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    How Many Moderate Muslims Does it Take to Give
   
a Message 

   

 

      Miscellaneous Articles
 

Another “terrorist” crisis hits the United Kingdom and media starts scrambling to find “moderate” Muslims for what I now call ‘voice pops’. I too had my share of phone calls right here in Toronto but refused to give sound bites.  For the record that there isn’t much more we can say that varies from what I said a few years ago, and we are certainly not going to stand as apologists for the actions of a few radicals. Let me assure worried and suspicious Canadians that we are just as concerned as they are about the safety of our country and more so about our credibility in the eyes of the world.  

Remaining “moderate” was never such a challenge as it is today. (For those who critique use of the term “moderate”, we are required by our faith to instill balance (moderation) into our lives in everything we do. I believe to be Muslim, we have to be moderate.)

We are fighting a battle at two levels: one within our own ranks with radical Muslims who wish to silence us and another with bigots who seize any opportunity to use our struggle to malign Islam.  

Next time ordinary Canadians think about Muslims in their midst, remember we are willing and eager to take practical steps to alleviate the problem of extremism within our communities. However I don’t envision us going door-to-door doing ‘damage control’! Also remember it was Pakistan who tipped off the British government about the potential attack on flights across the Atlantic which is a breakthrough in acknowledging that there is a problem.

I’ve reached a point where I’ve reiterated the cause and reason for radicalism too many times for comfort. Having condemned violence against civilians verbally and in writing,  I believe we have very little time left for extensive analysis and diagnosis. While people are name calling and blaming the West, our youth are in danger of becoming victims of fanaticism. We urgently need to work together as Canadians to battle this scourge.  

Let me explain in detail. My family frequents a mosque in Brampton where we were part of the fundraising to build the place. This mosque is a serene and beautiful place of worship and social activities for the entire family, offering meeting spaces, as well as a sports complex. There is a plaque with donor names listed, which empowers all of us as being involved. By making this commitment, we are communally responsible for the messages given and all activities taking place in this mosque. If one of the congregants were to find the messages incompatible with Islam, they could take the mosque committee to task. (By the way, this is open to the public and I’ve arranged visits for non-Muslims)  

Contrary to this, there’s a mosque in Scarborough where flyers promoting hate were being distributed in the parking lot, but no one took responsibility. Similarly there are some mosques and Muslim organizations which are totally funded by foreign aid so they spout the ideology of those governments or individuals who give them 
the money.

What we need is immediate accountability and transparency. If this means my bank account will be checked, so be it. Since I have nothing to hide, why should I worry? We seem to be losing precious freedoms daily to gain security, so I’ll vote on the side of security any day. After all it’s the security of our home that is at stake. However it’s not my job to do this.  

One solution lies in monitoring the funds of mosques and Muslim organizations in Canada. 

Let me reiterate.  The problem of hate mongering and violence in our midst has to be solved by both Canadian Muslims and the Canadian government. In England this process has already started where the Government has acknowledged that they might have been meeting with the wrong people. At the same time Muslims have acknowledged that radicalization of their youth has to be fought with help from the government. They have set up a “Preventing Extremism Taskforce” which includes women and grass roots Muslims and non-Muslims. Dialogue at a high level has begun with discussions about British foreign policy.  

Contrary to this, there’s a mosque in Scarborough where flyers promoting hate were being distributed in the parking lot, but no one took responsibility. Similarly there are some mosques and Muslim organizations which are totally funded by foreign aid so they spout the ideology of those governments or individuals who give them 
the money.

What we need is immediate accountability and transparency. If this means my bank account will be checked, so be it. Since I have nothing to hide, why should I worry? We seem to be losing precious freedoms daily to gain security, so I’ll vote on the side of security any day. After all it’s the security of our home that is at stake. However it’s not my job to do this.  

One solution lies in monitoring the funds of mosques and Muslim organizations in Canada. 

Let me reiterate.  The problem of hate mongering and violence in our midst has to be solved by both Canadian Muslims and the Canadian government. In England this process has already started where the Government has acknowledged that they might have been meeting with the wrong people. At the same time Muslims have acknowledged that radicalization of their youth has to be fought with help from the government. They have set up a “Preventing Extremism Taskforce” which includes women and grass roots Muslims and non-Muslims. Dialogue at a high level has begun with discussions about British foreign policy.  

Contrary to this, there’s a mosque in Scarborough where flyers promoting hate were being distributed in the parking lot, but no one took responsibility. Similarly there are some mosques and Muslim organizations which are totally funded by foreign aid so they spout the ideology of those governments or individuals who give them 
the money.

What we need is immediate accountability and transparency. If this means my bank account will be checked, so be it. Since I have nothing to hide, why should I worry? We seem to be losing precious freedoms daily to gain security, so I’ll vote on the side of security any day. After all it’s the security of our home that is at stake. However it’s not my job to do this.  

One solution lies in monitoring the funds of mosques and Muslim organizations in Canada. 

Let me reiterate.  The problem of hate mongering and violence in our midst has to be solved by both Canadian Muslims and the Canadian government. In England this process has already started where the Government has acknowledged that they might have been meeting with the wrong people. At the same time Muslims have acknowledged that radicalization of their youth has to be fought with help from the government. They have set up a “Preventing Extremism Taskforce” which includes women and grass roots Muslims and non-Muslims. Dialogue at a high level has begun with discussions about British foreign policy.  

Contrary to this, there’s a mosque in Scarborough where flyers promoting hate were being distributed in the parking lot, but no one took responsibility. Similarly there are some mosques and Muslim organizations which are totally funded by foreign aid so they spout the ideology of those governments or individuals who give them 
the money.

What we need is immediate accountability and transparency. If this means my bank account will be checked, so be it. Since I have nothing to hide, why should I worry? We seem to be losing precious freedoms daily to gain security, so I’ll vote on the side of security any day. After all it’s the security of our home that is at stake. However it’s not my job to do this.  

One solution lies in monitoring the funds of mosques and Muslim organizations in Canada. 

Let me reiterate.  The problem of hate mongering and violence in our midst has to be solved by both Canadian Muslims and the Canadian government. In England this process has already started where the Government has acknowledged that they might have been meeting with the wrong people. At the same time Muslims have acknowledged that radicalization of their youth has to be fought with help from the government. They have set up a “Preventing Extremism Taskforce” which includes women and grass roots Muslims and non-Muslims. Dialogue at a high level has begun with discussions about British foreign policy.  

When will we take similar action in Canada?  We’ve given a green light to the government and offered our insights and assistance. When Prime Minister Harper met with a group of Muslims in June and we gave him similar recommendations, we thought the next action would be a task force. All I got was a letter of thanks. No thank you 
Prime Minister.  

 

COMMENTARY

Muslim Leaders 
without Beards
I’ll have multifaith danish with lavish sprinkles of tolerance, respect and humour 
Reflections of a prayer with a purpose 
Why we women must 
keep Zahra Kazemi's 
memory alive
Eid and awe in 
New York
Whose Shariah is 
it anyway?

ARCHIVES

A Backpack Attack!!!
A Multi-Faith Merry Christmas
Looking At Life from 
Both Sides
A Third Time Survivor
A Global Village 
in Canada
The Importance of Being (A) Regular
Queen of Curry - 
Madhur Jaffrey
Requiem To A Friend
Ritual of Fasting should not be a Burden
Summer And the Single Parent Syndrome
Eid - The Feast after
The Fast

Truly Torontonian

 

RAHEEL'S RAMBLINGS

Eid Mubarak , Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah and a 
Happy New Year!
How Many Moderate Muslims does it take to give a message?
Oh my God, if God turns out to be....
By Mariam Kizilbash
Let's Pull the Veil 
off our Minds

By Raheel Raza
     
 

raheel@raheelraza.com
Phone no: (416) 505 - 6052
Fax no: (905) 897 - 7985