Canada Muslims Anti-ISIL Rally Marks `Ashura

SHAFAQNA- Hundreds of Calgary Muslims rallied on the weekend to pay tribute to the slain Canadian soldiers, as world Muslim marked `Ashura’s annual celebrations.

“Islam is a religion of peace,” Riyaz Khawaja, the leader of Calgary’s Muslim community and head of the Hussaini Association of Calgary, told CBC News on Sunday, November 2.

“We are here to gather, to stand against terrorism.”

Anti-Muslim attacks increased in Canada despite immediate condemnation from several Muslim groups for the two attacks against soldiers last week.

A few days ago, Canadian Muslim groups have urged Prime Minister Steven Harper to voice support to the thriving Muslim community against the increasing backlash.

In Calgary, Muslims used the annual celebrations of `Ashura to clear misconceptions about Islam, clarifying what the peaceful faith is really about.

“We are here to build this country together, to make peace and love together,” said Fatima Albarri, who took part in the march.

“We are originally from the Middle East but we are Canadian.”

Muslims make around 2.8 percent of Canada’s 32.8 million population, and Islam is the number one non-Christian faith in the country.

A recent survey showed that the overwhelming majority of Muslims are proud to be Canadian, and that they are more educated than the general population.

`Ashura’ is observed on the 10th day of the month of Muharram with prayers, fasting and supplications.

Fasting the 9th and the 10th of Muharram is a Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) that goes back to a long time before imam Hussein.

For Sunnis, `Ashura’ marks the day that Prophet Musa was saved from the Egyptian pharaoh.

Muslim scholars have agreed that it is good to fast on the day of `Ashura’, although it is not obligatory.

`Ashura marks the killing of Imam Hussein, the grandson of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessing be upon him) in 680 in Karbala.

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