June 19, 2006
TORONTO - The Muslim Canadian Congress has condemned the rise of Islamic extremism among a small group of youth in Canada and has urged Muslim Canadians to root out religion-inspired political activity.
In a statement released in Toronto today, in wake of the recent arrests of 17 Muslim men who are alleged to have planned terrorist acts, the MCC urged Canadian Muslims that they need to be vigilant against the spread of extremist interpretations of Islam in mosques, schools and universities by a section of misguided fanatic youth and their mentors.
With respect to the charges against the accused, the MCC urges the Crown and the law enforcement agencies to ensure that not only are the accused afforded due process, but that due process is seen to be followed and the constitutional rights of the accused are protected.
While the MCC is confident that Canada's judicial system will determine the guilt or innocence of the accused, the issue of the rise of Islamic extremism among a minority of our community is a reality, and must be addressed by both the Muslim communities as well as the various levels of government.
The MCC urged the Canadian government to take confidence-building measures to ensure the safety and well being of Muslim Canadians from both Islamophobes as well as Islamic extremists.
The MCC said, one of the primary issues raised by extremists to stoke anger among Muslim youth against Canada and the western world, is the on-going suffering of the Palestinian people. The statement urged Prime Minister Stephen Harper to get involved in the Middle East peace process by playing the role of an honest broker between Israel and the Palestinian Authority towards:
The statement urged Prime Minister Harper to lift the economic strangulation of the PA economy hat is causing deep suffering among the Palestinians. A resolution of the Palestinian dispute will be the single largest blow to the recruitment and propaganda drive by Islamic extremists. The creation of a viable, sovereign Palestinian state, living in security and dignity alongside Israel will deprive the Islamists of the primary argument they use in inculcating a sense of victimhood among young Canadian Muslim men.
The resolution of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict may not necessarily eliminate Islamic extremism, but it will help stop the extremists from using the plight of the Palestinians to recruit new converts.
The MCC statement also called on the end of the occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan. The statement said that five years after the so called War on Terrorism was launched, it has failed in achieving any of its primary objectives. What was once restricted to the foothills of Tora Bora in Afghanistan, has now come to the doorsteps of Toronto. The Canadian government needs to realise that the recipe offered by George Bush and Tony Blair has led to an increase of terrorism. The Taliban, who were supposed to have died and gone, have resurfaced again and are alive and well.
The MCC recognizes that international conflicts alone are not the sole cause for the rise of Islamic extremism, but they are being used to stoke anger, isolationism and suspicion of Canada among its Muslim youth. We recognize that this is a multi-faceted problem that requires a multi-dimensional solution. Therefore, as an immediate step to confront the rise of extremism among Muslim youth, the Muslim Canadian Congress presented a multi-point plan that it will send to the Prime Minister, the Leader of the Opposition and the leaders of the NDP and Bloc Quebecois.
Ban Foreign Donations
The MCC proposal demands amendments to Canada's laws and regulations:
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For more information, please call Tarek Fatah at 416-953-1798
MCC grieves the loss of our sons and daughters in Afghanistan, who died serving Canada in the line of duty. We offer our condolences to the families of the dead soldiers and hope to see all our troops back home safely.
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