A new Canadian government study finds that books by some of the most radical Islamists of the recent past and of centuries ago are widely available and increasingly popular there. As Stewart Bell of the National Post reports, the writings of Osama bin Laden mentor Abdullah Azzam, Muslim Brotherhood luminary Sayyid Qutb and 12th Century scholar Ibn Taymiyah are increasingly popular among Canadian Muslims.
That's a concern because those writers often advocate violent jihad and because extremist literature is a constant among targets of law enforcement counter terror investigations. Writing that promotes violent jihad is "one of the key radicalizing elements in this transition" between devout religious devotion and believing violence is a justifiable, the report said.
According to Bell's story:
"A common thread among the targets of counter-terrorism investigators was that they were consumers of extremist literature that portrays the West as the enemy and advocates violence as a duty."
Examples of the authors' works were easily available through other publications and online sources, the study by Canada's Integrated Threat Assessment Centre found. In addition, Bell reports, Qutb's writings are available in many public libraries. Works by the authors have been found among suspects in Canadian terror cases including the "Toronto 18," accused of plotting a series of bomb attacks in the city.