They say the Mounties always get their man. But do they sometimes get the wrong imam?
This is one of many questions coming out of the second annual "Muslims of Tomorrow 2009" conference sponsored in part by Canada's Royal Canadian Mounted Police on June 13. A product of efforts by the RCMP National Security Program in British Columbia, and something called the "RCMP National Security Youth Advisory Council (BC)," the initiative reflects the shaky history of the Force's involvement in Islamic outreach.
Mounties rushed into outreach following 9/11, and the results were not always pretty. The former head of the Force's National Security outreach group was Inspector Wayne Hanniman, whose fondest hope – expressed in a public briefing – was to work as a traffic cop in British Columbia, a unique aspiration for one involved in the high-risk and subtle area of Islamic outreach and Islamist subversion. Consistent with this goal, he formed an RCMP ethno-cultural national security consultative group whose membership inadvertently included some of the more radical elements in Canadian society.