'Chill out' about jihadists? Nonsense

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(This column originally appeared in the Toronto Sun)

By: Candice Malcolm

Islamic State terrorists are back in Canada, and the Trudeau government doesn’t seem to have a clue how to handle the situation. 
This cluelessness was on display in Question Period last week when Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer asked Prime Minister Justin Trudeau how many ISIS jihadists were back in Canada. 
 
In one of his worst performances in the House of Commons (and that’s a low bar), Trudeau responded by reading a prepared statement.
 
Since his words were likely written by someone with expertise on the file, you would expect a thoughtful and coherent response. 
 
Instead, Trudeau provided a half-hearted explanation about the various government programs related to terrorism, including a reintegration program for returned jihadists. 
 
How on earth does the federal government expect to “reintegrate” members of a maniacal death cult? 
 
Trudeau was pressed on this issue, and mentioned the Canada Centre for Community Engagement and Prevention of Violence – a government agency focused on helping individuals with violent world views. 
 
The Liberal government seems to believe social programs and government-funded counseling will convince Islamist militants to simply abandon their jihad and live peaceful lives in Canada. 
 
Canadians should be skeptical when it comes to “de-radicalizing” and “re-integration” programs for ISIS fighters, and we should be equally skeptical when politicians and journalists try to downplay the ISIS threat to Canada.
 
Take, for instance, a recent Vice article entitled “Chill out about returning foreign fighters.”
 
The article quotes University of Waterloo terrorism researcher Amarnath Amarasingam, who says, “We don’t have dozens of highly trained fighters back here. Most are dead. Some women and their kids will definitely come back. And we need to think about how to rehabilitate and reintegrate these kids.”
 
While Amarasingam believes that the threat is overblown, and that female ISIS members don’t pose the same security risks as men, he also told me women do play an important role in the terrorist organization. 
 
An alarming news report on ISIS brides provides more details, and gives us more reasons to be concerned. 
 
“ISIS brides returning home and raising the next generation of jihadist martyrs,” reads the headline of a Washington Post report on the objectives of female members of the Islamic State. 
 
The report details the Islamic State’s “next incarnation” – using women to infiltrate the West, teach their children about the “glories of the caliphate” and raise them to become jihadists. 
 
The article is based on an interview with a woman named Zarah, a former member of the Islamic State’s all-female military brigade who has abandoned the battlefield and is now waging a covert war against the West – and encouraging others to do the same. 
 
“We will bring up strong sons and daughters and tell them about the life in the caliphate,” she said, vowing that one day her children would achieve the Islamic State’s goals. 
 
Downplaying the ISIS threat to Canada is a mistake, and dismissing ISIS brides as victims who can be re-integrated is naïve and unproductive. 
 
Canada needs a hard-nosed strategy to combat jihadists from the Islamic State and other terrorist groups, and we need to be realistic about the threat they pose.  
 
When it comes to ISIS plans to...(READ MORE)