Tuesday: Former terrorist, now a counterterrorism expert, to speak

Mubin Shaikh to speak at Flywheel Arts Collective in Easthampton 

Published: 9/19/2017 1:16:40 AM

EASTHAMPTON — A former Muslim extremist who now advises U.S. national security agencies on counterterrorism will be speaking at the Flywheel Arts Collective at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 19.

"How is militancy cultivated, drawing one to operate within an extremist group?” asks the collective’s website in announcing the event. “What does the path back from violence look like? Few offer a more informed and personal perspective than Mr. Mubin Shaikh."

Mubin Shaikh was born and raised in Canada. At age 19 he traveled to India and Pakistan where he had a chance encounter with the Taliban before the takeover of Afghanistan in 1995, according to the event description.

Shaikh became a supporter of the Jihadist culture until the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks which made him reconsider his views. He returned to Canada in 2004 after a period of “full deradicalization” and was recruited by the Canadian Security Intelligence Service to work on classified infiltration operations on the internet, according to the description of the event.

He now advises U.S. national security agencies on deradicalization and counterterrorism, the event page states.

The event, “From Radicalization to Reform: A Conversation with Mubin Shaikh,” is being hosted by Critical Connections, the Karuna Center for Peacebuilding and Mass Humanities. It’s free and open to the public. The Flywheel Arts Collective is at 43 Main St. in Easthampton.

Caitlin Ashworth can be reached at cashworth@gazettenet.com.


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