, has an aggressive presence in this very city, variously relying on and victimizing its expatriates.
Let me focus on one of the leading threats: Islamic terrorism, and its handmaiden, Islamism – radical Islam. This particularly instructive issue involves direct risks of violence, but also an ideology that, even in a nominally non-violent form, presents a challenge to social cohesion and constitutional rights.
In recent years, tens of thousands came to Canada from Muslim-majority lands. At a time when radical Islam is a threat and nine of ten Canadian Muslims are foreign-born, one must ask about the attitudes newcomers bring from source countries: This, especially when Mr. Bin Laden has targeted our country.
In former days of lower numbers, a newcomer’s radical tendencies might more readily have been overwhelmed by Canada’s ambient liberal-pluralist atmosphere. Today, however, the huge intake means a growing number of ethnic concentrations or enclaves, from six in 1981 to 254 in 2002, according to a 2004 Government study. This hints at increasing separation of communities, some of it self-imposed, and the undermining of integrationist hopes, notably including hopes of integration of Charter values.
Recent Pew Global attitudes surveys looked at Muslim attitudes in several Muslim-majority countries. One can hardly deduce from attitudes in a given country, the attitudes of émigrés from that country. Some may leave homelands precisely because they depart from homeland attitudes – may, indeed, be bona fide refugees. Think of Christians, Jews and moderate Muslims who for years have been persecuted under the Islamist apartheid systems prevalent in a number of Muslim lands. Nonetheless, poll results suggest security challenges for Canada, present and developing.
As hundreds fly from Egypt’s upheaval to Canada, consider that fifty-nine percent of Muslim Egyptians prefer Islamists’ in charge, versus 27 percent wanting modernizers. Eighty-four percent favour death for converts from Islam, a fact that has been noted by some fearful Coptic Christians in Canada. Eighty-two percent want death for adultery. Seventy-seven percent want whipping and amputations for thieves. One in five Egyptian Muslims sympathizes with our al-Qaeda enemy. Roughly 20,000 permanent residents came from Egypt in the past ten years.
In Jordan, Pakistan and Nigeria those favouring death for conversion amount to 86, 76 and 51 percent, respectively.
Thirty-four percent of Jordanian and almost half Nigeria’s Muslims favour al-Qaeda. As for the West’s Iran-created Hezbollah enemy, 54 percent of Jordanian Muslims favour it, like 92 percent of Lebanon’s Shia Muslims and 40 percent of Indonesian Muslims. Only about a third of Pakistan’s Muslims view unfavourably the Islamic terror organization that flailed Mumbai in 2008.
Does extremism travel well? A 2007 Environics poll says 12 percent of Canadian Muslims could justify a Toronto-18 type plot calling for mass-casualty attacks in Canada, including invading Parliament and beheading the prime minister. That means that between 49,000 and 119,000 Canadians could justify making war on fellow Canadians.
Perhaps such attitudes are reflected in the increasing number of terrorism cases
Meanwhile, troubling interests are indoctrinating our Muslim youth. The Muslim Association of Canada (MAC), a major group, boldly declares on its website its allegiance to the tradition of Hassan al Banna and the Muslim Brotherhood – the organization causing dread in Egypt and beyond:
MAC’s roots are deeply enshrined in the message of Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him). Its modern roots can be traced to the Islamic revival of the early twentieth century, culminating in the movement of the Muslim Brotherhood. This movement influenced Islamic activities, trends and intellectual discourse throughout the world including those of Muslims who came to Canada in search of freedom, education and better opportunities.
MAC adopts and strives to implement Islam, as embodied in the Qur’an, and the teachings of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and as understood in its contemporary context by the late Imam, Hassan Albanna, the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood. MAC regards this ideology as the best representation of Islam as delivered by Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). [Muslim Association of Canada, http://www.macnet.ca/about-mac.php?print=Y (accessed 3 February 2011.).
This is problematic. The Muslim Brotherhood’s motto is “Allah is our objective. The Prophet is our leader. The Qur’an is our law. Jihad is our way. Dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope.” And the captured 1991 Muslim Brotherhood strategic plan for Canada and the US declares that:
The process of settlement is a ‘Civilization-Jihadist Process,’ with all the word means. The Ikhwan [Muslim Brotherhood] must understand that their work in American is kind of a grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and sabotaging its miserable house…
Among other organizations, there is also the disturbing Canadian Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-CAN), the Canadian chapter of a Saudi-funded US unindicted co-conspirator organization. CAIR-CAN is known for its divisive, poorly documented insistence that Muslims are subject to broad-ranging persecution in Canada. Under its first Chair, Dr Sheema Khan, CAIR-CAN joined its US mother organization in unsuccessful “libel-lawfare” court assaults on commentators and constitutional free expression, in an effort to silence questions about CAIR and CAIR-CAN, their origins and agenda. This record, incidentally, has not stopped the RCMP’s Community Outreach program, and a handful of other government entities, from stumbling into dealings with CAIR-CAN, much to the periodic embarrassment of officials.
Reacting to news that Canadian Muslim numbers – currently 940,000 – will triple by 2030, a prominent liberal Muslim warned this week that… what is different from other immigrant groups is there is a subgroup among Muslims, I call Islamists, who come here with the intention of destroying the social fabric of the country …. That is very unusual for an immigrant group and will be more of a problem in the future.
Meanwhile, a few months ago, the moderate Muslim Canadian Congress raised other issues of internal security. It declared itself “troubled by the fact that Islamists had managed to penetrate the highest levels of the Ottawa bureaucracy and the political apparatus of all political parties.”
Such arresting assertions must be tested and evaluated for accuracy. In the meantime, the combination of religious violence, sharia values, demographic shifts and associated considerations means that it is high time that Canadians ask direct questions about the managing of related policy, and the risks of failed integration.
Postscript: Excerpt from correspondence with the author on July 25th; 2011:
“By the way, John, the first para of my statement has been overtaken by events.
At the time of my statement, the latest immigration numbers were reflected in Mr. Kenney’s boast about our 250,000 immigration intake, the biggest per capita in the world, with visa-holders taking the grand total of newcomers to 519,000 a year.
Since then, the government has stated that the number has gone up, to 281,000 immigrants (including refugees). If you add to this the visa-holders, a great many of whom will eventually get citizenship, the total number of newcomers is at least 550,000 per annum.
Since my February statement, the Fraser Institute’s Grubel study was updated to show that immigration is costing us up to $23 billion per year, net, taking social welfare benefit payments into account. This suggests how politicized is the immigration system; we’re losing money in order to import votes. As further evidence, skilled labour accounted for 48,000 of the 281,000 immigrants, notwithstanding the fact that immigration is peddled to us as the answer to an economic dream. The 48,000 figure goes some way to explain why specialists who aren’t connected to the immigration lobby seem to suggest that fewer than 70,000 carefully-selected immigrants can be justified in economic terms. Indeed, I read somewhere that we now take in more people over the age of 65 — parents and grandparents — than exist in our general population, a further indication of what the immigration system has turned into. No wonder our health care system is collapsing.”