After 9/11, the Parliamentary Foreign Affairs Committee launched a study to look into the reasons behind this blatant terrorist attack. As a member of the committee, I travelled to New York, UK, France, Morocco, Indonesia, India, Pakistan and Malaysia on a fact-finding mission.
The FA Committee determined that community involvement was absolutely necessary to maintain an open dialogue with Muslim groups in Canada and to address troubling issues that would eventually spill out as acts of terrorism. Following recommendations of our Committee, a Canadian Muslim community group was formed to advise the Foreign Affairs Department. This initiative has worked well in ensuring that Canada could respond effectively to this issue. It enabled us to understand from our Muslim community the issues that affected them, so that appropriate policies could be put in place to challenge terrorism ideology.
I believe a similar initiative is needed at this juncture, to involve and engage the community in addressing the growing threat of Homegrown Terrorism. This is why I am proposing the setting up of a community-driven Centre with appropriate funding to exclusively address the threat of home-grown terrorism.
The Centre will focus on community-based approaches to develop programmes to address this threat.
The centre will be linked to grassroots organizations and community groups and will work closely with them to address the threat of radicalization of Canadian youth by foreign militant groups. As the Centre’s prim target group would be youth, it will focus heavily on social media strategies to reach-out to this demographic.