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July 14, 2006
The Unlikeliest Spy Against The Islamists

CQ reader jiHymas refers us to a fascinating account about the insider who nailed the Toronto 17, the Islamist terror cell that had attempted to purchase three tons of ammonium nitrate to conduct attacks on Canada's infrastructure. Meet Mubin Shaikh, a Muslim who campaigned for allowing sharia courts in Canada's Muslim communities and who supports the jihads in Afghanistan and Iraq. Yet this Canadian drew the line on attacks on his fellow citizens:

This is the story of the 18th man, the civilian mole and devout Muslim paid by CSIS and the RCMP to infiltrate Mr. Ahmad's circle and thwart an alleged plot to blow up those targets. Over a series of discussions with The Globe and Mail, Mr. Shaikh detailed his motives for bringing down the alleged terrorist cell. Above all, violence in Canada in the name of Islam cannot be tolerated, said Mr. Shaikh, who says he has learned to juggle his fierce commitment to both Islam and the secular values of Canadian society.

On one hand, he is an official at his west-end mosque, supports the jihads in Afghanistan and Iraq and was one of the most public supporters of the failed bid to introduce sharia law in Ontario, occasionally commenting on the debate on television.

On the other, he is also a onetime member of the York South-Weston Liberal Riding Association, whose family keeps a sticker of the Canadian flag on their mailbox.

Mr. Shaikh embodies the word conflicted, but he did his country a great service. One can imagine how powerful his testimony will be when he takes the stand in the trials to come. His long beard and his k'urta will enhance his credibility as he explains how a devout Muslim and believer in jihad came to the Canadian security services to volunteer to keep his country safe.

It's difficult, however, to be completely sanguine about Shaikh. His insistence on shari'a and at least philosophical support for foreign insurgents in Iraq mark him as someone who would normally earn consideration as a radical Islamist, and his activism also supports that judgment. His Polish-born wife, a convert to Islam, wears the burqa in their public appearances. I suspect many of his fellow Muslims feel conflicted about him as well. How can a Muslim who believes so strongly in jihad elsewhere deny it in Canada?

I have to admit that I don't know exactly how to feel about Shaikh, although I have to admire his actions in defending Canada. It also shows that even deeply conservative Muslims can act in defense of innocent life and for liberty and freedom -- a lesson we should all keep in mind, including our fellow Muslims in the West.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at July 14, 2006 4:36 PM

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