July 21, 2005

"We are Canadian Muslims. The first of us came to this country in the 1800's. We have journeyed from six continents to make Canada our home.

"Our life in Canada has been one of positive contribution and near seamless integration. It has not been a clash of cultures or of civilizations.

"Canada has offered us a new life with untold opportunities. It has offered us a hope that can only be repaid with thankfulness and sacrifice. We care deeply about Canada's prosperity, its growth and its safety and security.

"Those who would use violence for their twisted acts betray the most basic value of the sanctity of human life. We have opposed, and will continue, to oppose all extremism, hate and terrorism.

"Any one who claims to be a Muslim and participates in any way in the taking of innocent life is betraying the very spirit and letter of Islam. We categorically and unequivocally reject such acts. We will confront and challenge the extremist mindset that produces this perversion of our faith.

"We remind Canadian Muslims that no injustice done to Muslims anywhere can ever justify the taking of innocent life. All life, whether here or abroad, is sacred:

"And whoever saves a life it is as though he had saved the lives of all humankind"

"As religious leaders, we echo the exhortation of the Koran for Muslims to be firm advocates for justice, even if it be against their families, their communities or themselves and to insist on Islam as a lived reality that is compassionate, tolerant, just and life-sanctifying."