Date: September 12, 2011
The Right Hon. Stephen Harper
Prime Minister of Canada
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
The Right Hon. Stephen Harper,
Your recent statements during an interview on CBC regarding “Islamicism” a threat to Canada are misleading and confusing. It seems that your understanding of “Islamicism” and “Islamic Terrorism” is based upon the threats that Canada and the rest of the world are facing from fanatics and terrorists who call themselves Muslims. Is Islam the only religion facing this problem OR other religions had and have this problem too? There are fanatics and extremists in every faith. They are the threat to Canada and the civil society.
The Islamic Supreme Council of Canada, Muslims Against Terrorism and ISCC affiliated mosques do support any effort that protects Canada and the Canadians from any threat. We support the Canadian government in countering threats to our country. However, your selection of words for identifying the threat was neither correct nor wise. In fact, the words “Islamicism” and “Islamic Terrorism” are misleading and completely untrue. These words do help the terrorists in their propaganda of hate and misinform non-Muslims about our faith. These words divide Canadians and harm the interfaith relationships.
How can you call some thing Islamic which has been repeatedly condemned and declared by overwhelming majority of Muslim scholars un-Islamic? Terrorism, extremism, fanaticism, violence and suicide bombings have been declared unlawful (Haraam) and criminal in our holy book, Qur’an, by our Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), by all early scholars of Islam and by the overwhelming majority of the current scholars of Islam. What else you need from Muslims Mr. Prime Minister?
In January, 2010 more than twenty eight Canadian and the American Imams affiliated with the Islamic Supreme Council of Canada issued a Fatwa declaring that any attack on Canada and the United States will be considered attack on Islam and Muslims? Around the world hundreds of prominent Muslim scholars have issued their own Fatwas declaring suicide bombings and terrorism criminal and absolutely un-Islamic actions. ISCC and many other Muslim organizations and mosques are doing their best to educate Muslim youth and elders to stay away from fanatics and extremists. I walked across Canada in 2008 and led the Multi-Faith Walk Against Violence. During seven months of my walk I met thousands of Muslims and non-Muslim Canadians and raised awareness about the dangers of violence and terrorism. ISCC holds weekly and monthly programs in various Canadian mosques across the country to help new immigrants in integrating with the mainstream Canadian society. We have made some progress but we have a long way to go. What else you want us to do Mr. Harper? Please let us know.
Mr. Harper, we promise to you that we will do exactly what you want us to do but for Jesus Christ’s sake (about whom you say you love him very much) please don’t link Islam with any “ism” OR “ist”. There is no such thing as “Islamicism” OR “Islamists”. Muslims do not create any link of Islam with any “ism” OR “ist”. Our faith does not even recognize this link. Why are you trying to create this link? We respect your religion. We do not associate your religion with any fanatic or terrorist. Why did you link Islam with fanatics and the terrorists? I do not see anywhere in Canadian laws that the Prime Minister of Canada can also define people’s faith. We know our faith very well and we do not find fascism, fanaticism, extremism, terrorism, radicalism and hate for anyone in our faith.
Mr. Harper, Islam, a religion of 1.6 billion people, is not a monolithic religion. There are thousands of groups, cultures, ethnicities, several sects and denominations within the Muslims. Any fanatic, extremist or terrorist who uses Islamic teachings to propagate violence against any Canadian must be identified with his/her “SECT” or group or organization or his/her country of citizenship or birth. It’s not difficult to find out the sectarian or group affiliation of a terrorist.
Once again, Islamic Supreme Council of Canada, its affiliate organizations and mosques extend you and our government full support for defending Canada and the Canadians. Please be assured that the Canadian Muslims are doing their best to watch out for any threats. We work very closely with our local law-enforcement agencies. We report to them any potential threat.
Mr. Prime Minister, we are all human and we do make mistakes. You made a mistake by linking Islam with terrorism and radicalism. It will be very honourable action if you please apologize to the Canadian Muslims for choosing poorly worded statements and retract your words. You are our Prime Minister too and we respect you. As voters, tax payers and law-abiding citizens of Canada we have the right to ask you to do the right thing. Please retract your words.
May God bless you and protect our country Canada from all evils. Amen
(Imam) Syed B. Soharwardy
Founder, Islamic Supreme Council of Canada & Muslims Against Terrorism
6680 Campobello Road, Mississauga, Ontario L5N 2L8
cc: ISCC distribution list.