[Rushtalk] Muslim Activism Done Right

Carl Spitzer winblows at lavabit.com
Tue Jul 2 12:40:42 MDT 2013


Muslim Activism Done Right

Posted By Michael Volpe 

On June 20, 2013 

 In Daily Mailer,FrontPage

http://frontpagemag.com/2013/volpe/muslim-activism-done-right/print/


The news pages, both in print and online, are routinely splashed with a
plethora of stories about groups that claim to represent Muslims (think:
CAIR) and that contribute to the demonization of the Global War on
Terror (GWT).

 Rarely are readers exposed to a Muslim group that fights this
demonization.

But in Canada, a new group called the Progressive Muslims Institute
Canada (PMIC) has been vocal in its opposition to Islamic jihadists, and
they’ve been able to build bridges with the Jewish community.

In a wide-ranging interview not only with PMIC but with representatives
of B’Nai B’rith of Canada, one of the groups that has reciprocated
PMIC’s extended hand, FrontPage Magazine was able to get a view of these
activists’ unique perspective of the GWT.

Tahir Gora is the Director General of PMIC, and he said that the goal of
the group is not only to fight extremism but to make sure that there is
a clearly separated marker between religious and political affairs:


        Progressive Muslims Institute Canada (PMIC) strongly denounces
        all forms extremism and terrorism in the name of Islam. The
        group advocates and promotes gender equality.  It promotes
        liberal, progressive and secular values among Muslims and
        believes in clear separation between religion and state.
        


As part of its efforts, PMIC has also formed the Muslim Committee
against Anti-Semitism (MCAAS), which, according to Gora, was
“established to counter and discourage ideas and concepts of
anti-Semitism amongst Canadian Muslim Diaspora. It conducts monthly
seminars, workshops, conferences and rallies in order to curb
anti-Semitism.”

Included in those efforts was a rally held on Sunday, June 9, 2013, at
Queens Park in Toronto, Canada. That rally was organized in response to
a series of terrorist attacks committed around the world by Islamic
terrorists.

One speaker, Arshad Mahmood the PMIC honorary director, said, “I stand
here today and publicly announce that I am sorry. I am sorry that I did
not come here before. I am sorry that I did not stand up when my
religion was being hijacked.”

Among those who covered that rally was the Jewish Tribune of Canada, the
media arm of B’nai B’rith of Canada.

B’nai B’rith is a worldwide organization that operates on behalf of the
social welfare of Jews the world over. Sam Eskanasi handles press
matters for B’Nai B’rith in Canada, and he said that PMIC is part of a
number of Muslim groups in Canada, locked in a struggle between those
looking to stand up to extremists and reach out to the Jewish community
and others that tacitly approve of Islamic extremism while demonizing
the Jewish race. According to Eskanasi,


        The Jewish community has a good, working relationship with the
        certain branches of the Muslim community in Canada. Some
        personalities such as Tahir Gora and, Asma Mahmood, Salma and
        Naseema Siddiqui … are among those with whom we work on a
        regular basis and on a variety of issues. We regularly interface
        with them through interfaith dialogues, but also express our
        concerns regarding radicalization.
        


However, there are many other groups in Canada with whom B’nai B’rith
has not been able to form such a nice relationship:


        There are groups within the community that are not as open to
        dialogue with us such as the Canadian Arab Federation (CAF),
        whose former president Khaled Mouammar, who had made hateful
        remarks, or the Canadian Islamic Congress, who have, with the
        CAF, been accused of spreading “hateful sentiments” toward
        Israel and Jews. This is in addition to those who hold a yearly
        “Al-Quds day rally” or who have held rallies blaming “Zionists”
        for the sectarian violence in Pakistan[.]
        


Both Gora and Eskanasi said that Canadians in general underestimate the
threat from Islamic jihadists because there hasn’t yet been a successful
attack on Canadian soil. Both say that Canada’s long-time official
stance against Islamic extremism makes the country an inviting target.
Eskanasi noted that this is a double edged sword:


        There is a clear and present danger to Canada as we continue to
        be outspoken against the threats of Islamic extremism. One need
        not look much further than a recent government report or the VIA
        Rail Bombing plot, let alone the infamous Toronto 18 from 2006.
        Canada is one of, if not the only country, mentioned by Osama
        Bin-Laden and Al-Qaida that has not been hit.
        


Many long-time observers of the Middle East note with great sadness that
the Jewish, Arab and Muslim people have a great deal of natural
similarities that aren’t being recognized as a result of longstanding
bad blood and the growth of Muslim extremism. Movements PMIC are meant
to counteract that dynamic and bring people  together.

Freedom Center pamphlets now available on Kindle: Click here.



________________________________________________________________________

Article printed from FrontPage Magazine: http://frontpagemag.com

URL to
article: http://frontpagemag.com/2013/volpe/muslim-activism-done-right/



 
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