COMMENTARY: We can condemn and combat extremism without loosening the definition of ‘terrorism’

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If we were setting out to compile a list of groups that we condemn or disapprove of, a strong case could be made for the inclusion of the Proud Boys. But Canada’s list of banned terrorist entities does not exist as a vehicle for expressing such sentiments and we should not be using it as such. This past week, 13 additional groups were added to that list. Of those inclusions, 12 were relatively non-controversial. The inclusion of the Proud Boys, however, raises some legitimate questions and concerns. Yes, the group holds radical political views and seem to have a thirst for violence (an “alt-right fight club” is how they’re described by one prominent anti-hate group), but the “terrorism” bar needs to be set higher than that. Politicizing this process seems both unwise and potentially counterproductive.