leaderpost.com: The recent attacks by two extreme Islamists in Ontario and Quebec sent the wrong message about Muslim people, who are peaceful and proud of their country, says Habib Rehman.
That’s why Rehman, the president of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat Regina Chapter, organized Saturday’s noontime rally.
Rehman wanted to “show our solidarity with the soldiers and to condemn these atrocities of the terrorist organizations.”
From City Hall to the Cornwall Centre and back, about 100 members of Regina’s Muslim community marched and carried Canada flags and signs touting messages like “Love for all, hatred for none” and “My religion has been hijacked,” while they chanted “Long live Canada.” The rally began and ended with the group singing O Canada.
On Oct. 20, 53-year-old soldier Patrice Vincent was killed when Martin Couture-Rouleau ran him down with a car in Quebec. Two days later, Nathan Cirillo was shot and killed by Michael Zehaf-Bibeau while serving as honour guard at the National War Memorial in Ottawa.
Both killers were reportedly radicalized Muslims. Rehman says organizations like ISIS claim to be Muslim, but they do not refl ect true Muslim values.
“(They) portray Islam in a very bad way,” said Rehman. “Islam teaches peace and love for one’s country is part of the faith.”
Rehman wanted to publicly demonstrate that Muslim people “love our country” and do not tolerate terrorism.
Since the attacks, some Muslim communities across Canada have experienced backlash.
Rehman said he has not experienced a backlash in Regina, but he wouldn’t blame people for lashing out.
That’s why it’s important to convey the message that Muslim people denounce these crimes, and to educate the public about the true teachings of Islam.