A recent Ipsos poll conducted for Global News found that an overwhelming majority of Canadians oppose the idea of bringing ISIS fighters back into the country.
The poll found that 71 percent of people said: “we should not do anything to help bring these Canadians back to Canada.” Interestingly both men and women agreed on the issue, at 69 percent and 73 percent respectively.
Only 29 percent of people polled argued that Canada should repatriate those people who have chosen to fight for ISIS abroad.
Popular opinion seems to contradict the advice of so-called experts on the issue who have been advocating that the government makes an effort to reclaim those imprisoned abroad for fighting for the terrorist group.
One article published by the CBC alleged that there would be a “national security risk” if the Canadian government doesn’t make an effort to bring back ISIS terrorists.
United Nations officials have also tried to guilt Canada into accepting foreign fighters back into the country.
“[Canada and others] must assume responsibility for their nationals,” said UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet.
Carleton University’s lecturer and international security expert Leah West is also calling for Canada to take a “leadership role” and do the “right thing” by bringing fighters back into the country from Syria.
“I think we would have the ability to take a leadership role or at least to be at the table providing opportunities for solutions if we were to do the right thing. But we can’t,” claims West.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has been vague and non-committal on what his plans are for returning ISIS fighters. He has even gone so far as accusing Conservative leader Andrew Scheer of “Islamophobia” for suggesting that Canadians involved in terrorist activities should be in jail.
The government estimates approximately 60 ISIS fighters have returned to Canada.