Saskatchewan: Drunk and suicidal member of James Smith First Nation converts to Islam

Cree jihadist: How a boy from a Saskatchewan reserve came to embrace Islamist extremism
Stewart Bell | Feb 22, 2013 9:06 PM ET | Last Updated: Feb 23, 2013 4:24 PM ET
More from Stewart Bell | @StewartBellNP

A Cree who wears a traditional coonskin cap he made himself, Dawood is a member of the James Smith First Nation in Saskatchewan. He is also a strident advocate of armed jihad.

At Toronto mosques, he has handed out hundreds of DVDs of lectures by Anwar al-Awlaki, the American-born radical cleric who urged his followers to fight the “evil” West — until a Hellfire missile found him in Yemen.
“For us as Muslims, our religion teaches that we’re brothers and sisters,” said Dawood, 33, who said he feared repercussions if his last name was published. “You have to stand up for your brothers and sisters, you have to defend them.”

Young, Canadian-born and online, Dawood is the embodiment of the Islamist extremists the government has called a top national security concern. He is also a newcomer to his faith, having converted to Islam less than five years ago, when he was drunk and suicidal.

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Even the Muslim leader who converted Dawood said he disagreed with his views on violence. “He’s unstable,” said Muhammad Robert Heft. “The bottom line with Dawood is he doesn’t know very much about the religion.” He said Dawood relied too much on the Internet. “He follows Mufti Yahoo or Sheikh Google. I think with him it’s got to do more with wanting attention.”

But attention-seeking fanatics who sanctify violence with half-baked scripture can be dangerous. Several members of the Toronto 18 terrorist group that planned attacks in Southern Ontario in 2006 were converts. Soon after he converted, William Plotnikov, a Toronto boxer and Seneca College student, left Canada to join an Islamist rebel group in the Caucuses. Russian security forces shot him dead last July.

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One thought on “Saskatchewan: Drunk and suicidal member of James Smith First Nation converts to Islam”

  1. You know, maybe it’s about time to link Indian privileges with traditional Indian beliefs and behaviour.

    Why should a Muslim Indian – or a Christian one, for that matter – be entitled to, say, special hunting rights?

    Look at it this way. Imagine a NON-human bunch of whatevers who lived in a Palaeolithic condition. The only things separating them from wild beasts would be 1) fire* and 2) superstition. Lots of animals make and use primitive tools, so I won’t even count primitive stone-tool use here, which amounts to simply finding a suitably sharp stone to use. Chimps can do that, but we don’t consider chimps to be in the stone age, SO.

    A creature without any kind of belief system, and the rites and rituals and “cultural trappings” that arise from religion is nothing but a wild animal. Take away the animist religion of primitive peoples, and what do you have? Hunting for mere survival, just like any other predator.

    Special rights for Indians has been based on their culture – and culture is informed by philosophy, usually religious philosophy. Now that they’re all Christian (and in some cases, Muslim), where is the basis? Christians and Muslims would rather tear their eyes out than thank the animal spirits themselves for their food rather than their distant God. They don’t even believe animals have souls. So … if Indians no longer believe in animism (the belief that every living thing has a soul, and perhaps some non-living things as well) then they’re culturally no different from the white man. When they trap, it isn’t some sort of “communion”, it’s about money, just like it is with the white man.

    If they want to be like everyone else, then do away with the reserve system, and the special legal and tax status, and consider Canadian land paid for in full.

    Now. Are the Pakis and the Chinese and the Africans and the Arabs going to pay us WHITE folks for all the infrastructure we built before they came?! The Indians sure as hell didn’t leave us any useful infrastructure! We’ve been paying for unimproved land for over a century now, and are still paying! So, yeah, a head tax would be in order to ANYONE who isn’t British or French (And RACIALLY so, nothing to do with citizenship!) Because the treaties are between the British and the Indians, with the French being rolled into it because of the PoA, and as far as I can see, were never meant to really include ANYONE ELSE.

    *I’m not even sure about fire being an iron-clad marker between “wild animal” and “stone age person”. I can see where using, but not making, fire would be an excuse to keep a species in the “non-person” category, if humans had any special interest in what those creatures had. See: “Little Fuzzy” by H. Beam Piper for an example of what I mean.

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