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 –

Adil Charkaoui obtient sa citoyenneté après 19 ans d’attente | Le Devoir

Given the long history of being suspected of terrorism-related activities, and the Government’s unsuccessful defence of the use of security certificates in his case, quite a remarkable denouement being granted Canadian citizenship.

It does clear his name in that the Government did not find a way to deny him citizenship. He has a lawsuit pending against the Government but hopes to secure an out-of-court settlement:

Adil Charkaoui est officiellement devenu citoyen canadien jeudi, la première de trois étapes dans son combat pour laver son honneur.

M. Charkaoui n’y croyait presque plus, surtout avec le durcissement du gouvernement Harper, qui ne voulait même pas reprendre Omar Khadr de la prison de Guantánamo. « Je suis agréablement surpris, surtout que ça ne vient pas d’un gouvernement modéré », dit-il.

Sa mère, son père, sa femme et ses enfants étaient tous citoyens canadiens. Adil Charkaoui a dû patienter 19 ans avant de pouvoir en dire autant.

M. Charkaoui a fait l’histoire du droit canadien. Il a combattu avec succès deux certificats de sécurité lancés contre lui par le ministre de l’Immigration, afin de le renvoyer dans son pays d’origine, le Maroc. Les autorités le soupçonnaient d’être un « agent dormant » du réseau terroriste al-Qaïda.

While this effectively ends the terror-related charges, from an integration perspective, it is strange that he invites provocative Islamic speakers with respect to women, and then complains of Islamophobia when they are denied entry.

Could he not find speakers with more positive messages?

Adil Charkaoui obtient sa citoyenneté après 19 ans d’attente | Le Devoir.