'Jihad is as Canadian as Maple Syrup'

A Canadian who joined the fighting in Syria taunts Canada's government, says number of Canadian jihadists is growing.

Elad Benari and Dalit Halevi ,

AFP photo

Jihad has become “as Canadian as maple syrup”, at least according to a Canadian foreign fighter in Syria who was quoted by the National Post.

The man, Abu Dujana al-Muhajir, last week taunted what he called the “evil, despotic and Zionist Harper government”, claiming in a blog post it was losing the battle against extremism.

Al-Muhajir is part of a small circle of youths from the city of Calgary who left for Syria to join armed extremist groups, according to the National Post. In the same blog post, he said “so-called radical Islamists” were gaining in popularity and the number of Canadian jihadists was growing.

He lavished praise upon Canadians Damian Clairmont and Andre Poulin, both troubled youths who converted to Islam, became radicalized and died soon after arriving in Syria.

Quoting pro-Al-Qaeda ideologue Anwar Al Awlaki saying that jihad was becoming as American as apple pie and as British as afternoon tea, Abu Dujana wrote it was “high time that we add to his statement ‘and as Canadian as maple syrup.’”

Clairmont, according to the National Post, had been introduced to the lectures of Al Awlaki, who was killed in Yemen by a U.S. drone. Abu Dujana and Clairmont later started a prayer group at the Downtown 8th & 8th Musallah, a Calgary Islamic Center, according to the newspaper.

Abu Dujana also claimed that most members of the group “have already made it to various fronts of jihad by the grace of Allah and some have even been awarded with martyrdom like the brother Mustafa [Clairmont] while the rest of us are waiting for that honor.”

The Syrian civil war has attracted not only locals but also foreign nationals, and Canada is only one country which has experienced this phenomenon.

In fact, according to statistics from February, over 75,000 foreign nationals have been fighting in the Syrian civil war. While the majority are from Muslim countries, there are also including Russians, Germans and French citizens taking part in the fighting.

British citizens have also been taking part in the fighting, and Britain’s Information Minister has said that the "security concern" for the UK posed by individuals who have trained and fought in Syria is "a big problem" for MI5 and the police.

In December it was reported that Britain has been revoking the citizenship of its nationals who join the Syrian civil war, in an attempt to prevent its nationals from returning home and bringing fundamentalist Islam with them.