THE CANADIAN SOCIETY OF MUSLIMS
P.O. BOX 143, STATION P, TORONTO, ON M5S 2S7 http://muslimcanada.org
Terrorist Attack - Reactions
The following media release was sent to
the Media (print/radio/TV) across Canada and was also posted on our website
on Sept. 12, 2001. Similarly an outgoing voice-mail message was also relayed
to people who called us by phone:
Click Here to see the page
As a consequence of the terrorist bombings
in the U.S., we at the Canadian Society of Muslims have received a great
deal of e-mail from visitors to our website. The vast majority of the letters
have been sympathetic and full of kindness. Only a small number were of
the hate variety. In any case, we've decided to share some of these letters
with you, as these are indeed quite reassuring for the Muslim community
at large. Yes there are some really nice people out there who care enough
to take the time and trouble to show their thoughtfulness during this troubled
The names and e-mail addresses of these
correspondents have been removed.
You are all a bunch of f--g TERRORISTS,
you fight like cowards because you are nothing but a bunch of f---g cowards.
Go back to your own country and go kill your own people you bunch of F----G
TERRORISTS. Go to hell, all of you....
Get the hell out of our country!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
nobody wants you people here. this country is for canadians only not islamic
We're sure you get the picture from the above two
e-mails. Now for some letters of friendship and support:
I apologize from my heart for
any suffering you or your families may have endured from those whose hearts
are filled with hate and cannot understand the world outside their own
I want to add my name to the
numbers who have contacted you in support, following last week's terrible
attack on the United States. I am a member of xxx [a Toronto] United
Church and I wonder if you might suggest how my faith community might be
of assistance to you. With love, xxx
I am a non-Muslim Canadian who
deeply feels the wrong of recent American and Canadian harassment of Arab
and Muslim people. I find this both offensive and terribly disappointing.
As a university professor I will take appropriate opportunities to speak
against these episodes of violence and ignorance - of inhumanity - in my
classes. My thoughts and support are with you, as is the support of many
I want to add my voice in support
of Canadian Muslims. You are a valued part of Canadian society and any
thinking person will understand that average citizens cannot be held responsible
for the acts of terrorists. Good luck to you in this confusing time and
the days ahead.
After the events of last week,
everyone has been feeling the stress. I'm embarrassed to say that as a
Caucasian, we have not all responded well. I am not Muslim, I was raised
Protestant. It may seem feeble and weak, but I apologize for the response
of this horrific attack. It's an excuse, a shameful excuse for coating
racism in patriotism. There is no excuse to attack mosques or people due
to religion, colour, race or sex. I salute you in your time of pain, and
I hope you know that not all of us feel the same way about the diversity
of our nation. It's one of the things that makes me proud to be a Canadian.
Our diversity. Please, stay strong.
I just wanted to add my voice
to those who have already contacted you about the unacceptable behaviour
from some people following the tragedy in the United States. I want to
tell you that I am appalled by anyone targeting Muslims following these
attacks and I stand with you in support.
I am a Canadian recently moved
to New York City, where last Tuesday I witnessed the collapse of the World
Trade Center. I think much of the world is still in shock as we are here
in New York. To see the posters of those missing is heartbreaking, and
you realize how many families, friends, faiths and nationalities were touched
by this disaster. Gone are brothers, fathers, mothers, sons sisters husbands,
wives, daughters; they are Japanese, Greek, black, white, Latino, Arab,
African, Canadian, Chinese, Jewish, Muslim, Christian, atheist; they are
security guards, technicians, investment bankers, janitors, dishwashers,
lawyers, firefighters, doctors. In this daze of horror, it is with a sinking
heart that I read and hear the talk of war; and with such sadness that
I learn of the acts of violence and hate against Muslim, Arab and Middle-Eastern
Canadians. It is happening here too in the US, but I still feel my connections
most closely to Canada and Canadian communities affected. So I pass along
to you my thoughts of peace and understanding, in this time when you must
feel your communities under siege. I hope that out of all this will come
a better world, not worse.
I would like to take a moment
to express my grief, sorrow and frustration with regards to the terrorism
campaign against the Islamic/Muslim community. I do not belong to this
community, and wish to express the fact that not all Canadians are so incredibly
ignorant and small minded as those that beat up the 15 year boy recently.
I truly hope that your members do not feel unwelcome or unwanted. Hopefully
we can band together as *CANADIANS* to prosecute these criminals to the
fullest extent of the law.
Though I am a Christian, an
American, and am ANGRY, I want you to know that MOST Americans while scared,
accept you and your religion in the spirit of our Constitution's "Freedom
of Religion." May you find peace in these times, and patience to deal with
those IDIOTS that may be intolerant of you.
It's important (to me at least)
that you and all Muslims know that most of us non-Muslims do not equate
Islam with terrorism, despite the emotional, irrational, inflammatory rhetoric
in the media.
I am so pleased to hear that
others have also written to express their shame. [we announced that
on our website] Yesterday a Muslim family was behind me in the line-up
at the grocery store and I really wanted to say something to them to make
them feel welcome in this country and this neighbourhood. For fear of being
misunderstood, I only smiled at them instead. Would your organization let
the followers of Islam know that they are welcome, treasured members of
Canadian society? Those who have acted in ignorant and intolerant rage
against Muslims or Arab-Canadians are the ones who are unwelcome here.
I am, however, fearful that senseless acts of violence will escalate. Feel
free to build a mailing list of those who have written to express their
dismay and let us know if there is some way we can help.
I am just writing to express
my wishes for your people in these difficult times. Hopefully you will
be getting more of these supportive messages than those full of hatred,
ignorance and bigotry. I attended the multi-denominational memorial service
in Montreal on Friday and was impressed by the words of the Imam who spoke.
Stressing that the recent actions are not sanctioned by the Koran, and
that the perpetrators, like zealots from all religious groups through history,
have usurped the selected principles to justify their own unjustifiable
actions. I have heard in the media about the unspeakable assaults and threats
on so many Muslim Canadians, including children, and am ashamed and further
pained by these. Good luck to you all! If any good comes from this recent
evil, may it be a small increase in knowledge, tolerance and understanding.
I have heard that Canadian Muslims
are being targeted due to the attacks in the United States. I had the idea
to give my words of support - and am glad to see from your website that
others have had the same notion. I hold to the belief that our society
has grown in such a way that this kind of intolerance is more the exception
rather than the norm. I'm very pleased by the fact that you've received
many more letters of support than you have received hate mail. It tells
me that I'm not mistaken to believe so, and I hope that's as much a comfort
to you as it is to me. I must be telling you what many others have already
told you during the past few days, I hope you don't mind me repeating the
message in my own words. Thank you for reading my message, which must be
just one out of very many that you have been receiving.
To all Muslim Canadians, I am
writing to show my support to all Muslim Canadians who are suffering in
this time both from the tragedy on our continent and the harassment by
those who are ignorant of the very principals on which this country is
I will do everything in my power,
even die if required, to defend you and to stop those who are targeting
you without reason. They are, in doing so, attacking the highest principals
of democracy and freedom as much as any terrorist attack.
There were many many more supportive letters.
Unfortunately because of space limitations on the News Bulletin we could
not print them all. They have now been uploaded here.
You might also get an insight and better
understanding of Islamic teachings relating to the principles and the Islamic
way of life which emphasizes Love for All, and the need for Universal Brotherhood,
Religious Tolerance and multiracial, multi-cultural co-existence on our
website, under the title of "Tolerance in Islam"
by Marmaduke Pickthall. You might also read another article directly dealing
with the current issue of the U.S. terrorist attack situation which was
written by Mohamed Elmasry of the CIC: click here
to see it.
There have been reports of a new situation
which is occurring. Apparently some people who "may not be Muslims" are
using Muslim names and calling media organizations and expressing their
approval of terrorists attacks against the United States. Yesterday, a
lady called a radio talk show program and identified herself as Muslim,
and said that she approves the attacks on WTC and Pentagon. The host of
the program wanted to talk to her further but she hung-up. We have received
similar information from other parts of Canada and USA.
Update on the
School Textbook Issue
Al-hamdu li Allah, almost all of
our recommendations have been accepted by Oxford University Press, whose
book "Exploring World Religions" is going to press this week.
We offer our thanks to the media and also all the Muslims and non-Muslims
who have supported us in this regard, especially those who took the time
out to attend our
Milad-un-Nabi celebration in Toronto, Edmonton
and other places.
Syed Mumtaz Ali
President of the Canadian Society of