August 26, 2006
By Farzana Hassan
As the new president of the Muslim Canadian Congress, I wish to address the concerns of the newly formed Canadian Muslim Union as well as those of the larger Muslim community. I truly hope that my explanations will be received in a spirit of tolerance, good faith and sincerity.
The Muslim Canadian Congress is a progressive Muslim group committed to fighting extremism, gender apartheid and violations of the human rights of marginalized communities. The organization has nothing but the interest of the diverse Muslim communities living in Canada at heart, though we acknowledge that at times the MCC has taken positions that run counter to the aspirations of Muslims who identify themselves as conservative or traditional.
Suffice it to say that a principled stand demands speaking out against one's own near and dear, but in so doing, we believe we are upholding the spirit of the Qur'an as it exhorts Muslims to speak out for justice even if it goes against their interests. We nonetheless remain open to dialogue, as the sentiment here is to engage rather than antagonize our co-religionists.
As for the charge that the MCC has somehow deviated from Islamic principles, I wish to first remind Muslims that our prophet encouraged dissent as a "blessing" in his community. Second, progressive Islam is rooted in the Qur'an and traditions as well, and enjoys the support of several contemporary scholars of Islam.
I also wish to remind readers that members of the MCC see themselves as Canadians first and will defend this country's security and honour with force and integrity. In this regard, our mark of distinction is our clarity in denouncing terror as murder in the name of religion.
As for those who have parted ways with us, we wish them luck in their new endeavours as we are all working toward the same goals. They continue to remain our friends, but we realize that friends must sometimes go their separate ways.
As a goodwill gesture and true to the spirit of Islam, I wish to take the lead in putting a halt to the blame game as I find it counterproductive to our interests both as individuals and members of organizations.
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.
The MCC asks that you give till it hurts to organizations like the IDRF
Views and opinions on who, if anyone, is the real voice for Canada's Muslims
The MCC campaign against religious tribunals for family law
The MCC takes a stand for justice, equality and human rights
War on Terror
The MCC condemns both terrorism and the "war on terror"
The MCC does more than just talk the talk. Read about walking the walk in Hebron
Speaking for Muslims: A new group stirs the pot with its progressive ideas
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