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What does radicalization look like and what can be done about it?

Hamilton's Hussein Hamdani counsels young Muslims in danger of following paths to violence. What does radicalization look like? Hamdani knows. He joined Ontario Today's host Amanda Pfeffer to discuss radicalization. Listen here.

Hamilton lawyer talks about what radicalization looks like

Canadian Mustafa al-Gharib, born Damian Clairmont, was killed by Free Syrian Army forces while fighting with the group Jabhat al-Nusra in the city of Aleppo. Click on this image to listen live at noon ET. (Facebook)

Hamilton's Hussein Hamdani counsels young Muslims in danger of following paths to violence. What does radicalization look like? Hamdani knows. He joined Ontario Today's host Amanda Pfeffer to discuss radicalization. Listen here.

The 42-year-old is a Hamilton-based corporate and real estate lawyer — but he’s also one of the founding members of the Canadian government’s cross-cultural roundtable on national security. He’s articulate and knowledgeable, and speaks with an intensity about issues of race, inclusion and radicalization.
Hussein Hamdani is a Hamilton-based corporate and real estate lawyer who counsels radicalized youth against extremism. (Adam Carter/CBC)

"It truly is a battle for the hearts and minds of young people," he told CBC News from his downtown Hamilton law office. "It’s like a marketplace of ideas," Hamdani said. "We just try to present ours and hope it’s attractive."

4 types of radicals

Hamdani says there are four types of radicals. He told CBC Hamilton they are:

Educated young men: They usually who have intense grievances with the world – be it the death toll in Syria or unrest on the Gaza Strip. "They just feel like nothing is being done in these things," he said.

The 'hardcore extremists': People who are usually older, educated and supremely convinced of the cause.

Former anarchists: Usually white people who take to Islam as a kind of "flavour of the month" method to protest.

People with mental health issues: Zehaf-Bibeau falls into this category: a person who is fuelled by mental health and drug issues. "People are going to try to make that one out to be more than it was," he said. "That was someone who couldn’t get the help that he needed. He was just alone in this world."

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