“We are fortunate to have with us Ahmed Khan, the chair and founder of Al Sunnah Foundation of Canada and vice-president of the Islamic Supreme Council of Canada. In 2006, he founded the concept of a systematic de-radicalization program as a counter-radicalization program initiative in Canada in response to the 2006 Toronto-18 terror plot. His program is specifically tailored to undermine the ideological underpinnings of extremist ideology. Over 50 mosques and Islamic organizations throughout Canada have since privately endorsed his de- radicalization program to their congregations. Today, he will share with us the main components of the 12-step program, and he has agreed to take questions. I welcome our guest here today. Much of our testimony today has been about how to analyze what is happening and how to assist with policing and coordination. Our guest is one Canadian who is working to prevent bad things from happening, and I think his advice and insights will be of immense value to our committee.” –Senator Hugh Segal, Chair, the Special Senate Committee on Anti‐terrorism, Ottawa, Monday, October 4, 2010
In 2006 Ahmed Khan pioneered Canada’s first twelve step psycho-social intervention program which effectively prevented radicalization and also de-radicalized numerous individuals. His program was met with success and was featured in the Canadian media on numerous occasions, and also was referenced twice in the WikiLeaks Cables [#215475, #224312].
According to The Honourable Doctor Keith Martin, P.C. M.P, MD, Founding Executive Director of the Consortium of Universities for Global Health in Washington, D.C.,
“… There is a solution. The Canadian government must work with moderate Islamic leaders to diffuse this threat. Ahmed Khan is one of those leaders. He has a 12‐step de‐radicalization program that focuses on creating a counter‐narrative to these poisonous diatribes that are on the internet, identifying at risk youth to illustrate to them that murder is a violation of the Koran and God, and ensuring that those suffering from psychiatric illnesses get the medical treatment they need. The Canadian government must work…to implement programs that identify at risk youth and de‐radicalize them. Over 50 Imams in Canada have already publically supported this initiative. It is time for our government to do the same. The time for action is now. The time to reach out is now. We are all Canadians, regardless of where we came from, or what our cultural and religious beliefs are. For the sake of our collective security, let us work with leaders in all communities to ensure that the radicalization of our youth does not occur and attacks are thwarted before they are executed.” – March 21st, 2010, ‘Keeping Canadians Safe by Tackling Radicalization’ by The Honourable Doctor Keith Martin, P.C. M.P, MD, Founding Executive Director of the Consortium of Universities for Global Health in Washington, D.C., USA
According to the Laurier MA Journal on Religion and Culture Vol. 2, April 2010,
“…the establishment of Khan’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”.
This 600-page document was published and recognized by the OIC (Organization of Islamic Cooperation), an organization representing 56 Muslim states, and the collective voice of the Muslim world, with permanent delegations to the United Nations and the European Union.
On Oct 4th, 2010, Khan was asked to share key components of his program before the Senate of Canada’s Special Committee on Anti-terrorism. He testified before the Senate Special Committee on Anti-Terrorism,
“…The success of our implementation strategy is based on a group of professionals and experts that we deal with to implement our strategy…For example, we have medical practitioners as advisers in the implementation of our program, such as psychologists and psychiatrists, who can provide guidance and advice on medical and other factors that may be enablers in the radicalization process, which may be surprising to many. Specifically, we deal with hyper-religiosity, which is a diagnosed symptom of bi-polar disorder treated with prescription drugs.”
Following his testimony, the Chair of the Committee Senator Hugh Segal asked,
“You made reference to the 12-step approach. When many of us, including you, hear the term “12 steps,” I am sure one of the thoughts that occurs to you is that is classically one of the references to programs that help people work their way out of some sort of addiction, whether it is alcohol, tobacco or whatever..”
The reference to the neurobiological drivers behind radicalization in Ahmed Khan testimony and Senator Hugh Segal’s question on the relationship between addiction and radicalization facilitated the founding of Alcyone Technology and ARD seven years later.
Khan founded Alcyone Technology and the ARD system to make his program and expertise available to organizations in North America, and around the globe.