Harper uses speech to Muslim conference to stress fight against terror

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper

Stephen Harper’s speech to a large Muslim conference on Friday was billed as prime ministerial, not political, but he still managed to squeeze in some messaging on the fight against terrorism.

Stephen Harper speaks to the Muslim community at the 39th Jalsa Salana Canada 2015 Islamic Convention held by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama`at Canada at the International Centre in Mississauga.

Stephen Harper speaks to the Muslim community at the 39th Jalsa Salana Canada 2015 Islamic Convention held by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama`at Canada at the International Centre in Mississauga.

MISSISSAUGA—Stephen Harper’s speech to a large Muslim conference on Friday was billed as prime ministerial, not political, but he still managed to squeeze in some Conservative messaging on Canada’s fight against terrorism.

The Conservative leader did not do any formal campaigning Friday, choosing instead to address to the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at, Canada’s largest national Islamic convention, which kicked off a three-day conference in Mississauga.

The prime minister, who has Canadian warplanes bombing Islamist insurgents in Iraq and Syria, took the opportunity to embrace a Muslim group at home.

He praised the Ahmadiyya community for accepting Canadian ways, but he also spoke of terror threats.

“Last October, we had the brutal experience of ISIS-inspired violence on our own soil,” he said, a reference to the deadly Oct. 22 shooting on Parliament Hill.

“As we all know, these shocking acts were perpetrated by killers claiming to act in the name of Islam. How important it was that the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at Canada quickly, categorically and unequivocally condemned the attacks and the terrorist who committed them.”

He also thanked the group for its campaign against youth radicalization.

“By your words and by your actions, Canada’s Ahmadiyya community has earned the respect and the admiration of all Canadians.”

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