The Nova Scotia-born wife of an accused terrorist has a long history of being outspoken on the Internet and has called for Muslims to take up arms against their oppressors while questioning why certain criminals aren’t executed in Canada.
Cheryfa MacAulay Jamal, 44, was raised Presbyterian and attended Cornwallis Junior High School and Queen Elizabeth High School in Halifax before dropping out in Grade 10. She converted to Islam in the 1990s and married Qayyum Abdul Jamal, arrested a month ago as a suspected terrorist. She lives in Mississauga, Ont.
Mr. Jamal, 43, and 16 others were charged last month with plotting attacks on the Toronto office of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, the Toronto Stock Exchange and an unspecified Canadian Forces base. The RCMP allege the suspects had tried to acquire three tonnes of ammonium nitrate fertilizer to make bombs.
Last week, the Globe and Mail reported that Ms. Jamal and the wives of four other suspects had posted messages dealing with holy war and a hatred for Canada on an Internet forum used mostly by teenagers at a Mississauga high school. One of the comments the Globe and Mail published revealed Ms. Jamal’s concern that Muslims were “being systematically cleansed from the earth” and that they should be prepared for oppression, even in this country.
“You don’t know that the Muslims in Canada will never be rounded up and put into internment camps like the Japanese were in WWII!” she wrote in 2004.
Although access to the forum has been restricted, an online search by The Chronicle Herald uncovered dozens of Ms. Jamal’s postings on several other Internet chat rooms dating back to 2003.
In one message she wrote on a Muslim forum in February, apparently after watching a film, she questions why Muslims have become complacent and suggests they stand up for their rights. “Where are our Mujahideen?” she wrote. “Why do we let the kufr (infidels or non-believers) convince us we have no right to defend ourselves?? Who cares if they call us terrorists? Pick up your guns and defend your sisters and brothers, Ya Mu’mineen!!!!”
Mujahideen is an Arabic word meaning struggle and applies to those who engage in Islamic holy war. Mu’mineen translates as believers.
Another posting on an online community board in July 2003 blasted “our government” for releasing a sex offender with 31 convictions into a neighbourhood where a young girl had recently been killed “by such an evil.”
“How can a monster’s rights take precedence over the terrorizing of a society??!!! This demon should have been executed before he was CAUGHT assaulting the second victim. How insane was it to allow him 29 MORE victims (29 that we know of, 29 he was convicted of, you know as well as I do he probably has far more victims than this!)”
In some forums, other writers who challenged Ms. Jamal’s comments or beliefs seem to have instigated her to post remarks that could be seen as inflammatory. One member of the same online community board, using Scotsman as a screen name, suggested in August 2003 that Ms. Jamal put her country before her faith and that she was missing out on the benefits of living here because she was not “a Canadian First.”
Ms. Jamal replied “first and foremost, I am a Muslim, one who submits to the Will of God. God’s law is supreme, not Canada’s law. I submit myself to God, I do not swear allegiance to the flag. When you understand this, you will no longer need Canada to serve as your god.”
Several weblog-type postings Ms. Jamal made in 2003 convey controversial ideas, including theories that Israel’s needs for water are behind the war in Iraq and that Muslim children should be kept out of Canadian schools.
But other online entries are more benevolent, with Ms. Jamal discussing the intelligence of her six-year-old son in a Muslim forum in 2004 and writing of the similarities between Christianity and Islam in July 2003.
“I agree with you that Christianity in all of its sects has the same message for humanity as Islam, as these religions have the same root, their scriptures are from the same God, delivered by the same Angel,” she wrote.
Ms. Jamal was unavailable for comment Monday but her father, Ernie MacAulay, a Cape Breton native now living in British Columbia, said he was concerned that many of his daughter’s comments were being taken out of context.