This week, Canadians observed the National Day of Remembrance for Victims of Terrorism. For Sikh Canadians and Jewish Canadians alike, the Day of Remembrance has particular resonance. That our two communities have shared experience in facing terrorism was pointedly on display during the 2008 Mumbai attack.
Among the Air India 182 bombing mystery, lies, cover-ups, court trials, conspiracy theories and missing tapes, the stories of the 82 murdered children have remained lost. It's these hidden stories, messages, and lives that B.C. poet Renée Sarojini Saklikar resurrects in her BC Book Prize-nominated book of poetry.
Recently, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) released an intelligence assessment entitled "Venues of Sunni Islamist Radicalization in Canada." One observation is that as "radicalization is usually a social process, it can occur wherever humans interact, in the real world or in virtual ones." Some examples of where radicalization might happen include the family, on the internet, or in prison. There is also extensive research showing that radicalization occurs on the internet in "virtual communities."
Radicalism exists across ethnic and religious divides and on any end of a given political spectrum. One of the most gruesome terrorist attacks in recent memory was committed in Norway by Anders Behring Breivik, an anti-Muslim radical convinced that Islam was destroying Western civilization. Non-Muslim radicalism is also prevalent in Canada.
Many theories have been put forth to explain why certain individuals become radicalized to the point where they are willing to commit violence. Needless to say, radicalism becomes problematic when it is leads to acts of violence, such as terrorism. Examples of violent radicalism in Canada include the FLQ bombings and kidnappings in the 1960s/1970s, the 1984 Air India Bombing.