Canadian Muslim group calls Ottawa attacks ‘repulsive’

National Council of Canadian Muslims says it’s ‘horrified and shocked’ by gunman’s attack on Parliament Hill.

By: Peter Edwards | Toronto Star
Thursday, October 23, 2014

A Canadian Muslim civil rights group calls the attacks on Parliament Hill “repulsive” and says it stands united with other Canadians.

“All Canadians are horrified and shocked by these repulsive attacks in Ottawa and our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families today,” Ihsaan Gardee, executive director of the National Council of Canadian Muslims, said in a prepared statement.

“We stand firm with fellow Canadians in upholding and protecting the safety and security of our country, as well as our national institutions,” Gardee said.

The council is a non-partisan, non-profit, pro civil rights organization with a history of condemning violent extremism.

“We commend our law enforcement agencies in putting themselves in harm’s way in order to protect all of us from terrorism,” Gardee said.

“While details . . . are still unfolding, we must reiterate that nothing can justify such atrocious actions and our message to anyone who espouses, endorses, or in any way supports ideologies of violence is that your actions are based on gross perversions of the Islamic faith.

“This week’s appalling events underscore the urgent need for ongoing co-operation between law enforcement, government agencies, and communities to respond to the threat of violent extremism.”

In July 2005, the council co-ordinated a statement from more than 120 imams from across Canada which denounced terrorism and violent extremism.

Last June, after news that a Canadian died in Iraq after a suicide attack, the council urged Canadian Muslim communities to renew their efforts to fight radicalization and joined the Canadian Council of Imams in denouncing Islamic State extremism.

Also this year, the council and the Islamic Social Services Association issued a handbook called “United Against Terrorism,” which attempts to build civic engagement and counter radicalization.