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Religious Radicalization and Securitization in Canada and Beyond

Religious Radicalization and Securitization in Canada and Beyond

Copyright Date: 2014
Pages: 344
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  • Book Info
    Religious Radicalization and Securitization in Canada and Beyond
    Book Description:

    After the terrorist attacks of 9/11, those in London and Madrid, and the arrest of the "Toronto 18," Canadians have changed how they think about terrorism and security. As governments respond to the potential threat of homegrown radicalism, many observers have become concerned about the impact of those security measures on the minority groups whose lives are "securitized."

    InReligious Radicalization and Securitization in Canada and Beyond, Paul Bramadat and Lorne Dawson bring together contributors from a wide range of academic disciplines to examine the challenges created by both religious radicalism and the state's and society's response to it. This collection takes a critical look at what is known about religious radicalization, how minorities are affected by radicalization from within and securitization from without, and how the public, media, and government are attempting to cope with the dangers of both radicalization and securitization.

    Religious Radicalization and Securitization in Canada and Beyondis an ideal guide to the ongoing debates on how best to respond to radicalization without sacrificing the commitments to multiculturalism and social justice that many Canadians hold dear.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-6539-2
    Subjects: Political Science, Religion, Sociology

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. List of Figures and Tables
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xi-2)
    Paul Bramadat and Lorne Dawson
  5. 1 The Public, the Political, and the Possible: Religion and Radicalization in Canada and Beyond
    (pp. 3-33)

    For over a century before the events of 11 September 2001, scholars worked to elucidate the subtle ways religion should be factored into any comprehensive analysis of social change. By now, the wisdom of this foundational research seems quite clear when the changes in question are obviously related to religion (as in the rise of the Christian right in American politics). However, the centrality of religious ideas and institutions is also increasingly evident when the domain in question appears to be entirely “secular” (as in changes in immigration policies and municipal zoning restrictions). Nonetheless, I suspect it is usually the...

  6. Religion and Radicalization

    • 2 Beating a Path to Salvation: Themes in the Reality of Religious Violence
      (pp. 34-63)

      In November 1989, Nakagawa Tomomasa,¹ a young doctor and recent recruit to Aum Shinrikyō, was asked by the movement’s founder, guru, and “sacred master,”² Asahara Shōkō, to take part in a “salvation mission” (kyūsai katsudō) to kill Sakamoto Tsutsumi, a lawyer who was spearheading anti-Aum campaigns on behalf of the families of young people who had joined the movement. Despite having taken the Hippocratic oath to preserve life, Nakagawa stated that Asahara’s request made him feel not shocked but proud and elated. It showed he had reached a spiritual level and a state of detachment (seimutonjaku) that transcended the boundaries...

    • 3 Trying to Make Sense of Home-Grown Terrorist Radicalization: The Case of the Toronto 18
      (pp. 64-91)

      Canadians really became participants, reluctantly, in the international war on Salafi-jihadist terrorism in the summer of 2006. Officially, the government had been engaged in this war in earnest for some time, and several Canadians or residents of Canada already had been arrested on terrorism charges.¹ But the fear of “home-grown terrorism,” with real consequences for Canadians, was first driven home by the arrests of the group dubbed “the Toronto 18.” On 2 June 2006, police teams raided several homes and a storage facility in Toronto and Mississauga, arresting 11 men and 4 youths. Two others, already serving prison terms for...

    • 4 Pluralism and Radicalization: Mind the Gap!
      (pp. 92-120)

      The issues of radicalization and religious extremism in Western contexts have been studied extensively over the last two decades by policy analysts, security agencies, think tanks, and social scientists. Most of the research approaches the issues from the angle of securitization.² In the multiple perspectives developed, however, the analyses have ignored a key aspect of these phenomena by failing to consider the critical linkages between, on the one hand, pluralism as a framework for contemporary life and the more mundane features of radicalization on the other. Although scholars have developed an extremely sophisticated understanding of radicalization – defined as a...

    • 5 Securitization and Young Muslim Males: Is None Too Many?
      (pp. 121-144)

      The context of this chapter is the idea and fear of what sometimes is called “home-grown radicalism,” “home-grown terror,” or more specifically and simply, the radicalization of young Muslim males in Western countries. Since 9/11, many of the more spectacular violent and terrorist events in Europe and North America have been perpetrated by young Muslim males who grew up in the West, including the Madrid train bombings in 2004, the assassination of Theo van Gogh in Amsterdam in 2004, the London subway and bus bombings of 2005, the attempt to set off a car bomb in Times Square in New...

  7. Securitization and Canadian Ethno-religious Minorities

    • 6 The Impact of Securitization on South Asian Muslims in Montreal
      (pp. 145-163)

      Although this Muslim woman’s sentiments were expressed almost a decade ago, these concerns about fear and belonging continue to resonate today for many Canadian Muslims living in the post-9/11, waron-terror (WOT) context. Public anxiety about home-grown terrorism and radicalization after the Toronto 18 case has added to these concerns. Unlike Dawson’s chapter 3 which specifically addresses the Toronto 18, this chapter focuses more broadly on Muslims in Canada. Of course, the vast majority of them are not involved with terrorism or radicalization, but they are, nevertheless, often perceived to be socially and politically implicated by the society around them.


    • 7 The Sikhs in Canada: Culture, Religion, and Radicalization
      (pp. 164-200)

      On 23 June 1985 an explosive device tore through the cargo hold of Air India Flight 182 over the Atlantic Ocean as the jet approached the coast of Ireland. The passengers had boarded the plane in Montreal en route for Delhi, India, via London, England. All 329 people on board were killed. A second bomb killed two Japanese baggage handlers moving luggage to another Air India plane at New Tokyo International Airport in Narita, Japan, 54 minutes before Flight 182 exploded (Jiwa and Hauka 2006). Canadian law enforcement determined that the main suspects in the bombing were members of a...

    • 8 Religion, Politics, and Tamil Militancy in Sri Lanka and the Diaspora
      (pp. 201-228)

      As the civil war raged in Sri Lanka (1983–2009), the Canadian government became increasingly concerned about the presence of radical elements in the large Sri Lankan Tamil community in Canada. The concern was largely justified, given that the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), declared a terrorist organization by Canada in 2006, was very active in the diaspora in Canada and elsewhere in the world. Under the cover of a series of organizations (e.g., the World Tamil Movement), the LTTE had been raising funds and other kinds of support for their war effort for some years. As Bell (2004,...

  8. Public Discourse and Religious Radicalization

    • 9 Religion, Reporting, and Radicalization: The Role of News Media in Securitized Discourses
      (pp. 229-258)

      It is difficult to imagine discussing religion, radicalization, and securitization in the current age without a serious discussion of the news media. Acting as the medium of communication for messages generated by religious groups, security officials, governments, and citizens as well as significantly influencing those messages themselves, news media of all forms are worthy of scrutiny. What follows is a consideration of the way in which journalists and the journalism they have produced with respect to stories involving terrorism may influence religious radicalization. A closely related part of this analysis must be a discussion of the role of journalism in...

    • 10 The Cross-Cultural Roundtable on Security as a Response to Radicalization: Personal Experiences and Academic Reflections
      (pp. 259-284)

      The dialectical relationship between securitization and radicalization in the post-9/11 environment, as framed by Bramadat in the introductory chapter, is expressed distinctively in the Canadian context. Some of the features of the Canadian setting have included the way religious differences have been articulated against the backdrop of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict as well as related sentiments and public discourses around Islamophobia and anti-Semitism. Understanding the term “securitization” as a reference to “the way the state and society frame the individuals and groups drawn to radical religious subcultures” (Bramadat’s chapter in this volume) would appear to focus the discussion narrowly on “members...

    • 11 Narratives, Identity, and Terrorism
      (pp. 285-300)

      Following the July 2005 attacks in London, former CIA operative Robert Baer (2005) warned, “[T]here is a new plague on the streets of London, the pathological virus of the cult of suicide bombing.” It is “[a]n enemy that springs up like a virus from nowhere,” says Baer (2005). The highly communicable disease to which Baer refers is the ideology that supports suicide terrorism. Hence, what is most thought-provoking is not what Baer says or his manner of speech – his use of provocative language and imagery – but what his words suggest. If terrorist ideology is to be viewed as...

  9. 12 Conclusion
    (pp. 301-314)

    In this book a group of scholars and policymakers, trained in a variety of methods and embedded in a variety of professional, social, and religious contexts, risked subjecting their own research to criticism from people situated well outside of their conventional circle of peers. This sort of scrutiny often makes people uncomfortable, but the responses it elicits can yield fascinating insights. It is a rare accomplishment to draw anthropologists, sociologists, historians, political scientists, security analysts, and religious studies experts, as well as religious insiders and outsiders and government employees and government critics, into one common and respectful conversation. Indeed, it...

  10. Contributors
    (pp. 315-320)
  11. Index
    (pp. 321-332)