Mus­lims en­cour­aged by world­wide sup­port

Let us watch, wait, and be ready to stand up for Canada — the strong and free

The Hamilton Spectator - - COMMENT - RAZA KHAN

In late Jan­uary, thou­sands of Cana­di­ans and like-minded peo­ple around the world in Amer­ica, Europe and even Aus­tralia, marched against Is­lam­o­pho­bia trig­gered by the Que­bec City mosque shoot­ings, and Trump’s “Mus­lim ban” against refugees and valid visa hold­ers from seven Mus­lim ma­jor­ity coun­tries.

Po­lit­i­cal lead­ers from mu­nic­i­pal, pro­vin­cial and fed­eral lev­els roundly con­demned the heinous at­tack in Que­bec City that saw six in­no­cent Mus­lim fa­thers, broth­ers and sons gunned down in the solemn act of wor­ship­ping their Creator.

“To­day we are Mus­lim,” the politi­cians and pro­test­ers de­clared in sup­port of Mus­lims world­wide.

Thank­fully the ban was over­turned by U.S. Fed­eral Judge James Ro­bart and an ap­peal to re­in­state it by the White House re­jected.

To all those who marched in sup­port of Mus­lims world­wide, I say with deep­est con­vic­tion and sin­cer­ity, on be­half of all Mus­lims, thank you. Thank you for your over­whelm­ing and heart­felt sup­port. We are grate­ful and thank­ful to Al­lah (God) that you are all our Cana­dian broth­ers and sis­ters. Your sup­port is an­tivenin to those who seek to spread hate.

To see the mul­ti­me­dia cov­er­age of the Canada-wide and world­wide marches against de­mo­niza­tion of Mus­lims is a hum­bling and over­whelm­ing ex­pe­ri­ence for Mus­lims ev­ery­where. Th­ese protests and level of sup­port we have re­ceived has re­stored our faith in hu­man­ity in the hearts of Mus­lims.

Since 9/11, and since ISIS, all peace-lov­ing Mus­lims have been tar­geted for their be­liefs and made to ac­count, atone and an­swer for the vi­o­lent ac­tions of other Mus­lims in lands oc­cu­pied and at­tacked by west­ern armies. Me­dia out­lets world­wide seemed to make lit­tle ef­fort to dif­fer­en­ti­ate the vast ma­jor­ity of peace-lov­ing, law-abid­ing Mus­lims world­wide from those com­mit­ting vi­o­lent acts in the name of Is­lam, un­for­tu­nately con­tribut­ing to world­wide ha­tred and con­dem­na­tion of Is­lam and Mus­lims.

I can re­as­sure you that Hamilton, Canada, and the rest of the world has noth­ing to fear from Mus­lims or from Is­lam. We wor­ship the same God of Abra­ham and Moses that many of you wor­ship — only, we call him “Al­lah”. We re­vere all prophets from Adam all the way to Je­sus, peace be upon them all, and view Prophet Muham­mad peace be upon him as the fi­nal mes­sen­ger of Al­lah. We be­lieve in the rev­e­la­tion of the Qur’an re­ceived to Muham­mad (peace be upon him) by the An­gel Gabriel as the last mes­sage which con­firms the Bi­ble and the To­rah re­vealed to Je­sus and Moses which Mus­lims also highly re­spect and re­vere.

At the open house held at the Hamilton Down­town Mosque, a small com­ment was hand­writ­ten on a pa­per taped on the wall for the ap­prox­i­mately 400 vis­i­tors who at­tended to see. It read: “Not all Arabs are Mus­lims, but most Mus­lims are not Arabs”. Be­cause Al­lah cre­ated mankind in all races, colours and cul­tures, Is­lam’s ad­her­ents are not ex­clu­sively white skinned.

Racism by no means stops at Is­lam­o­pho­bia. We must re­mem­ber our First Na­tions peo­ple who were the first vic­tims in Canada, and con­tinue to suf­fer to this day. Sadly, there are on­line trolls en­cour­ag­ing First Na­tions youth to “kill them­selves”.

The Jewish com­mu­nity, Blacks, Ja­panese, Chi­nese, Asians, Arabs, LGBTQ per­sons, any­one who looks dif­fer­ent and does not have the same re­li­gion or way of life are cast in the “other” or “not us” group. To dis­like, fear and hate that which is not fa­mil­iar to us, or which we feel threat­ens the “tra­di­tional” way of life of the ma­jor­ity group, seems to be an in­nate hu­man trait.

In 49:13, Al­lah states in the Holy Qur’an: “O mankind! We have cre­ated you from a male and a fe­male, and made you into na­tions and tribes, that you may know one an­other.”

Wouldn’t the Earth be a bor­ing place if all her in­hab­i­tants were only one colour or race?

The next fed­eral elec­tion is just over two years away. As­sum­ing Trudeau will run again and con­tinue to sup­port Cana­dian val­ues of in­clu­siv­ity and diver­sity, what plat­form(s) will his ri­vals use in their ef­forts to de­feat him? “Make Canada Great Again”?

I sus­pect that Trudeau’s ri­vals will cap­i­tal­ize on the silent but deadly masses of peo­ple who are closet racists and xeno­phobes, and who have the po­ten­tial to up­set the en­tire Cana­dian es­tab­lish­ment and any­thing “po­lit­i­cally cor­rect” — as what hap­pened to our neigh­bours in the south. I sus­pect we will see Trump style pol­i­tics of fear and di­vi­sion that will be in­fused into the veins of Cana­di­ans by th­ese politi­cians who have not the in­ter­ests of all Cana­di­ans at heart, but their own po­lit­i­cal for­tunes and self-in­ter­est.

How big is this group? Only Al­lah knows. Let us watch, wait, and be ready to stand up for Canada — the strong and free.

Dr. Raza Khan is a Hamilton-born and raised fam­ily physi­cian. He is the spokesper­son for the Mus­lim Coun­cil of Greater Hamilton

Wouldn’t the Earth be a bor­ing place if all her in­hab­i­tants were only one colour or race?

GARY YOKOYAMA, THE HAMILTON SPECTATOR

More than 800 Hamilton area res­i­dents gath­ered to show their sup­port for the Mus­lim com­mu­nity, and it was hugely ap­pre­ci­ated, writes Raza Khan.

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