Monday, September 11, 2006

Canadian Progressive Muslims on 9/11

The recent formal split in the Canadian version of the progressive Muslim movement, and all that went on around that very public falling out had various facets to it and we can--and will--discuss the more relevant ones (to the rest of us) as we go along. But for now, it was interesting to see what the quality of the statements from each, and especially the new group, would be as one of the most significant anniversaries on the calendar rolled around. I have to say, neither disappointed.

Here's the part of the Canadian Muslim Union's statement that really resonated with me; in places, it has an almost lyrical quality to it (though the full statement is kinda long):
"Today, we as progressive Muslims condemn with the same breath the crimes against humanity enacted in the name of the war on terrorism and the crimes of humanity enacted by the suicide terrorist attacks in New York, Bali, Sinai, Amman, Saudi Arabia, Madrid, Mumbai and London. The hijackers of 9/11 not only hijacked planes and lives, they also hijacked the very soul of Islam as a breathing, living, compassionate and liberating force that has stirred the hearts of women and men for over 1400 years."
and they go on to refer to:
"sad, misguided and false attempts to return Muslims back to a time/space of authenticity, when no such return is possible or even desirable if constructed in terms of excluding of women from public space including the mosque, attacks on gays and lesbians as sinners (as manifest in public hangings in Iran and Iraq, whippings in Saudi Arabia, accusation of blasphemy and apostasy in places such as Pakistan), and the stoning of raped women in Somalia."
You can read the full statement at: http://www.muslimunion.ca/20060911a.html

The organization that has retained the original "Muslim Canadian Congress" name and insignia had a more concise, but more directly Canada-focused statement, I thought. Here's a couple of quotes (condensed) from their statement:
Treat the Muslim world with respect and dignity. Quit propping up dictators like General Mushaffar [sic] of Pakistan, and the kings of the Arab world. Abandon outdated ideas and prejudices. Let progressive and liberal Muslims tackle the extremists. American involvement in "fostering democracy" is the kiss of death to democratic forces in the Muslim world.

Extremism and terrorism are like malaria. To fight them we need to drain the swamp, not shoot down individual mosquitoes. Every time the US shoots down one mosquito, a hundred new ones are bred in the swamps of marginalization and victimhood."
You can read the full statement at: http://www.muslimcanadiancongress.org/20060910.html

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