So it’s little dystopian. room on the platform, Can’t decipher whether my fellow commuter, intent on his tablet, is a proficient first-person shooter, if I’m his equal. Is there any measure more biblical than a stone’s throw? Underground, what sunlight there is is refused us. I’ve mixed feelings pointing out the obvious. Either you understand my ambivalence or you do not. In the kingdom of conspiracies anyone of us could be a theorist. On the surface fruit rots in horn-shaped bowls. Mirror man, our hair’s turning silver, last chance to exchange looks. You first.
and found a recipe for a pressure-cooker bomb, and, at the family home of Jamali, found evidence that he had been watching ISIS propaganda videos. The couple had also purchased two tickets to Greece—apotential point of entry on the route to Syria. After a monthslong trial, the Quebec Superior Court acquitted the couple in 2017. Just over a month later, it was announced that Djermane and Jamali would be working for a three-month period as consultants at the CPRLV and developing a guide for people in the prison system who face terrorism charges — a move that drew concern and criticism from a skeptical public. “It’s not that we are naive about them,” Ducol says. “I can see the perception that people have. ‘Okay, the trial is done, they have been released, and now they are working at the centre.’” But this isn’t the whole story, he says. The CPRLV had been working with the couple for a year and half before they were hired, while the couple was still in jail, and had deemed them to be trustworthy. “They have moved away from radicalization,” Ducol says. “I don’t know if they are completely deradicalized or if they have completely changed their view, but at least they have disengaged from extremism.” In the past three years, the CPRLV has exported its Behaviour Barometer and other techniques to similar centres in France, the UK, and Belgium. And, in 2016, then United Nations secretarygeneral Ban Ki-moon visited the CPRLV’S office in Montreal. “I am very interested in your approach,” he said during a speech at the centre. “You are focused on helping individuals and families before the problems escalate. This is compassionate and effective.” A month prior, Ban had launched a UN plan to prevent violent extremism and was enthusiastic about new methods. “Understanding these phenomena is not the same as justifying them,” he said, articulating a point not commonly understood by those who doubt the empathetic approach of the CPRLV. Fiset describes the need to “rehumanize” radicals. “They are human and they need help. Because you’re not radicalizing when you’re happy,” he says. Responses to Fiset’s outspokenness have been mixed. Extreme rightwing groups have made threats against him, and he’s incurred public disassociations from Montreal’s Antifa — or anti-fascist — organization. “Some people are totally willing to trust me because it fits their narrative that people deserve a second chance,” he says. “But some people really don’t believe in second chances, and for them, I will always remain tainted by what I might have done. And that’s also fine.” Seila Rizvic is a former editorial fellow at The Walrus. Her work has appeared in Hazlitt and Maisonneuve.