Forensic Psychiatrist Reflects Canadian Omar Khadr and Islamic Fundamentalism in Guantanamo Bay

The National Post – February 19, 2011
This article reflects the opinion of Dr. Michael Welner, an expert forensic psychiatrist witness in numerous high profile civil and criminal proceedings in the United States. Here he reflects on the impact of prison relating to the fundamentalism of Omar Khadr:
Against the backdrop of these competing forces, the United States Department of Defense asked me as a veteran of highly sensitive forensic psychiatric assessments to appraise the risk of one such Guantanamo detainee, Omar Khadr. Mr. Khadr, by his own statements in 2002 and most recently in October 2010, admitted to throwing a grenade that killed Sfc. Christopher Speer as he inspected the scene of a recently completed battle. Khadr was 15 at the time that he killed Speer.
When I interviewed Khadr last June in my capacity as a forensic psychiatrist, he was an English-speaking, socially agile 23-year-old with the kind of easy smile that so similarly warms those who encounter the Dalai Lama and Bin Laden alike. Anticipating his eventual release, the military commission asked me to go beyond the natural tendency of advocates and adversaries to see what they want to see in Omar the man.
In American as well as Canadian facilities, tens of thousands of inmates are converting to Islam every year. Yielding to the notion that they are respecting religion, corrections officials have failed to make a committed effort to staff prisons with devout, forceful but peaceful-minded Muslim imams. As a result, the more charismatic, Machiavellian, and aggressive leaders within North American corrections facilities dominate and influence vulnerable and often alienated Muslim prisoners. These influences remain after prisoners are released and have been implicated in American terror attacks by American-born ex-cons.

Saudi-trained Canadian Imam preaches against music

The National Post – February 15, 2011
A Saudi-trained Canadian, Bilal Philips is among a small group of lecturers who preach against most forms of music — a controversial prohibition that surfaced in Manitoba recently, where a dozen Muslim families want to pull their children from music class.
While Mr. Philips argues that Islam does not prohibit all music, he says it only allows adult male singers and “folk songs with acceptable content sung by males or females under the age of puberty accompanied by a hand drum.” In his book, Contemporary Issues, he also says adult women are forbidden from singing “in order to keep the sensual atmosphere of the society at a minimum. Men are much more easily aroused than females as has been thoroughly documented by the clinical studies of Masters and Johnson.”
But the Islamic Institute of Toronto says on its website that many scholars disagree with that interpretation, and consider music permissible as long as it does not contain “sensual, pagan or unethical themes” or subliminal messages. The debate over the permissibility of music in Islam has stirred controversy in Winnipeg, where several families who recently immigrated to Canada have told the Louis Riel School Division they want their children excused from compulsory music class, as well as co-ed physical education.