Adil Charkaoui: The angriest man in Montreal

Good in-depth piece by Martin Patriquin on Charkaoui:

So: is Quebec’s self-appointed Muslim spokesperson a simple teacher? Or a dangerous enabler of radical Islam?

Charkaoui effectively wears two hats, says scholar Amghar, and is skilled at tailoring his message for whomever is listening. “Charkaoui’s discourse in combatting Islamophobia isn’t dangerous. He isn’t calling for attacks in Quebec or Canada, and he knows he can’t invoke or invite terrorism or jihad, because Canada’s political context wouldn’t allow for it,” Amghar says. “But there is a sort of split in his personality. His point of view is that it’s totally normal and legitimate that there are groups like [Islamic State] and al-Nusra Front in Syria, if only to fight against Bashar al-Assad’s dictatorship, and for the creation of an Islamic state.”

This double-edged existence—part conciliation, part outrage—is on display on Charkaoui’s own websites. Following the arrests of the 10 would-be jihadists in Montreal this month, Charkaoui’s east-end Muslim community centre quickly published a concerned news release. “The Islamic Community Centre of East End Montreal would like to remind that it takes the question of radicalization very seriously, and reiterates its commitment to contribute to the harmonious integration of the Muslim community in Quebec and Canada,” it reads.

Related: Maclean’s On The Hill politics podcast on terror arrests

Just a few hours later, Charkaoui’s Collective Against Islamophobia issued its own release. The tone was markedly different. “Ten arrests! It’s an unexplained phenomenon that leaves us skeptical, just as the government is adopting harsh security laws like [anti-terror legislation] C-51!” it reads, in part. “What is sure, this can only benefit one governing political party: the Conservatives!”

Give him this: Denouncing radicalism and the arrest of alleged radicals on the same day takes chutzpah that only Adil Charkaoui, with all his apparent contradictions, could muster.

Adil Charkaoui: The angriest man in Montreal –

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

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