Arrests Leave Canadian Muslim Scholars Relieved and Concerned|
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Canadian Council of Muslim Theologians
Arrests Leave Canadian Muslim Scholars Relieved and Concerned
- Scholars commend authorities for working to protect all Canadians
- Recognize need to offer more guidance to Muslim youth
Toronto, ON – June 4, 2006 – Canadian Muslim religious scholars are expressing relief as well as concern following the arrests of 17 individuals on terrorism-related charges in southern Ontario this past Friday and Saturday.
In a statement released today, the Canadian Council of Muslim Theologians commended authorities, such as the RCMP, CSIS, and the Toronto Police Force for taking action to safeguard the well-being of all Canadians.
"Any threat to Canada poses a threat to Muslims in Canada as well, and thus we are relieved that the alleged plans to attack targets in Canada were thwarted," read the statement.
"If the allegations are true, the Council is concerned that young Canadians, especially Muslims, had planned to resort to such anti-Islamic behaviour.
"The accused are innocent until proven guilty, but if they are proven to be guilty after given due process, then this is a wake-up call, especially for Muslim leaders and parents, that more must be done to ensure that our children do not get involved in activities that are contrary to the teachings of Islam.
"A long-term strategy needs to be discussed and adopted, but for the time being, council members will try to educate the Muslim public through Friday sermons and programs such as the Youth Tarbiyah Program, held last weekend in Markham, Ontario. (Tarbiyah means proper upbringing in Arabic.)
"At the same time, there needs to be a combined effort by all parties involved – including government agencies – to study the root causes of such behaviour, with the goal of curing the illness instead of simply applying band-aids and giving painkillers."
The Canadian Council of Muslim Theologians represents over 100 Muslim religious scholars across Canada, many of whom are imams in mosques. Its goal is to serve the socio-religious needs of Muslims in Canada. The organization is directed and managed by certified Muslim Theologians, who have studied in and graduated from Islamic universities.
Jami’yyatul Ulama Canada,
Canadian Council of Muslim Theologians (CCMT)