Stop the Crisis talk held at Tansley Woods Community Centre
Local Muslims plan to ‘Stop the Crisis’ of radicals bent on destruction, one conversation at a time.
Women of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community of Burlington, Oakville and Milton are joining the national Stop the Crisis movement to eradicate public misconceptions their 1,400-year-old faith often has with terrorism.
Presenter Sana Mumtaz urged the 100 women who gathered at Burlington’s Tansley Woods Community Centre on April 11 to take action.
“Ask not what others can do to end extremism but what can you do to end it,” she said. “We as a nation and community must work together to change the tide and threat.”
Stop the Crisis is a nationwide campaign to distance ISIS and extremists from Islam, and focus on the religion’s messages of love, peace and education.
The Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association created Stop the Crisis in response to the violent killings of soldiers Patrice Vincent and Nathan Cirillo on Canadian soil. They were murdered in two separate incidents in October 2014 and each by individuals harbouring jihadist sympathies.
‘It’s not Islam that motivates violence’
The Burlington event’s co-presenter Lubna Malik stressed that Islam translated means peace. “It is not Islam that motivates violence,” she added.
She described the warped ideologies of ISIS, a violent militant group responsible for mass sectarian killings in Iraq and Syria as “utterly un-Islamic.”
“Radicalism is motivated by political goals and a quest for power, not religion,” she added.
As much as Canadians can help Stop the Crisis, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community’s outreach secretary, Naheed Khokhar, implored the local, provincial and federal politicians in attendance to tell the government that it must stem the flow of weapons and military resources to the terrorist group, and in particular, to cut off supplies to ISIS.
Halton MPP Indira Naidoo-Harris also believes there is a political route to battling radicalism. She urged attendees to engage their children in the political landscape.
Naidoo-Harris’ colleague in the provincial legislature, Burlington MPP Eleanor McMahon added: “we must all be aligned against a common foe of ignorance. Let’s help disarm it.”
And Halton Police Sgt. Crystal Kelly said “it is incumbent upon all of us to mentor, support and worry about our youth” adding that we must educate ourselves about the telltale signs of radicalization.
Linda Baksh came from Hamilton to hear the presentation and was one of a few non-Muslims in the audience. “I believe this is an important message to share with others, that Islam has nothing to do with terrorism,” said Baksh.
Indeed, as the event’s presenter Mumtaz concluded, “The greatest change comes from knowledge, not power. This battle against radicalism is a battle for the mind.”