An unfortunate but fully anticipated response from Canada’s Muslim communities came in the wake of Friday’s terror attacks in Paris.
Muslim leaders condemned the attacks and issued appeals to Canadians to disassociate the true tenets of their faith with any murder committed in the name of Islam.
In a press release sent out Friday, the Muslim Association of Canada issued a heartfelt statement about the violence in Paris noting,
“We are a Canadian organization and operate only in Canada. However, we cannot ignore global events and fail to speak out against the acts of violence that are of serious concern to all Canadians, including Muslims in Canada.
“The crimes perpetrated today against the citizens of France are a crime against all humanity. Violence against civilians, wherever it is perpetrated is unacceptable and a corruption of our beliefs. Human wisdom and divine teaches of Islam and indeed every faith teaches us to abhor such acts. We offer our prayers for the victims, and our most profound condolences to all those touched by this senseless bloodshed.”
It’s sad that our Muslim neighbours feel the need to explain how they share our grief, motivated by the fear they will be looked on with suspicion otherwise.
But they know there are echoes of 9-11 and its aftermath all over this tragedy. We’ve already seen hateful backlash with the deliberate torching of a Peterborough mosque over the weekend.
That backlash has left other organizations “deeply disturbed;” the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at Canada denounced the Peterborough arson.
On its website Monday, the Muslim council of Greater Hamilton published a post urging its members to be “pro-active, not re-active” and provided guidelines on what to do in case they find themselves in a hate crime situation.
Enlightened Canadians know the terrorist goal is to seed hatred through attacks that strike directly and violently at our way of life. It’s how they grow their ranks, most effectively in societies where minorities already feel marginalized.
If we respond with anger and distrust aimed at people of a particular faith, we’re playing into the hands of the terrorists.
Allowing that to happen here would be heartbreaking.
As the National President of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at Canada Lal Khan Malik said in a statement, “Such vicious acts are not in line with Canadian values. Regardless of faith we should all live by the motto, Love for All, Hatred for None.”