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Liberals quietly edit “Shia” and “Sunni” references out of 2018 terrorism report

Public Safety Canada has edited out references to Islam from the 2018 Public Report on the Terrorism Threat to Canada.

Public Safety Canada has edited out references to Islam from the 2018 Public Report on the Terrorism Threat to Canada.

The original report, which specifically mentioned Sunni and Shia Islamist extremism as grave and present dangers to Canadian national security was rewritten to exclude any mention of the religious sects.

The move comes shortly after the federal government decided to cave into pressure from Sikh activists to remove any references to Sikh (Khalistani) extremism.

According to a disclaimer on the website the changes are a part of “a review of the language used to describe extremism”.

References to Sikh extremism were replaced with “some individuals [who] continue to support violent means to establish an independent state within India.”

Similarly the most recent update to the report removed any reference to religion as a motivating factor behind Islamist terrorism.

Prior to the change, Sunni and Shia extremism had their own sub sections in the report but now they have been replaced by an all-encompassing category called “The Current Terrorism Threat to Canada”.

Originally, the executive summary portion of the report claimed that “the principal terrorist threat to Canada continues to stem from individuals or groups who are inspired by violent Sunni Islamist ideology and terrorist groups, such as Daesh or al-Qaida (AQ).”

Now, the report only cites those who are inspired by “violent ideologies and terrorist groups” without further specifying the nature of the ideologies.

While the April 29 update claims that language used around terrorism “must be clear, concise, and cannot be perceived as maligning any groups”, the report references “white nationalism” as a motivating factor under the Right-Wing Extremism category.

Shortly after the government announced that it removed mention of Sikh extremism from their terror report, the Liberals faced harsh criticism from India’s Sikh Punjab Minister Amarinder Singh, who called the move an attempt to pander for votes ahead of the 2019 election.

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