Canadian Muslim organisation condemns prime minister’s Islam comments

The Islamic Supreme Council of Canada is urging Muslims to speak out against Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s recent remarks about their religion.

Harper told CBC this week that “Islamicism” poses the most pressing threat to Canada’s security, and that the country’s intelligence service is mostly preoccupied with Islamic extremism. Harper’s spokesman later clarified to CBC News that the prime minister was “referencing Islamic terrorism – the Islamists” in his remarks.

The council is urging Harper to apologize for the comments, saying the actions of fanatics do not represent Islamic beliefs. The council says Harper’s words will damage efforts to bridge cultural gaps and fight extremist activities in Canada.

It wants imams in its affiliated mosques to condemn the comments in today’s prayer gatherings. The council is also urging Canadians to contact the Prime Minister’s Office to demand an apology for “insulting the faith of 1.6 billion Muslims.”

“How can Mr. Harper associate Islam with radicalism and fanaticism?” the group asked in a statement. “We are working hard to bring people of all faiths together to fight extremism and radicalism but Mr. Harper’s comments about Islam have damaged those efforts.”

CBC, 9 March 2011