Home > Articles of interest, Somalia > They are born in Canada, educated, from respected families and they might be fighting for the shadowy al-Shabab

They are born in Canada, educated, from respected families and they might be fighting for the shadowy al-Shabab

An interesting read.

They are born in Canada, educated, from respected families and they might be fighting for the shadowy al-Shabab – The Globe and Mail.

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  1. 12/06/2009 at 5:32 am

    There are always certain facets to articles like this that aggravate me. Mind if I rant about the usual attempt to simplify a complex situtation?

    “Al-Shabab is going to take the bright ones: Usually it’s clean cut, conscientious well-educated people. That’s why you always hear these kids are from good families. These are middle-class kids. That’s why it’s so shocking.”

    It’s the same regurgitated excuse used to describe the 9/11 attack cell leaders. They were middle class guys who went to college, why would they do something like this?

    Statements like these perpetuate the myth that religious extremism stems from a single easily identifiable source — predominantly a lack of socio-economic stability or opportunities (although historical egotism is always entertaining).

    There is no single reason for why someone would radically change their life and run off to fight in a far off war and recruiters and radicalizers seek out any weakness, from socio-economic to psychological, to engage and recruit for their chosen cause. Additionally, the justification utilized by a group’s leadership is unlikely to be the justification utilized by the low-level foot soldier.

    I’m trying to ignore the whole America/Israel/Afghanistan/Palestine magically relating to Canada/Somalia beyond another obvious and horribly over-simplified attempt to understand radicalization.

    • Leah Farrall, Australia
      12/06/2009 at 5:32 pm

      Agree with you about the different justifications.

  2. 12/08/2009 at 11:18 am

    The timing of this bunch is also quite interesting, is it not. As it does not seem to be linked to the Ethiopian invasion which appears to have been a motivator for lots of other ethnic Western Somali’s who went back. But it is fascinating that these pockets of individuals keep popping up in North America – it is really as though they are getting the radicalization bug a few years after their European (or at least Brit) counterparts.

    Another question I would ask Leah, is have you heard any more news about those chaps involved in Operation Neath?

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