In an unprecedented move, 120 Canadian imams and other Islamic religious leaders from across the country will release a statement today denouncing terrorism and vowing to confront religious extremism.
The declaration, co-ordinated by the Canadian Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-CAN), will be released at a news conference at a downtown Toronto mosque following noon-time prayers. Imams from Calgary, Newfoundland and Toronto will attend.
The planned statement comes several days after Britain’s largest Sunni Muslim group issued a fatwa — a binding religious edict — condemning the July 7 bombings on the London Underground and a double-decker bus that killed at least 56. The attacks were carried out by four suicide bombers, three British-born men of Pakistani origin and a Jamaican-Briton.
Organizations representing Canada’s 600,000 Muslims have struggled to articulate a co-ordinated response to jihadi Islam, and today marks the first time such a large group of imams from diverse ethnic backgrounds will issue what is expected to be a similar fatwa or declaration condemning the bombings as un-Islamic.