Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Mother of Muslim convert killed in Syria forms "de-radicalization" program

Mother of dead Canadian jihadi speaks out
Damian Clairmont

Interesting to note that it is a non-Muslim who feels the need to gather resources and support to begin to try and de-fuse jihad activity in Canada.  Shouldn't it be the mosques, madrassas and Muslim leaders leading the charge against jihad and fundamental Islamic ideology?

Is there an agenda afoot here?  Why wouldn't Islamic leaders be the loudest voices in a program such as this?  Could it be that they cannot, on theological grounds dispute the Islamic States claim that they are following the dictates of Muhammad and the words in the Qur'an?  In other words, they are unable to counter true Islam with any kind of doctrinal/scriptural rebuttal, thus their silence in responding and their accusations that anyone questioning their motives must be an Islamophobe.

From the CBC September 9 by Adrienne Arsenault

Mother of dead Canadian jihadi launches de-radicalization effort

The mother of Damian Clairmont, a Calgary man who in January died fighting with ISIS in Syria, says she's tired of waiting for Canada to take action on de-radicalization. She is starting her own program for families of Canadian jihadis so other mothers don't lose their sons to the clutches of extremism.

"It's a lot to take on, but I don't know what else to do," Christianne Boudreau said.

"I have no choice at this point, because I can't just let Damian die in vain and that's the end of it, and just walk away from it and let it happen to another family ... I can't."

In her Calgary basement office, Boudreau's computer fights for space on her small desk with copies of letters that were sent over the past year and rarely answered; to the Prime Minister, to the chief of the Calgary police, to the head of CSIS.

Her questions were broad and pained; How is it that even though CSISwas apparently watching and worrying about her son’s growing extremism, no one informed her until it was too late and he was already in Syria?

In one letter she asks, “If my son was under surveillance for two years in respect to the suspicion of his participation in a potential terrorist organization, how was he able to obtain a passport two months prior to his leaving Canada?”

It would have been Islamophobic to profile her son.

She has also been desperate for emotional support for both herself and her other children, who are still trying to fathom how their big brother Damian could transform so profoundly and become a fighter with ISIS.

Not much help has been forthcoming.

“I had no one to reach out to, there was nobody who understood what I was going through," Boudreau says. "It was like I was in a bad movie and I couldn’t make it stop.”

[Watch Adrienne Arsenault's feature story "A Mother's Instinct" on The National tonight (Sept. 9) at 9 p.m. ET on CBC News Network and 10 p.m. ET on CBC Television.]

Boudreau tried connecting with other parents in Canada, looking for just one person she could talk with about the horrible guilt and fear and questions that swirl around her constantly: “What did I do wrong? How could the child I raised be hurting or killing people?”

She knows she’s not alone in this. There are dozens of family members of other Canadian jihadis out there who are just as mystified and horrified. But almost all are staying silent, coping far away from the public spotlight.

With no-one in the government or her community answering Boudreau’s calls for help, this summer she went searching in Europe for programs to bring home to Canada. She also found someone who understood her angst, a woman named Domnique Bons in Toulouse, France.

Like Boudreau, Bons’ politically astute son Nicholas converted to Islam and started changing fundamentally. He became obsessed with the plight of the Syrians and vowed to act, not just talk.

By early 2012 he was talking of feeling uncomfortable living amongst non-Muslims in France, and soon after that he was in Syria, along with his younger half-brother Jean Daniel. Both ended up joining ISIS. And both died - Nicholas as a suicide bomber.

Like Boudreau, Bons took the bold and lonely step of speaking out publicly. And like Boudreau, she found that few families were willing to connect with her.

Read it all

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