TORONTO - The Muslim Canadian Congress is relieved that prompt intervention by law enforcement agencies has resulted in the foiling of a terror plot in the United States. The arrests of 10 Muslim men who were allegedly planning to attack Fort Dix, New Jersey, is yet another reminder of how pervasive and real the threat of terrorism is.
"Canadians, Muslim and non-Muslim, must take these incidents very seriously" said Salma Siddiqui, Senior Vice President of the MCC. The security of Canada is the responsibility of all Canadians and unless we are vigilant, a handful of terrorists will cause immeasurable harm to our civic society", she added.
"The tentacles of international terrorism are not restricted to one country. We now know that the convicted British terrorists had a Canadian link, while many of these men were trained in Pakistan. The fight against terrorism will not succeed unless all Canadians, Muslim and non-Muslim join hands and denounce the mixing of religion in politics, which has sullied the good name of Islam," Salma Siddiqui added.
"While the men have yet to be proven guilty, it is nonetheless disconcerting that terror plot suspects invariably turn out to be Muslim," added Siddiqui. She also stated that unless there is widespread denunciation of the mixing of Islam and politics, extremists will continue to get a false signal that perhaps tacit approval for such extremism is acceptable among the Muslim population.
"It is no longer enough to issue statements of condemnation after a terror attack or terror plots, the MCC VP continued. "What is needed is a grassroots movement to condemn terror, fundamentalism and extremism, while also addressing the systemic factors that contribute to such violence. Muslims need to take ownership of actions committed in the name of their faith, she added.
"Too often, terrorism has been brushed aside as a conspiracy against Muslims." Ms. Siddiqui said. People who present themselves as leaders of the Muslim community, must state emphatically that they believe in the separation of religion and state, and stop apologizing for those who resent the Western way of life, labeling it as evil and referring to secular civic society as unislamic, Ms. Siddiqui said.