(August 22, 2014) – All across Canada, Muslims are speaking out against the actions of ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Sham) and Imams are warning their congregations about the ‘despicable ideology ‘ of the group.
“We categorically condemn the actions of this group and its monstrous crimes against humanity, absolutely and without equivocation,” the Canadian Council of Imams said in a statement issued today.
“ISIS has manifested some of the worst and barbaric human behaviour by mercilessly and brutally killing innocent people, looting, robbing, kidnapping and enslaving hundreds of Muslim and non-Muslim women and children and committing all kinds of atrocities against religious minorities.”
The Imams are calling on Canadian Muslims to raise their voices against the murderous acts of ISIS and disassociate themselves from the ideology of the group.
“We call upon all Canadian Muslims to denounce this deliberate perversion of the Muslim faith and to dissociate themselves totally from such a despicable ideology and dangerous people who intentionally use the name of Islam in their ongoing campaign of distortion and destruction,” added the CCI statement.
The Muslim civil liberties advocacy organization, the National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM), also issued a statement today, affirming the sacredness of life and disassociating Islam from the actions of ISIS.
“We emphasize the sacredness of life and reject any express statement or tacit insinuation that anyone should harm innocent people. Our message to anyone who espouses, endorses, or in any way supports this ideology of violence, is that you have nothing to do with our faith,” said the NCCM statement.
Early this month, Muslims leaders in Manitoba called the actions of ISIS against religious minorities “an affront to our faith, and we forcefully condemn any attempts by ISIS to associate their heinous crimes to Islam and to our prophetic tradition.”
“We, here in Winnipeg, are blessed to practise our faith in its true spirit and to live in peace and harmony with all our fellow Canadians, regardless of religious background, culture and ideology,” the Manitoba leaders wrote in their statement.
“In this spirit, we offer our sincere and humble apology to our Christian and Yazidi brothers and sisters for the pain these misguided Muslims have caused them,” they added. “Please know that we stand in solidarity with you and with all the persecuted people around the world.”
Meanwhile, a Calgary Imam, Syed Soharwardy, has started a hunger strike in a bid to spread awareness about Canadian Muslims’ condemnations of ISIS after the brutal beheading of journalist James Foley.
“Their view of Islam and the Qur’an is absolutely 180 degrees different from what most Muslims believe,” Calgary Islamic leader Syed Soharwardy told Calgary Sun.
The Imam announced his plans to begin the 48-hour hunger strike beginning Friday, August 22 and said he’ll ingest only water, adding that he will spend most of his time at an Islamic Centre in Calgary.
Imam Syed Soharwardy is particularly concerned about the youth being attracted to the ISIS ideology and he wants anyone considering going overseas to fight with the group to reach out to him.
Calgarian, Farah Mohamed Shirdon, in his 20s, was reportedly killed abroad after joining ISIS. Shirdon’s death follows those of fellow Calgarians Salman Ashrafi, who also died fighting with ISIS in Iraq and Damaian Clairmont, 22, who was killed in Syria.
“This whole epidemic of Muslim youth getting involved is quite alarming…I will reach out to as many of them as I can, especially those on the borderline,” said Imam Soharwardy.