EDMONTON – As ISIS continues recruiting, a local Somali group says that’s not happening in its community.
Reports surfaced last week saying ISIS was recruiting Edmonton Somali youth. But local Somali leaders say the claims are unfounded and damaging to a group already under scrutiny.
“My biggest fear is it’s going to cause a backlash. Not just in the Somali community, but the greater Muslim community. ISIS is an international issue,” said Jibril Ibrahim of the Somali Canadian Cultural Society of Edmonton.
“We don’t appreciate being racially profiled and labelled.”
“It’s upsetting, it’s humiliating, it’s disappointing,” said youth outreach worker Kahye Dubow.
Workers like Dubow have been fighting the stigmatization of Somali youth for the past several years because of gangs. Programming was developed to help Somali youth develop skills for employment.
The programming has helped the youth workers develop a rapport with people across the province. And of those whom they deal with on a daily basis, they claim none have said they’ve been approached by ISIS recruiters.
The damage from the initial reports may have already been done, though. Some students have reportedly been targeted at school because of their culture; according to the group, an article making the claims of Somali youth being recruited by ISIS was printed and posted on high school lockers.
More than 150 Canadians are believed to be fighting with extremist groups around the world. Only two of them are known to be from the Somali community.
SourceL Global News