Copied below (in their entirety) are two articles published after the Ottawa tragedy which give us very clear insight into the mindset of two leaders of local Islamic Organizations who also preach from the pulpit to large congregations. The first press release is from The North American Muslim Foundation (NAMF) who holds a charitable status in Canada (# 11905 8980 RR0001).
The second is published in Crescent International which is a publication of the Institute of Contemporary Islamic Thought (ICIT) of which Zafar Bangash is Director as well as being the president of the Islamic Society of York Region.
After being repulsed by reading these articles, these are the questions that come to mind immediately:
1. Why are we surprised at radicalization of our youth when the pulpit is doing such a fine job for us?
2. As Canadians aren’t you appalled at the insinuations in both articles that Canada is at fault here and that the first concern of these two organizations is about Islamo-phobia?
3. In both articles there is an unsaid justification of the attacks and very little sympathy and feeling for the families of the victims and the fact that these soldiers protect us to keep Canada strong and free. It’s sickening.
4. As Muslims I ask you “at what point will you start questioning the messages from the pulpit and demand change?’
5. Is this what Cpl. Nathan Cirillo and Patrice Vincent gave their lives for?
6. I leave it to you to read and digest the thought process below and take immediate action that you see fit, either by calling out these organizations and letting them know your thoughts or write to your local MPP and MP and ask what they are doing about this thought process while campaigning against radicalization. Last but not the least, alert law enforcement to look no further.
Canada and the War on Terror
Imam Sheharyar Shaikh
Last Monday, Martin Couture-Roulou, a 25-year old Canadian hit two Canadian soldiers by his car after waiting in a mall parking lot for hours 30 miles southeast of Montreal. Martin who apparently held a knife was eventually shot by the police seven times. Yesterday, Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, after killing a National War memorial guard, walked into the front door of Parliament Hill with a double barrel shotgun. He too was shot dead.
Both Martin and Michael were Quebecers, Caucasians and converts to Islam who allegedly identified with ISIS.
I am highly saddened, but not highly shocked. Let’s face it, folks. Canada has hardly been a neutral country in the world in the last thirteen years. Despite its peaceful and innocent self-image, it has poodled right into a US-led war that has cost millions of innocent lives and turned tens of millions into permanent refugees in the another part of the world.
For the last thirteen years, we Canadians have participated in the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan ? a military fiasco costing Canadians blood and treasure.
Remember the statements from the top brass in our armed forces in the early days of the Afghan war?
(Taliban) have no chance of winning militarily ? Gen James L Jones
Taliban insurgency “in disarray” ? Brig-Gen Jonathan Vance
Taliban will be marginalized by 2011 ? Brig-Gen Danial Menard
Taliban wont ..win friends with the general population ? Brig-Gen Craig King
And then, the shock of all shocks, the same tough talking Gen Rick Hillier, former head of our army, who had said “We re not the public service of Canada…our job is to be able to kill people” labelling Taliban as “detestable murderers and scumbags” later himself argued for troops reduction in Afghanistan in 2004-2006 because: “the army was being run pretty hard” and “the shock of the operational cost was big.” Hillier, who had once highlighted the cause as: “(Taliban) detest our freedoms, they detest our society, they detest our liberties” earlier was later humbled to a point where he called Taliban’s role in the country’s political process as “inevitable.” Our Defence Minister Gordon O’Connor tried to detract from our militarism by highlighting our humanitarianism: “We’re engaged in helping people move products around, we’re helping them build houses, we’re helping advise the police…And when we’re attacked, we attack back.”
Finally in 2012, Gen Menard called negotiating with the Taliban a “realistic” approach “because they are not corrupt and they create order.” Yes, the same monstrous Taliban who we had gone to kill and destroy. Maj-Gen Dean Milner, last Canadian general to remain in Afghanistan lowered the flag at ISAF headquarters on March 12, 2014. Canadian soldiers left Afghanistan at last. The question is: What did we achieve fighting a US war except lose precious lives, waste taxpayer wealth and incur humiliation for over a decade?
We are making the same blunder fighting ISIS today.
What do we gain by consciously handing innocent people to proxy torture countries while knowing that they would be bound and inhumanely tortured? Now by declaring war on ISIS by sending special forces and CF-18 fighter jets for a six-month bombing campaign we are blindly being led to another fiasco. Should there be surprise if there was a blowback, however amateurish, against two soldiers by ‘Lone Wolves’ using a speeding car and shotgun? As Glen Greenwald recently put it:
“The only surprising thing about any of it is that it doesn’t happen more often.”
I am sure the mainstream propaganda machinery will go on a full swing, feeding the ‘terrorist ideology’ and ‘hatred towards our freedoms’ spiel for the violence, without giving the slightest cause for real introspection. I am also sure that I (and anyone) who wants to see Canada as a global moral leader, which refrains from all US wars with a ten-foot pole, will instead be labelled a terrorist-sympathizer. Its sick.
We must ask: Why were the Canadian soldiers the main targets and not say, Hungarian or Chilean soldiers or even Canadian civilians? Why have the anti-Canadian activities seen a rise particularly in the last decade? There is a causal link with our changed role in the world. Martin Couture-Rouleau’s Facebook friend Faisal tells CBC that Martin was “very angry” about Canada’s bombings in Iraq and Syria ? the latter being the 14th Muslim country to be bombed since 1980. If a country bordering ISIS such as Turkey, a NATO member and ally, can remain neutral toward ISIS, why can’t we? We, unlike the US, are not an imperial power and hold no ambitious designs. Therefore we must disengage from this senseless war and reclaim our honorable humanitarian role as in the past. Now. This is less humiliating and costly than telling our brave soldiers to remove their uniforms in public for their own protection.
As far as the Muslim community is concerned, the awful truth is that no matter how law abiding and peace loving 1, 053, 945 Canadian Muslims are, they will be community stigmatization on account of a few loons. The community should not feel “guilt by association”, but rather it has to come together to take measures against a possible Islamophobic backlash against our centers and persons ? as has been sadly the case since 9/11. While the Muslim ‘leaders’ race each other in holding memorial services, offering condolences, presenting colourful wreaths, and making sympathetic gestures for the tragic death of Cpl Nathan Cirillo and obsequiously reassuring the Harper government of their undying patriotism, we expect that a few will have the gall to suggest a review of Canada’s 13-year old war policy under a US mandate.
If we are truly patriotic, let us protect our country from harm’s way. And if we are a true friend of the US, we would prevent the Americans from harm as well.
Sheharyar Shaikh is the former President of North American Muslim Foundation.
He is currently the Imam of Masjid Qurtabah. He specializes in the Quranic exegesis and contemporary Islamic thought.
What Muslim and other Canadians can expect after attack on Parliament
Crescent International is a publication of the Institute of Contemporary Islamic Thought (ICIT).
The attack on Canada’s parliament has resulted in a virtual lockdown of the whole country. The 33-year-old gunman, Michael Zehaf-Bibeau was known to have a criminal record. He was shot and killed inside the parliament building after he fatally shot a soldier standing guard at the Canadian War Memorial earlier today. Why he was not captured alive is a big question. Crucial information could have been obtained from him.
Wednesday October 21, 2014, 20:09 DST
Regardless of the identity, background and motive of the perpetrator of the attack on Canada’s parliament today, two things are clear. Islamophobia will escalate further and Canadian civil liberties will be curtailed even more.
A third aspect is the boost in militarism, a policy hotly pursued by the government of Stephen Harper.
The gunman was named by US intelligence agencies as Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, 33. He was shot and killed inside the parliament building. It is interesting to note Canadian security agencies did not reveal his name or identity before the Americans did.
Zehaf-Bibeau was known to have a criminal record in Quebec and British Columbia.
He entered parliament after shooting and seriously wounding a soldier standing guard at the Canada War Memorial. The soldier later died in hospital.
At least 20 to 25 shots were fired inside the parliament building, according to several MPs that were there for caucus meetings.
This was the first time in Canada’s history that the parliament building was attacked. Throughout the day, this was the only news on all television channels and on the radio.
While patting themselves on the back for being present during the drama, Canadian MPs were full of praise for the security personnel as well.
It is a pity that the gunman was not captured alive. Much information could have been gleaned from him about his motives and whether there were any accomplices with him. Throughout the day, the police said they were looking for other suspects.
None was found and by the end of the day, there was general consensus that the gunman had acted alone although the Americans insisted there were two accomplices with him. The question on everyone’s lips is: why?
Two days earlier, another gunman, Martin Rouleau, a 25-year-old “convert” to Islam drove his car into two Canadian soldiers near Montreal killing one and wounding another.
Rouleau then escaped in his car with the police giving chase. His car crashed and the police shot and killed him.
Why he was not captured alive is also the subject of much speculation.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), the federal police force, said they had Rouleau under surveillance and in July had stopped him from boarding a flight to Turkey. He was allegedly planning to enter Syria from there to join the takfiri terrorists.
Rouleau’s passport was withdrawn and the RCMP had talked to him only 10 days prior to the Montreal attack. According to the RCMP spokesperson, he had assured them he would modify his behaviour.
Rouleau was known to be a loner and given his demeanour—he was muscularly built and frequented websites that carried takfiri terrorist propaganda—he seemed to be preparing for some violent act.
The big question is whether he acted on his own or someone was manipulating him.
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper was not in the parliament building at the time of the attack. He was preparing to welcome to Toronto Malala Yusufzai, the Pakistani girl who is this year’s joint recipient of the Nobel Peace prize with Indian activist Kailash Satyarthi.
The program at a Toronto school was cancelled because of the attack on parliament.
Harper is to address Canadians at about 8:30 pm Toronto time.
As soon as news of the attack on the parliament building broke out, virtually the whole of Canada was put on lockdown. The US embassy in Ottawa was closed as was the Canadian embassy in Washington DC. Security was beefed up at other institutions as well—provincial buildings, courts, subways and other sensitive buildings.
Canadian military bases were also put on heightened alert.
Life will become increasingly more difficult for all Canadians as fear is spread because of the twin attacks. Militarism will be glorified and increased surveillance and other intrusive powers will be granted to police and other security agencies.