Date: September 14, 2014
For Immediate Release
Hate Crime Against Imam Syed Soharwardy
(Calgary) The founder of Muslims Against Terrorism and the Islamic Supreme Council of Canada was assaulted on Friday in the parking lot at the Genesis Centre, 775 Falconridge Blvd., NE Calgary. After Imam Soharwardy parked his car he was walking towards the building where he leads the Friday prayer suddenly a woman who seems to be waiting for him drove her car towards him. He ran towards the side walk. The lady came out of the car and started shouting at him and called him the terrorist and a threat. She used obscenities for Muslims, immigrants and Islam. He was shaken by the incident. But due to the very tight time for the prayer Imam was in hurry to reach inside the building. He simply replied to the lady, “How can I be threat to you OR to Canada? Mr. Soharwardy does not know this woman, never met her and never interacted with her. He ignored the woman and tried to walk away. But she sat down in her car and drove towards him again. Once again she tried to hit him with the car but he narrowly escaped. At this stage Imam called 911 and reported the incident. The woman constantly used profanity and very racial slurs against the Imam and the Muslims. Mr. Soharwardy gave the description of the car and the woman and the license plate number of the car to the 911 police attendant.
After the incident Mr. Soharwardy lead the prayer and informed all the worshipers about the incident. He then had to travel to Vancouver for his speaking engagement in Surrey, BC expecting that someone from Calgary Police will call him. However, no one from the Calgary Police contacted him to follow up. Today, on Mr. Soharwardy’s request, Police met with him at the SaddleRidge Police station. He provided more details of the incident. “I was shaken by this incident and horrified. Thanks God I was not hurt. If I would not have jumped on the side walk that woman would have run her car over me. It was a clear assault with weapon (car) and obviously a hate crime. She tried twice to physically attack me with her car which shows her intention to cause harm.”, Imam Syed Soharwardy told the police investigators today.
Islamic Supreme Council of Canada wants Calgary Police to fully investigate the incident. This is so ironic that the person who is the most vocal against ISIS and other terrorist organizations was called “terrorist”. Imam Soharwardy founded Muslims Against Terrorism in 1998 in Calgary. “Although this incident has shaken me but it has also inspired me to do more. This shows that there are Canadians who still do not know Islam and Muslims.”, Imam Soharwardy said today. We must stand up against all forms of violence, hate and discrimination. Islamophobia is hate and cannot be tolerated. There are few Canadians who spew out hate for Muslims every day in the media and on the websites. They are the one who should be held responsible for inciting hate towards Canadian Muslims. Why the Canadian Muslims should be held responsible for the crimes of ISIS? Islamophobes use the atrocities of terrorists to create hate towards all Muslims. This must stop.
On a different note, Imam Soharwardy welcomes toady’s statement of Prime Minister David Cameron of the United Kingdom. Mr. Cameron has acknowledged that Islam is the religion of Peace and ISIS terrorists are NOT Muslims. We all believe ISIS and organizations like ISIS are not Muslims. We all want these terrorists to be eliminated. Islamic Supreme Council of Canada strongly condemns the beheading of UK journalist and other reporters. The ISIS criminals must be brought to justice. We support every effort to eliminate terrorism and violence.
For any questions, please contact Imam Soharwardy at 403-831-6330 OR 416-994-5467. Thanks