Here’s a thought. Instead of tracking down people who want to head for Iraq or Syria to join the forces of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil), why don’t we help them on their way?
I mean we don’t really want them in Canada, do we? So why don’t we say: “Look, you don’t like our way of life, our chosen political and religious beliefs, and our democratic form of government. You long for life under the Islam’s Sharia law – so how can we help you achieve your aims?”
In England the Conservative Government is preparing to launch what are being termed “tough new measures to combat the growing threat from Islamist extremists.” Prime Minister Stephen Harper will no doubt be watching with great interest because we have a similar “growing threat in Canada although it is miniscule when compared with the problems in Great Britain – and France.
In the UK it is claimed more than 700 citizens have already travelled to train and fight for Isil (or Is as we abbreviate it) – and at least 300 “dangerous jihadists” have returned to England waiting to strike a blow at the country which in the past gave them or their parents refuge.
It seems to me England would have less of a problem had it said to the 700:”Let us help you get to where you want go. We took your family in when it was homeless and we have fed, clothed and housed you for years and we tried to show you a way of life we thought more attractive. But we have obviously failed, and we are sorry about that so let’s get all who want to go back to what you call home. We’ll pick up the tab, as we have been doing for years.”
There would be minor sacrifices. On the day of departure passports and citizenship would be surrendered; the tickets would be one way. Trained militants would not be welcomed back – or welcomed anywhere where Sharia law held sway and could not be challenged.
The threat of individual acts of terror may never be eliminated but it could be greatly curtailed, even if my suggestion of one way travel support for budding jihadists is ignored.
In Canada we have laws relating to treason or high treason. I’m sure the UK, on whose legal system ours is built has similar statutes. Canada’s high treason one will do for me. Until 1998 it still carried the death penalty under the National Defence Act “for treason or mutiny”. Today it is “not more than 14 years” for what the law might regard as less serious treason but mandatory life for more serious cases. High treason is defined as anyone who:
“… (a) kills or attempts to kill Her Majesty, or does her any bodily harm tending to death or destruction, maims or wounds her, or imprisons or restrains her; (b) levies war against Canada or does any act preparatory thereto; or (c) assists an enemy at war with Canada, or any armed forces against whom Canadian Forces are engaged in hostilities, whether or not a state of war exists between Canada and the country whose forces they are.” The emphasis is mind.
A basic belief of our democratic way of life, one radical Muslim’s find difficult to accept, is added: ”No person shall be convicted of high treason or treason on the evidence of only one witness, unless the evidence is corroborated in a material particular by evidence that implicates the accused.”
So two thoughts: Let’s help all Muslims who want to join Isil on their one way trip to imaginary paradise, and charge with treason those who stay here but levy war against us.