A group of Edmonton Muslim students is hosting forums in the hopes of stopping youth radicalization on Canadian soil.
The Ahmadiyya Muslim Students’ Association (AMSA) is trying to deter radicalization in Canada by hosting Stop the Crisis, an event educating local youth that the teachings of Islam are not in line with what ISIS is preaching.
“What we’re trying to do is get ahead of it and say ‘this isn’t what our religion teaches us and these are the reasons why, and this is what we can do to try and steer youth away from it,’” said Qaasim Mian, a member of AMSA.
Thursday night’s event at the University of Alberta will be one of 45 held across Canada. A similar event was held in Calgary on Tuesday.
AMSA president Khalid Ahmad said tonight’s forum is especially important because concerns of radicalization have grown since the Ottawa shootings happened last month.
“Any attack on your homeland soil, it goes to your heart,” Ahmad said. “This is something you have to look at, learn more about the topic and know what to look out for.”
Mian said the group also wants to show solidarity with the community and emphasize that ISIS is a small, extreme group that does not represent the majority of Muslims in Canada.
“The voice of the majority of Muslims, who are peaceful and law abiding, isn’t heard – and what is presented is the radical, small groups that have these serious ideologies that not many people believe in,” Mian said.
The Stop the Crisis event will be held at the University of Alberta at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday and at NAIT on Friday at 4 p.m.