Calgary imam concerned death of Canadian in Iraq could inspire radical youth

Reports say Farah Mohamed Shirdon, a former Calgary man, was fighting for ISIS


CALGARY – A prominent Calgary imam worries that the reported death of a Canadian in Iraq could inspire other radicalized youth to follow his example.

Imam Syed Soharwardy of the Islamic Supreme Council of Canada, is worried that the death of one youth who has been “brainwashed”, could prompt others to follow in his footsteps.

The federal government says it is aware of reports that a Canadian has been killed in Iraq.

But the Foreign Affairs Department isn’t confirming it is Farah Mohamed Shirdon, a former Calgary man the CBC has identified as having been radicalized in Canada and gone to the Middle East to fight for Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.

The CBC cited multiple social media reports out of Iraq saying Shirdon has been killed.

“We are aware of reports that a Canadian was killed in Iraq. We are following the situation closely,” said Jean-Bruno Villeneuve from Foreign Affairs.

Earlier this year, the network aired a propaganda video of Shirdon burning his Canadian passport and threatening U.S. President Barack Obama.

Foreign Affairs says it is monitoring the situation closely.

The department is advising against all non-essential travel to Iraq because of the “dangerous and unpredictable security situation” in the country.

Soharwardy said he feared the death would create “copycats.”

“Absolutely I think it creates more attraction for those people who already on the borderline and have some sort of extremist feelings toward the more moderate Muslims and that’s why it’s very disturbing,” said Soharwardy.

Soharwardy said he doesn’t know Shirdon personally but has seen him at some events in Calgary in the past.

He said it is disturbing that many young Canadian Muslims are falling in with the wrong type of people who he refers to as “fanatics.”

“They don’t understand that Islam doesn’t condone these kind of actions … this is not martyrdom — this is fanaticism, terrorism,” he said.

“The fanatics, they have the freedom to preach here, they have the freedom to work and visit the communities and talk to young boys and nobody is stopping them. It is quite disturbing that these youth are being brainwashed in Canada.”


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Calgary imam concerned death of Canadian in Iraq could inspire radical youth

  1. It is a right thing to warn Canadians about the threat of fanatics inside Islam faith. It is threat not only for the countries where they are fighting but also for Canada and the whole world. It is time to educate young people in the areas where Muslim people are concentrated that it is absolutely unacceptable for them to choose the way that may bring them to nowhere, because radical Islam is not the way of progressive mankind.

  2. Why is this a problem? I sincerely hope thousands of other young muslims who live in Canada head off and meet the same fate. LoL!

  3. “Foreign Affairs is monitoring the situation closely.” Really?? Last weekend Minister of Public Safety Steve Blaney was lambasting Trudeau for visiting a mosque in his riding prior to it being identified as a training ground for terrorists. And this weekend with the real threat of these radicalized Canadians returning from activities abroad to Canada, we have “Foreign Affairs is monitoring the situation closely”. Canada literally has no leadership, nyet, nada.. How ever you want to say it, Harper and Co. have let the Canadian people down. Should one of these threats materialize, I fully expect that Harper and Co. will find a way to play it to their advantage, regardless of the consequence domestically or internationally.