Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Muslim Canadian Congress Denounces Violence

Post 11

Yes, more on violence. Are you getting tired? Well, this post is different from the previous ones. I am going to introduce you to a Canadian Muslim organization that opposes and condemns all manner of violence and terrorism. For the name, see title of this post. I will refer to it as MCC, with apologies to that other MCC, namely, world-wide renowned Mennonite Central Committee.

I introduce MCC with a few statements of their own so you know what they are about.

As Muslims we believe in a progressive, liberal, pluralistic, democratic, and secular society where everyone has the freedom of religion.

We believe in the separation of religion and state in all matters of public policy. We feel such a separation is a necessary pre-requisite to building democratic societies, where religious, ethnic, and racial minorities are accepted as equal citizens enjoying full dignity and human rights enunciated in the 1948 United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

We believe that fanaticism and extremism within the Muslim community is a major challenge to all of us. We stand opposed to the extremists and will present the more humane and tolerant face of our community.

I introduce MCC not because I agree with all of its philosophy. In fact, I don’t. But I want to let you know that Muslims speak up against violence and terrorism more than many of us realize. The Organization of Islamic Conferences (OIC), the world’s largest international body, speaks up against it frequently. I invite you to check out their statements on their own website or go to Volume 8-2 of my Studies in Christian-Muslim Relations and check out the OIC with the help of the Index. But MCC is more local; it is Canadian and proudly so. It has published many articles denouncing violence and terrorism in newspapers and in their own published documents. Please verify this by going to their website.

Below follows a sample of titles of their published documents that will give you a good flavour of how strongly they reject violence and terrorism in all shapes and forms. Here we go:

“MCC Condemns Islamic Extremism”

“Muslims Should Speak out”

“Don’t Be Silenced by Extremists”

“MCC Condemns Burning of Churches in Nigeria and Pakistan”

“No Need for Force, Violence”

“MCC Condemns Bombing in Bumbay as Crime….”

“Muslims Must Denounce Terror Forcefully”

“MCC Condemns Islamic Extremism”

“Muslims Must Speak Out”

“MCC Condemns London Bombing as Barbaric and Cowardly”

I encourage you to go and read at least some of them. If you’ve laboured under the impression that Muslims do not condemn these activities, reading this material should disabuse you of this false impression. You might still argue that Muslims don’t do enough of it. Even MCC President Farsana Hassan has admitted as much: “The near absence of such movements is hurting Muslims more. Their silence in not denouncing acts of terrors as forcefully as they should is consequently exacerbating Islamophobia.” However, I am sure you will find more if you do some surfing on the internet.

Fair is fair. Just thought you would want to have your attention drawn to MCC and their work. It’s just too bad that it is secular Muslims who publish such anti-violent declarations, for there is a built-in contradiction between their embrace of secularism and denunciation of violence. I will address that in the next blog.

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