Imam warns Ottawa to back off Muslims
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Posted by Al Gordon on 08:42:12 2005/07/25
Imam warns Ottawa to back off Muslims
By COLIN FREEZE
Monday, July 25, 2005 Page A10
A controversial Toronto imam warned Public Safety Minister Anne McLellan at a closed-door meeting to stop "terrorizing" Canadian Muslims.
"If you try to cross the line I can't guarantee what is going to happen. Our young people, we can't control," Aly Hindy, the head of Scarborough's Salaheddin Islamic Centre, recalls telling the minister at the May meeting she held in Toronto with dozens of Muslim leaders.
The meeting was part of an effort by Ms. McLellan to reach out to Canadian Muslims amid complaints that the RCMP and Canadian Security Intelligence Service are engaging in racial profiling.
The minister and her officials have been meeting community leaders to explain they are not targeting Muslims generally, only individuals with possible terrorist links.
By many accounts, the meetings have been positive and are contributing to a thaw in relations between Muslims and security agents, even if the exchange in May was a little heated.
Mr. Hindy, who has long complained that CSIS is spying on him, his family and his mosque, told Ms. McLellan that a young Muslim woman complained to him she was roughed up by Canadian spies while her husband was away at prayers. This allegation could spur reprisals because "our women are the most valuable thing to us" and "for a Muslim, honour is more important than his life," Mr. Hindy said in a recent interview.
He made the point to the minister. Several people who attended shrugged off the imam's remarks, but some Muslims and government agents later approached Mr. Hindy asking him to explain himself.
"The police came to me and said, 'This is a kind of threat,' and I said yes," he said. "But it's for the good of this country.
"And they said, 'Do you know some of the names of those people you expect to cause some problems?' And I said, 'You just open the telephone directory.' "
While government investigators probing the woman's complaint told Mr. Hindy they have not found evidence of wrongdoing, he isn't giving the spy service the benefit of the doubt.
"We believe CSIS should stop terrorizing us," he says in a flyer he is circulating to mosques. "CSIS is powerless. CSIS has no authority over you. If CSIS agents come to your door, do not open [it] for them."
Toronto's Coalition of Muslim Organizations arranged the meeting, and said about 100 Muslim leaders attended. While COMO president Adam Esse noted that, "some people, when they talk, they get a little heated," he said the ministerial visit was "a sign of respect" and was worthwhile overall. "If you talk, you remove a lot of misconceptions, a lot of misunderstandings."
A spokesman for Ms. McLellan agreed. "We feel it was constructive, positive," Alex Swann said.
Even Mr. Hindy said that despite his differences with security agencies "the Deputy Prime Minister, she was very understanding."
In the wake of the London bombings, Ms. McLellan has said that Canadians must become "psychologically prepared" for such an attack.
She has also suggested such strikes are not related to the U.S.-led war in Iraq, in which Britain is a strong partner. Mr. Hindy believes the war in Iraq has caused young Muslims to want to fight against the United States and Britain. "I always say the No. 1 recruiter of al-Qaeda is George W. Bush," he said.
The imam said six or seven young men have approached him to discuss "fighting overseas" in place such as Iraq and Afghanistan.
He said he told them "people fighting in Iraq, they don't need more people."
Instead, Canadian Muslims can wage non-violent jihads (holy struggles) at home. "You have a very good chance to serve Islam here," he said he told them.
Re: Imam warns Ottawa to back off Muslims - Al Gordon 18:40:44 2005/07/25 (0)
Re: Imam warns Ottawa to back off Muslims - Neil Flagg 13:02:09 2005/07/25 (0)
Re: Imam warns Ottawa to back off Muslims - Gord 11:17:58 2005/07/25 (3)
Re: Imam warns Ottawa to back off Muslims - Al Gordon 11:59:06 2005/07/25 (2)
Re: Imam warns Ottawa to back off Muslims - Gord 12:11:42 2005/07/25 (1)
Re: Imam warns Ottawa to back off Muslims - Al Gordon 12:33:09 2005/07/25 (0)
Re: Imam warns Ottawa to back off Muslims - Bill Narvey 10:32:00 2005/07/25 (2)
Re: Imam warns Ottawa to back off Muslims - Rank 18:22:16 2005/07/25 (0)
Re: Imam warns Ottawa to back off Muslims - Sandra Norris 13:49:47 2005/07/25 (0)
Re: Elmasry's fatwa - Al Gordon 09:05:33 2005/07/25 (6)
Re: Canadian Muslims' moment of truth - John Turley-Ewart 11:41:37 2005/07/25 (5)
Re: Do 87% of Canadian mosques support terrorism? - Al Gordon 11:50:56 2005/07/25 (4)
Re: Do 87% of Canadian mosques support terrorism? - Bill Narvey 13:13:14 2005/07/25 (3)
Re: Do 87% of Canadian mosques support terrorism? - Sandra Norris 13:45:39 2005/07/25 (2)
Re: Do 87% of Canadian mosques support terrorism? - Al Gordon 18:42:50 2005/07/25 (0)
Re: Do 87% of Canadian mosques support terrorism? - Bill Narvey 14:08:18 2005/07/25 (0)
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