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Public Safety minister bows to religious groups over terror references

Public Safety minister Ralph Goodale says Canadians are better off not knowing particulars of various terror threats the nation faces, lest they trigger hate crimes like the mosque shooting in New Zealand.

This article was published more than 1 year ago, information might not be accurate.

Jason Unrau Montreal, QC

Public Safety minister Ralph Goodale claims providing Canadians particulars about terror threats the nation faces could risk triggering a hate crime like the mosque shootings in New Zealand.

“The idea that governments of any stripe might inadvertently continue to use language that can then be twisted by these nefarious and violent individuals as…justifications for their hatred, should be anathema to all of us,” the minister told MPs on Monday.

Making specific reference to the Christchurch attacks in which 51 people were murdered last March, Goodale also cited a 47 percent increase in domestic, police-reported hate crimes as rationale for detaching strains of violent extremism from their associated faith groups in a departmental threat assessment.

Goodale’s remarks to members of the National Security committee, formed  his explanation for recent changes to the department’s 2018 report that saw references to Sikh extremism and Sunni and Shia Islamist sects scrubbed.

The minister said he edited the original report after hearing “strong objections from the muslim and Sikh communities… (for) using terms like Sikh extremism or Sunni Islam”.

Goodale said this could “impugn certain communities.”

While mention of the Sikh faith, or more accurately ‘Sikh extremism’ is no longer in Goodale’s report, the Department of Public Safety’s own listing of the terror group in question – Babbar Khalsa – clearly describes it as a Sikh terrorist entity:

“Going forward we will use terminology that focus on intent or ideology, rather than an entire religion,” Goodale said. “We must be to describe the threat to the public accurately, and precisely without unintentionally condemning the entire Sikh community or any other community.”

“Islamic State, or Islamic State in the Levant would now be referred to by its Arabic acronym, Daesh,” Goodale informed the committee of the term his Liberal government prefers, which ironically also means Islamic State.

Here’s how Department of Public Safety Describes one of three arms of ISIS – Islamic State in Syria – on its web-based terror group listing:

The following is the department’s complete, currently listed terrorist entities:

Abdallah Azzam Brigades (AAB)
Abu Nidal Organization (ANO)
Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG)
Al-Murabitoun
Al-Muwaqi’un Bil Dima
Al Qaida
Al Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP)
Al Qaida in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS)
Al Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM)
Al Shabaab
Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigade (AAMB)
Al-Gama’a al-Islamiyya (AGAI)
Ansar al-Islam (AI)
Armed Islamic Group (GIA)
Asbat Al-Ansar (AAA) (The League of Partisans)
Aum Shinrikyo
Babbar Khalsa International (BKI)
Boko Haram
Caucasus Emirate
Ejército de Liberación Nacional (ELN)
Euskadi Ta Askatasuna (ETA)
Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC)
Gulbuddin Hekmatyar
Gulbuddin Hekmatyar’s Faction; Hezb-e Islami Gulbuddin (HIG)
Hamas (Islamic Resistance Movement)
Haqqani Network
Harakat ul-Mudjahidin (HuM)
HASAM (Harakat Sawa’d Misr)
Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham
Hizballah
Indian Mujahideen (IM)
International Relief Fund for the Afflicted and Needy(IRFAN – CANADA)
International Sikh Youth Federation (ISYF)
Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU)
Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Qods Force
Islamic State
Islamic State – Khorasan Province (ISKP)
Islamic State – Sinai Province (ISSP)
Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM)
Jaysh Al-Muhajirin Wal-Ansar (JMA)
Jemaah Islamiyyah (JI)
Kahane Chai (Kach)
Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK)
Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LJ)
Lashkar-e-Tayyiba (LeT)
Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE)
Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (MOJWA)
Palestine Liberation Front (PLF)
Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ)
Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine – General Command (PFLP-GC)
Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP)
Sendero Luminoso (SL)
Taliban
Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP)
World Tamil Movement (WTM)

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