ResearchPDF Available

Abstract and Figures

That terrorism associated with right-wing extremists is largely absent from the public agenda in Canada is evident from even a cursory review of the Integrated Terrorism Assessment Centre (ITAC) website, for example. The list of Terrorist Incidents, while international in scope, includes only one right wing terrorist incident – Anders Breivik’s horrific attacks in Norway in 2011. The list of Terrorist Entities does not include any reference to right wing extremist or white supremacist organizations. Nor do the publications included on the site mention these extremist elements. In contrast, that the extreme right continues to represent a viable and active presence is clear from recent events in Alberta, British Columbia and Quebec, for example, where multiple right-wing attacks, demonstrations and prosecutions have been recorded (e.g., Blood and Honour, White Nationalist Front, and PEGIDA) in recent years. The attacks of September 11, 2001 shifted terrorism from the periphery to the centre of the public consciousness. What had heretofore been restricted to “fringe” groups, or something that happened “over there,” suddenly appeared to be something much larger, much more threatening, and much closer to home. One significant consequence of the 9/11 terrorist attacks is that they drew attention away from the more typical white domestic terrorist – such as Timothy McVeigh and members of right-wing extremist groups. Now the terrorist is defined by his brown skin, and his Muslim religion. Yet it behoves us, in the interests of domestic security, to continue to pay attention to the more traditional form of “home grown” RWE. Right-wing extremists continue to represent a distinctive threat to the well being of Canada’s diverse communities. This report aimed to paint a picture of the contemporary RWE movement in Canada, providing an analysis of membership, distribution and activities.
No caption available
… 
No caption available
… 
Content may be subject to copyright.
A preview of the PDF is not available
... Newt Gingrich, former Speaker of the House, equated aid to families with dependent children or single mothers with the downfall of civilization (Gingrich, 1995). Political fear mongering has made a space in public discourse for hate, to stoke fears of "Islamization" and the characterization of minorities as politically irrelevant at best or scapegoats for society's problems at large at worst (Perry & Scrivens, 2017;Fleras & Elliott, 2002). Increasingly the agenda of Domestic RWE is reflected not only in mainstream political discourse, but in the platforms of RW political parties (Mallea, 2011;McDonald, 2011;Art, 2006, Berezin, 2009, Mudde, 2005. ...
... Those who miscegenate or who do not support this white supremacist ideology are labeled "race traitors" and considered by adherents to be worse than non-whites (Aho, 1990;Fielding, 1981). Non-whites are invariably cast as the "other, " dehumanized, compared to animals, characterized as possessing a myriad of "uncivilized" qualities and referred to in unsympathetic, threatening language justifying violent reaction (Perry & Scrivens, 2017;Sharpe, 2000). ...
... Many would be extremists experience feelings of social isolation, low self-esteem, or disillusionment that cause them to actively seek out communities of like-minded individuals online (Seib & Janbek, 2011;Decker & Pyrooz, 2015;Moghaddam, 2008;Gewirtz & Baer, 1958;de Roy van Zuijdewijn & Bakker, 2016;Kailemia, 2016;Roger et al., 2007). These groups can offer membership in a family of peers, privileged information on "the way the world really is" and the chance to craft the user's own unique identity by contributing to an ideal greater than themselves (Roger, et al., 2007;Althusser, 1970;Perry & Scrivens, 2017;Moghaddam, 2008;Koehler, 2014). Group members begin to see the group as their family and strive to advance within it, their goals mesh with those of the group, and the pressure to conform even against social taboos is immense (Berger, 1967;Althusser, 1970;Asch, 1958;Milgram, 1974). ...
... These 2 January 29, 2017, was the date of the Quebec Islamic Cultural Centre shootings, where six men were killed. everything from Christian fundamentalists, media outlets (such as the Rebel and the Sun), Alberta and Quebec separatists, anti-Aboriginal sentiment, anti-Muslim groups, and social conservative parties, to the yellow vest movement, sovereign citizens, men's rights activists, incels, and neo-Nazis (Perry & Scrivens 2015, Perry 2018, Mastracci 2017, Press Progress 2018, Gerson 2015, Lindholm & Rosen 2017, Hays 2014, Audette-Longo 2017. Perry explains that while the far-right typically involves political groups, it can also take the form of drug gangs, biker gangs, and lone wolves (Quan 2016;Perry & Scrivens 2015: 22). ...
... Perry also tells CBC News that "alt-right rallies happen in Canada every week", representing "solidarity" and "a real movement with a shared vision" (Habib 2019). By contrast, Perry and Scrivens (2015) emphasize constant infighting and splintering among such groups: "to refer to hate 'groups' or RWE 'groups' gives them too much credit. It implies the capacity to be or become disorganized" (54). ...
... I began this project in 2016 with a general interest in understanding Canadian nationalist and white supremacist groups, popularly termed together as "far-right". Considering the extremely limited data on the subject in Canada, I based my initial understanding of the contemporary Canadian "far-right" movement on news sources, activist intelligence (see the ARC Collective 2020), the few Canadian studies of the time (such as Perry and Scrivens (2015) Right Wing Extremism in Canada: An Environmental Scan), and international research on far-right movements. While the preceding sources sometimes served as a helpful starting point for my project, I found many works on far-right movements to be marred by taken for granted, imprecise, de-contextualized, and sometimes misleading core concepts, especially "hate", "far-right", "extremism", and "right-wing populism". ...
Thesis
Full-text available
Right-wing nationalist movements have gained traction in Westernized countries such as France, Greece, Hungary, Austria, the United States, and Germany, where political figures or groups have mobilized nationalist ideas and right-wing populist sentiment to gain governmental power and/or influence public policy (Mudde 2014, BBC News 2019, Perry & Scrivens 2018: 177). Contrary to Canada’s benevolent international reputation, Canadians have demonstrated increasingly exclusionary politics in the last decade. Anti-Islam rhetoric, for instance, has substantial legitimacy in popular discourse and Canadians are increasingly skeptical of the country’s federal multiculturalism policy (Angus Reid 2017, Braun 2018, Andrew-Gee 2015; Angus Reid 2010, Canseco 2019, Todd 2017). Academics, journalists, and public figures assert that Canada is experiencing “similar trends” to Western Europe’s wave of right-wing populism, pointing to the “growing threat” posed by Canadian far-right groups, also referred to as “right-wing extremists”, “hate groups”, and sometimes the “alt-right” (Perry & Scrivens 2018: 177, Boutilier 2018, Mastracci 2017, McKenna 2019, Habib 2019). Upon closer scrutiny, dominant scholarly and popular discourse tends to reduce this discussion to a problem of white nationalist ideology and the public safety risks posed by these groups, such as terrorism, hate crime, threats and intimidation, and hate speech. Experts struggle to explain how right-wing and far-right groups operate as a social movement seeking mainstream legitimacy in Canada, and the dominant fixation on “extremism” in the form of white nationalism and criminality sometimes obfuscates significant trends in right-wing organizing. Using Canada’s yellow vests movement as a case study, this project identifies and critiques three broader trends in scholarship on right-wing and far-right social movements: 1) the passive acceptance of the ambiguous concept “hate” as an explanation for right-wing mobilizing; 2) the growing popularity of criminological or security-centric methods for understanding how right-wing groups mobilize as a social movement; and 3) Eurocentric scholarship that defines right-wing populism as inherently ethnonationalist and illiberal. I use empirically informed analysis based on semi-ethnographic data to argue that the preceding three trends can hinder our understanding of right-wing politics and nationalist movements. My ethnographic approach involves 35 semi-structured interviews with 42 Canadian right-wing activists (RWAs) (ten of which I consider “far-right” or white nationalists), and over 40 hours of observational fieldwork at 20 right-wing political rallies and meetings in Alberta, almost all of which were organized by my participants. My findings show that, contrary to dominant expert narratives, the Canadian right-wing nationalist movement is not primarily white nationalist nor promotes vigilante violence. Instead, the most successful right-wing nationalist groups in Canada foreground liberal ideas and fetishize law and order politics (rather than being anti-state/anti-authority), with the objective of ultimately delegating violence to the state, such as demanding increased policing and surveillance of certain marginalized groups, such as Muslims and undocumented immigrants. Moreover, rather than right-wing groups being “anti-” or “ill-” liberal, my findings show how aspects of liberalism and liberal multiculturalism can serve as fertile ground for chauvinist nationalism and right-wing populism. Dominant approaches to studying right-wing and far-right groups are rarely attuned to capturing the messiness of social movements (Plows 2008, Law 2006). By examining how right-wing nationalism is practiced on the ground and debated between and among groups, this project shows how ethnographic methods are an effective tool for capturing the fluid structure, political contradictions, rapid changes, unanticipated elements, and mainstream appeal that characterizes contemporary right-wing nationalist movements.
... For instance, Australia and Canada share similar yet distinct histories of colonialism and post-colonial ethnocentrism; they both embarked on multi-decade campaigns to establish multiculturalism into the national social and political framework using similar legislation; each nation has expressed similar aspirations to welcome non-Anglo-European immigration and the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) community while being met with variations of socio-political resistance; and have witnessed a growth in online extremism and instances of right-wing terrorism related to resident right-wing extremist groups (Ambrose & Mudde, 2015;Hutchinson, 2019aHutchinson, , 2019cPoynting & Perry, 2007;Scrivens, 2020). These synergies and idiosyncrasies provide avenues for social mobilization and shape the ideological and moral inclinations of right-wing extremist groups and movements in each country, including their propensity for and preferred method of violence against targeted identities (Perry & Scrivens, 2016b;Peucker et al., 2018). As Harris- Hogan et al. (2020) point out in their comparison of the domestic jihadist threat to Australia and Canada: ...
... Although research into right-wing extremism and terrorism has predominately focused on the United States and Europe, recent research has pivoted academic attention toward how online right-wing extremism and terrorism has evolved in Australia and Canada, respectively (e.g. Campion, 2019aCampion, , 2019bDean et al., 2016;Hutchinson, 2019aHutchinson, , 2019cParent & O'Ellis, 2014;Perry & Scrivens, 2016a, 2016bScrivens & Perry, 2017). However, these contributions do not address recommendations in the literature related to aspects of transnational right-wing extremism (e.g. ...
... Further, ideological directives that are applicable to each movement can be instructional to coexisting objectives, such as engaging in reactionary violence to defend the nation's socio-cultural well-being from the perceived encroachment of Muslims within society (Hogan & Haltinner, 2015;Rydgren, 2005aRydgren, , 2005b. 13 Used as a conceptual bridging tool, these points of convergence and shared cultural narratives provide an avenue for social mobilization and motivation for lone-actor terrorism over social media (Perry & Scrivens, 2016b;Singer & Brooking, 2018). These findings suggest that while local concerns remain disguisable components of each movement, their international constituents are becoming increasingly significant. ...
Article
Full-text available
Right-wing extremist groups harness popular social media platforms to accrue and mobilize followers. In recent years, researchers have examined the various themes and narratives espoused by extremist groups in the United States and Europe, and how these themes and narratives are employed to mobilize their followings on social media. Little, however, is comparatively known about how such efforts unfold within and between rightwing extremist groups in Australia and Canada. In this study, we conducted a cross-national comparative analysis of over eight years of online content found on 59 Australian and Canadian right-wing group pages on Facebook. Here we assessed the level of active and passive user engagement with posts and identified certain themes and narratives that generated the most user engagement. Overall, a number of ideological and behavioral commonalities and differences emerged in regard to patterns of active and passive user engagement, and the character of three prevailing themes: methods of violence, and references to national and racial identities. The results highlight the influence of both the national and transnational context in negotiating which themes and narratives resonate with Australian and Canadian right-wing online communities, and the multidimensional nature of right-wing user engagement and social mobilization on social media.
... In the aftermath of the 2014 Moncton shooting, where a 24 year-old man shot and killed three Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers and injured two others, a small but growing body of scholarly literature on right-wing extremism (RWE) in Canada began to emerge. These efforts were largely spearheaded by scholars of terrorism and political violence, who began to examine the growth, composition, and activities of far-right groups across Canada (see, Bérubé & Campana, 2015;Parent & Ellis, 2014;Perry, Hofmann, & Scrivens, 2017;Perry & Scrivens, 2015, 2016Tanner & Campana, 2014). 1 These studies provided Canadian scholars of right-wing extremism and their strategic partners in policing and government (e.g., CSIS, RCMP, Public Safety Canada) with crucial insights into the motivations and methods of these groups. Perhaps most importantly, it helped draw attention to the growing violent threat posed by Canadian far-right extremism, at a time when the majority of resources and foci of scholars, police, and security agencies remained fixated upon Islamist terrorism. ...
... In a practical sense, the explosive growth of Canadian far-right extremist groups, coupled with drastic changes in their recruitment, narrative, and operational methods has arguably made the empirical findings from studies of rightwing extremism prior to 2016 somewhat dated. 3 Furthermore, the previous empirical literature on Canadian far-right extremism has primarily focused within and around urban centres and within a limited number of provinces where right-wing groups were most active (see, Perry & Scrivens, 2015). While research into the effect of rurality on crime rates is relatively well documented (e.g., Carleton, Brantingham, & Brantingham, 2014;Francisco & Chenier, 2005;Wells & Weisheit, 2004), very few researchers have specifically studied the relationship between rurality and right-wing extremism. ...
... 6 A systematic environmental scan of right-wing extremism in Canada conducted in 2015 estimated that there have been approximately 100 active groups since the beginning of the twenty-first century, with neo-Nazis and White Supremacists as the most common category (Perry & Scrivens, 2019). Within the context of Atlantic Canada, Perry and Scrivens (2015) estimated that there were, at the time of their study, six to eight active far right-wing extremist groups (with roughly 10-15 members per group), who primarily targeted aboriginal and black communities. ...
Article
Full-text available
The study of Canadian right-wing extremism from a security context is in its infancy, with only a handful of empirical and theoretical studies emerging on the topic within the last decade. With the increase of right-wing extremism violence in Canada such as the 2014 Moncton shooting and the 2017 Quebec City mosque attack, there is a pressing need to better understand the breadth, depth, and extent of Canadian right-wing extremism. The current paper presents the preliminary findings from a larger cross-Canadian research project on right-wing extremism and focuses exclusively on Atlantic Canada (New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland & Labrador, and Prince Edward Island). A comprehensive scoping of open-source documents of right-wing extremist incidents in Atlantic Canada from January 2000 to December 2019 and their related attributes were compiled into a dataset, and then used to explore the distribution, breadth, type, and extent of right-wing extremist activity in the Maritime provinces. Given the focus of previous research upon urban aspects of Canadian right-wing extremism, and that Atlantic Canada is more rural in comparison to the rest of Canada, the breakdown of occurrences of different types of right-wing extremist activities based upon rurality are also examined.
... The article acknowledged, however, that Canada has an insidious history of far-right history, specifically the neo-Nazi skinhead movement that began to arise in the 1970s, influenced by the British white power music scene (Perry, Mirrlees, & Scrivens, 2018). Perry and Scrivens (2015) notes that a far-right violent extremists in Canada, who include more traditional white supremacist groups (including Canadian chapters and offshoots of American groups) as well as sovereign citizens and some single-issue groups, often engage in non-ideological criminality, such as drug dealing and fighting (Perry & Scrivens, 2015). This is a key difference between white supremacist violent extremists and militant jihadists who may have histories of non-ideological crime. ...
... The article acknowledged, however, that Canada has an insidious history of far-right history, specifically the neo-Nazi skinhead movement that began to arise in the 1970s, influenced by the British white power music scene (Perry, Mirrlees, & Scrivens, 2018). Perry and Scrivens (2015) notes that a far-right violent extremists in Canada, who include more traditional white supremacist groups (including Canadian chapters and offshoots of American groups) as well as sovereign citizens and some single-issue groups, often engage in non-ideological criminality, such as drug dealing and fighting (Perry & Scrivens, 2015). This is a key difference between white supremacist violent extremists and militant jihadists who may have histories of non-ideological crime. ...
... A large proportion of the programs have been created in the last four years, and only about ten of them had reached the rollout phase at the time of the interviews. That said, the absence of programs in several provinces and territories-particularly the Maritimes and central Canada-is a concern considering that active right-wing extremist groups have been identified in all areas, including Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba (Perry & Scrivens, 2015). Despite this, no secondary or tertiary prevention programs in the context of violent radicalization could be identified in these provinces through this mapping. ...
... Public opinion is divided around government decisions to decrease immigration numbers or to proscribe the use of personal religious symbols in apparel by public servants in positions of authority (Kirmayer, 2019). In addition, xenophobic policies in the United States and the increasing polarization in Europe have also contributed to creating divisions in the province that benefit, among others, white supremacist extremist organizations, which feed on this tense social context (Perry & Scrivens, 2015), and contribute to a rhetoric depicting immigrants and refugees as potential criminals rather than as vulnerable populations (Rousseau et al., 2011). ...
Article
This article presents a preliminary evaluation of training sessions promoting a systemic approach to violent radicalization (VR) offered to first-line health and education professionals in Quebec. We describe the rationale and content for the training program, its general principles and implementation modalities. The mixed-method evaluation indicated that the participants felt the training increased their level of confidence in dealing with VR in their work. It appeared that training also shifted participants’ attitudes significantly on four items with decreases: (1) worry about the extent of VR of young people in Quebec; (2) belief that VR should automatically be reported to the police; (3) thinking that Islam favors VR; and (4) assumption that enhanced security measures would have a deterrent effect on VR. The conclusion discusses the challenges associated with violent radicalization training programs, emphasizing the delicate ethical and political questions related to the provision of training on this socially divisive topic.
... et 2. les résultats attendus chez les praticiens.nes. on considère que des groupes d'extrême droite actifs ont été identifiés dans toutes les provinces, y compris Terre-Neuve-et-Labrador, l'Île-du-Prince-Édouard, la Nouvelle-Écosse, la Saskatchewan et le Manitoba(Perry & Scrivens, 2015). Malgré tout, aucun programme de prévention secondaire ou tertiaire oeuvrant dans un contexte de radicalisation n'a pu être identifié dans ces provinces par la présente cartographie. ...
Technical Report
Full-text available
L’objectif de cette cartographie est d’identifier les initiatives canadiennes œuvrant dans le domaine de la prévention secondaire et tertiaire en matière de radicalisation et d’extrémisme violent, de les documenter en termes de taille, de structure, de contenu, de modèle, de ressources et de défis et enfin, de les représenter par le biais d’une carte interactive. Ce rapport est le premier d’une série de trois et offre une description globale des organisations canadiennes ayant été identifiés. Il répond aux questions Qui, fait Quoi et Où dans le domaine de la prévention secondaire et tertiaire de la radicalisation et de l’extrémisme violent au Canada.
Chapter
Full-text available
This chapter opens with a brief definition of key terms such as “Muslim diasporas,” “prevention of violent extremism” (PVE), “countering violent extremism” (CVE) and discusses the role of Islamophobia in radicalization and its impacts on the prevention of radicalization. The size of the Muslim population in each of the selected five Western countries and the appearance of jihadist, left- and right-wing-groups, as well as the number of attacks resulting from these milieus are briefly discussed at the beginning of the country reports. The main body of this chapter discusses academic, governmental, and civil society approaches to PVE/CVE. For each country, some PVE examples are presented which might be helpful to policymakers and practitioners. A literature review regarding PVE/CVE approaches in each country seeks to provide an overview of the academic state of the art concerning the prevention of radicalization. Finally, a number of recommendations with regard to future PVE initiatives are provided, based on the author’s field research in Salafi milieus in various European countries.
Chapter
Full-text available
[English follows] Ce chapitre pose la question du degré de rupture ou de continuité entre les mouvements de l'extrême droite contemporaine et le fascisme historique. Pour ce faire, nous commençons par retracer la matrice idéologique d'un groupe d'extrême droite québécois -- la Fédération des Québécois de souche -- à partir de l'analyse des principales catégories d'acteurs prises pour cibles dans les articles du magazine Le Harfang, publié par l'organisation depuis 2012. Nous analysons ensuite la manière dont ces catégories s'articulent ensemble pour former un cadre qui structure une certaine vision du monde et motive l'action politique (ce que nous appelons la « matrice idéologique »). Cet exercice nous permet, dans une troisième partie, d'établir des liens clairs entre la matrice idéologique de l'extrême droite contemporaine et celle de groupes ultra-nationalistes et ultra-conservateurs, proches du fascisme, actifs au Québec dans les années 1930. En somme, nous constatons qu'en tant que mouvement et système de pensée, l’extrême droite contemporaine présente davantage de points communs avec l’extrême droite historique que ce qu'on pourrait parfois être amené à penser. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- This chapter raises the question of the degree of rupture or continuity between movements of the contemporary far right and historical fascism. To do this, we begin by retracing the ideological matrix of an extreme right group - the Fédération des Québécois de souche - through the analysis of the main categories of actors targeted in the pages of their magazine. We then analyze how these categories articulate together to constitue a framework that sustain a certain ontology that motivates political action (what we call the "ideological matrix" ). This exercise allows us, in a third part, to establish clear links between the ideological matrix of the contemporary far right and that of ultra-nationalist and ultra-conservative groups, close to fascism, active in Quebec in the 1930s. In short, we find that as a movement and system of thought, the contemporary far right may have more in common with historic fascism than we might sometimes be led to believe.
Article
Full-text available
This paper traces the meanings and impacts of the increased and transformed visibility of Muslim communities in Canada, as evidenced through their experiences of surveillance and violence. It explores the contours of this visibility as well as the consequences. Relationships between Muslims and non-Muslims are shaped in and through hostility, harassment and violence which is directed toward increasingly visible Muslim communities. Guiding the analysis of the connections between visibility and hate crime is a frame that draws upon Brighenti's ideal types of visibility: media-type, control-type and social-type.
Chapter
Full-text available
Article
Full-text available
This study examines whether the presence of hate groups increases the likelihood of serious ideologically motivated violence committed by far-rightists. While hate crime research has generally focused on a single state or made comparisons across several states, we seek to examine this relationship within the context of U.S. counties. A smaller unit of analysis allows for the simultaneous consideration of several social processes operating at the community level, which might also influence ideologically motivated offending by far-right extremists. We test the relationship using data from the Extremist Crime Database (ECDB) for the dependent measure, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) for the hate groups measure, and various other sources for additional variables. We find that the existence of a hate group in a county is significantly related to the occurrence of far-right ideologically motivated violence.
Article
Full-text available
Little is known about the nature of far-right lone wolf terrorism and how this form of violence varies across different types of suspects. Relying on data from the Extremist Crime Database (ECDB), we comparatively examine characteristics of far-right homicides in the United States perpetrated by suspects with no evident affiliations with domestic terrorist organizations. Surprisingly, we found that this form of lone wolf terrorism has generally not increased during the past decade. We also found important differences, such as in suspects’ mental health, in statuses of homicide offenders who operate alone compared to those who associate or act with others.
Article
Full-text available
Few studies have explored the factors that distinguish violent from nonviolent far-right hate groups. We examine four categories of factors on hate groups: (1) Organizational capacity, (2) Organizational constituency, (3) Strategic connectivity, and (4) Structural arrangements. Age and size, groups in conflict, groups led by charismatic leaders, groups that advocated for leaderless resistance tactics, and region increased a group's propensity to commit violence. Groups that published ideological literature were significantly less likely to be violent. By identifying factors that distinguish violent from nonviolent groups, this study helps us better understand characteristics of violent far-right hate groups in the United States.
Article
This paper explores the extent to which the hate movement in the United States has taken on a new, modern face. The strength of the contemporary hate movement is grounded in its ability to repackage its message in ways that make it more palatable, and in its ability to exploit the points of intersection between itself and prevailing ideological canons. In short, the hate movement is attempting to move itself into the mainstream of United States culture and politics. I conclude by arguing that antiracist and antiviolence organizations must continue to confront hate groups through legal challenges, monitoring, and education.
Article
The rise in lone wolf terrorist attacks worldwide in recent decades makes understanding the types of targets lone wolves choose a crucial locus of research, yet this topic remains understudied. In light of this lacuna, this article analyzes 84 lone wolf terrorist attacks that occurred in the United States between 1940 and 2012, identifies patterns in lone wolf target selection, and proposes and tests causal explanations for these patterns. I find that (1) a majority of lone wolves select civilian targets in familiar areas and (2) this is due to their relative weakness and their ideology.