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Enter Stage Gabbing

Thanks, but no thanks

By Steven Martinovich

The Professor(June 8, 2009)

Canada may be open to all sorts of immigrants, and we’ve benefited greatly by that openness, but it appears that there is some sense in Ottawa that there is actually a limit to who we’ll accept. First several European nations refused and now Canada has wisely turned down U.S. President Barack Obama's very kind offer to become host to some Taliban soldiers currently residing at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility.

The 17 Chinese Muslims – Uighurs, a Turkic ethnic group found predominantly in eastern China – have been cleared for release despite the fact that the U.S. government still believes they're members of the East Turkestan Islamic Movement. It is a terrorist group which is alleged to have links to al-Qaida and is responsible for a number of deadly attacks launched with the aim of creating an independent Islamic state in what is currently a part of the Xingjian region of China. Given Canada's historically soft immigration policy, there were those who were surprised we actually turned the offer down.

As Doug Stanton reported in his recently published book Horse Soldiers: The Extraordinary Story of a Band of US Soldiers Who Rode to Victory in Afghanistan, the Taliban could be divided into three broad groups of soldiers. The first group were native Afghanis who agreed with the Taliban's Wahhabist philosophy. While they are militants, there is the possibility they could eventually rejoin mainstream Afghan society. The second group were native Afghanis who were forced to fight for the Taliban and are more than happy to get back to their fields, hopefully not growing opium poppies.

The third group, which includes these Uighurs, are hardcore, committed Islamists. Any foreign fighter for the Taliban, which includes Yemenis, Saudis and the like, travelled to Afghanistan as part of their jihadist creed and desire nothing more than to kill Americans and, thanks to our participation in Afghanistan and an Osama bin Laden fatwa, Canadians. Thanks to their committed participation in dragging Afghanistan back to the Islamist paradise of the seventh century, untold atrocities during their rule which included the public execution of women who dared to flaunt the Taliban's mores.

The foreign fighters were a group, writes Stanton, which often times chose death over surrender and for whom the notion of innocent lives held no currency. Recent reports show that a number of Guantanamo detainees who have been released have rejoined Islamist terrorist movements and it’s a safe bet a majority of them are foreign fighters. Allowing them into Canada allows them a perfect staging area to launch attacks against targets in the United States or our own nation.

There are undoubtedly those, thanks to their opposition to the U.S.-led war against terrorism and the existence of the Guantanamo Bay detention facility, who believe that we should have accepted the Uighurs to send a message to the American government, which despite Obama’s promises, has continued to prosecute his predecessor’s campaign. Regardless of where one stands on the issues, there are better ways to show one’s displeasure than to willingly accept those who would slaughter Christians, Jews, Hindus and other Muslims, for the crime of not subscribing to a violent, retrograde version of Islam.

Ed Husain, a former British Islamist who now runs a counter-extremism centre in London, believes that North America is following the trend witnessed in parts of Europe which has seen second generation Muslims and recent converts join Islamist groups. Indeed, the Toronto 18, the recent arrests of men attempting to bomb synagogues in New York City and shoot down military planes, and the attack on a Little Rock U.S. Army-Navy recruiting office suggests we have enough Islamists in our midst without importing any others.

Thanks for reading,

Steven Martinovich


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