SHAFAQNA- The head of a council of Canadian imams has condemned an attack on soldiers at a recruitment centre in Toronto.
Dr. Mohammad Iqbal Al-Nadvi called the violence, which saw two soldiers injured and a third threatened, “disturbing.”
Ayanle Hassan Ali, a 27-year-old Toronto man, allegedly told people at the scene “Allah told me to do this.”
“It was shocking for us,” Al-Nadvi, of the Canadian Council of Imams, said. “He put the responsibility on religious reasons. It’s a disturbing notion.”
Al-Nadvi said the council found the attack particularly upsetting because it has connections to, and supports, the Canadian Forces. Three Muslim chaplains are part of an interfaith community network that works with the Forces.
“When we go there, we see how we can make the Forces a good and friendly environment for Muslims,” he said.
Al-Nadvi said Muslims share the concerns of their fellow Canadians about the security of their country.
“We are not living in isolation,” he said. “We are part of the national fabric. It’s also important we make our point very clearly.
“It’s important to make our national security a shared responsibility. In the Muslim community, we are part of it and we will do whatever we can do to denounce (wrongdoing) going on inside the Muslim community and what is going on outside.”
Al-Nadvi conceded that this attack may give rise to Islamophobia, but thus far, he said he’s felt that both media and politicians talking about the events at the recruitment centre have not played upon fear.
“The response was very balanced and very focused,” he said. “I hope this kind of thing will continue. There is still a factor of Islamophobia that may be triggered by these incidents.”