Muslim community shocked over arrests; urges for calm and restraintAugust 26, 2010
Montreal, Quebec, August 26th, 2010- The Muslim Council of Montreal (MCM) expressed its shock over the recent arrests in Ontario on terror-related charges. RCMP officers arrested Canadian citizens Misbahuddin Ahmed, Hiva Alizadeh and Khurram Sher on Wednesday and Thursday.
“We stand united with all our fellow Canadians against all criminal acts and in the ongoing efforts to safeguard the security and well-being of our nation,” stated Salam Elmenyawi, president of MCM. “However, we must remember that everyone is entitled to the presumption of innocence until proven guilty and the accused have the right to be tried in a transparent and fair court of law, with the protection of their constitutional rights. Civil rights and charter protections are not forfeited to target individuals on mere suspicion, nor can we pass judgment and conviction without concrete evidence and due process.”
MCM reiterates its condemnation for all acts of terrorism and extremism. At the same time, it urges the Canadian public to exhibit calm and wait for the full details of the case to unfold, before rushing to hold the accused guilty. MCM calls on the media to especially exercise restraint and avoid sensationalistic reporting, particularly in light of the fact that none of the evidence against the accused has been released.
“We further ask the RCMP, CSIS and the Ontario Police Department to set an example for the nation in exhibiting sensitivity towards the Canadian Muslim community,” Elmenyawi said. “The accused and the case should be described in an accurate and balanced manner, avoiding exaggeration, judgment and rhetoric that may be used in a negative way against the community. We remind everyone that innocent people have been accused of similar charges in the past, only to later have the charges dropped. It is important to look at all of the facts and not get hysterical.”
Muslim Council of Montreal (MCM)
Ph.: (514) 748-8427
Fax: (514) 747-9139
The Muslim Council of Montreal (MCM) is an umbrella organization representing a number of Islamic institutions in the Montreal region. There are over 200,000 Muslims in Montreal, about 900,000 in Canada and 1.7 billion worldwide.