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Sayyid Ahmed Amiruddin

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Sayyid Ahmed Amiruddin

Sayyid Ahmed Amiruddin
File:ImamSayyidAhmedAmiruddin.jpg
Founded 12-step spiritual rehabilitation program

Sayyid Ahmed Amiruddin (born 1978) is a teacher of the Baha-ud-Din Naqshband Bukhari and Abdul-Qadir Gilani Sufi schools, trained and authorized as a Murshid by the world's foremost leading Grand Master Sufi Shaykh Nazim al-Qubrusi; the second most influential Muslim in the world according to a 2009 Reuters online poll of over 1.8 million voters, and H.E. Sayed Ahmad al-Jilani, Custodian of the Mosque and Tomb of Abdul-Qadir Gilani in Baghdad, Iraq.[1] Amiruddin is the Founder of ASFC Spiritual Wellness Centre.[2] and Qedar.org[3] He pioneered a unique method of psycho-spiritual rehabilitation therapy based on the Sufi approach, and applied his methodology to create a twelve-step radicalization prevention program[4] in response to the 2006 Toronto terrorism case.

Wilfred Laurier University's "The Laurier M.A. Journal of Religion and Culture" writes, “…the establishment of Amiruddin’s Al Sunnah Foundation and the twelve-step program…can be seen as inspiring and reinforcing the flurry of activism that has continued to emerge from within the community since mid-2009...This growing anti-jihadist activism includes Canadian-based sheikh Tahir ul-Qadri independently issuing a 600-page document in London in March 2010, thoroughly refuting any potential theological justifications for Islamic extremism and going so far as to state that terrorists and suicide bombers are destined for damnation".[5]

Amiruddin's counter-radicalization program focuses primarily on psycho-spiritual development, rehabilitation and personal development, and was specifically tailored to undermine the ideological underpinnings of extremist ideology.[6]

Amiruddin first presented his 12-step radicalization prevention program before Canadian politicians at Canada 2020 with Al Gore in June 2006[7] in Mont Tremblanc, and follow up meetings specifically regarding the program and its goals were held with community leaders. In December 2008, Amiruddin presented it before the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and community leaders.[6]

Following Amiruddin's 2008 presentation to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, in 2009, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police published a report on "Terrorism and Language" stating:

"...many contemporary terrorist movements-including Afghanistan’s Taliban and al-Qai’da - have theological roots in Wahhabism, a sect that forms the “state orthodoxy” of contemporary Saudi Arabia. Wahhabism is a particularly strict interpretation of Islam that adheres to the Salafist notion that “pure” Islam must be rooted in the teachings of the “early fathers”...“Wahhabist” and “Salafist” have been used extensively to define particular types of terrorism...elements of Wahabbism could give rise to a mindset that includes extremist action - as 9/11 itself demonstrates...".[8]

Amiruddin was interviewed by Fox News about the program in Feb of 2009,[9] and in June 2009, the Toronto Star, Canada's largest newspaper, published a story about Amiruddin's program and the effect it has had on the lives of 'would be radicals', stating, 'Islamic ‘detox’ saved student from terror cell'.[6]

Special Senate Committee on anti-terrorism

On Oct 4, 2010 Sayyid Ahmed Amiruddin was asked to appear before the Senate of Canada's Special Senate Committee on Anti-terrorism[10] to discuss details of his program and share with the committee his insight on the homegrown radicalization process. Amiruddin recommended the proliferation of an integral cultural counter-narrative in the context of being Canadian, and testified before the committee:

"Much different from the Israeli–Palestinian conflict equation, the radicalization process of Western‐raised individuals is not triggered by oppression, perceived suffering, revenge or desperation; rather, this radicalization is motivated specifically by ideology. The jihadi, or the Salafi-jihadist ideology is the ideology that drives young men and women born and raised in the West to carry out "autonomous jihad" via acts of terrorism against their home countries. While many followers of this particular stream of Islam may not directly advocate jihad via acts of terrorism, or may even condemn terrorism wholly, the fact remains that this is the only stream within the Islamic tradition that is directly conducive to the radicalization process and the sanctioning of "autonomous jihad" via acts of terrorism. The Salafi ideology has served as the inspiration for numerous homegrown groups, including the Madrid 2004 bombers (2004 Madrid train bombings), Amsterdam's Hofstad Group, London's July 2005 bombers (7 July 2005 London bombings), and specifically the Toronto 18 group arrested in 2006...In order to create and sustain effective de-radicalization strategies, a major component of counter-terrorism involves the prevention of radicalization through fostering committed partnerships with expert groups within a given community who are working for the de-legitimization of violent extremism. The proliferation of an integral Islamic counter-narrative in the context of being Canadian, and the integration of people at the individual, social, and political level".[11]

Psycho-spiritual rehabilitation

When Radhika Coomaraswamy, the UN secretary general's special representative for children and armed conflict, urged the U.S. military commission to allow Omar Khadr to return to Canada to be rehabilitated, rather than be detained further in a U.S. facility,[12] Amiruddin, told CBC News in a television interview he believed his 12-step program, with the assistance of his team of psychologists and psychiatrists, social workers, Islamic and Interfaith clergy, academics, and life coaches trained in Neuro-Linguistic Programming could rehabilitate Khadr.[13]

References

External links

  • Official blog site for Sayyid Ahmed Amiruddin
  • Al Sunnah Foundation of Canada (ASFC)
  • Centre for Ishmaelite Research and Policy
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