Op-Ed: "O Canada! We Stand on Guard for Thee" by Shujaat Wasty

June 13, 2006

Source: Muslim Wake Up!


On June 13, 2006 Muslim Wake Up! ran an opinion piece by Shujaat Wasty, a board member of the South Asian Research Center on the recent arrests of 17 men accused of planning terrorism. Wasty writes, "[W]hy is it that when a Canadian Christian or Canadian Jew or Canadian Hindu or Canadian Sikh commits a crime, their fellow members in faith are not asked to apologize for him or her, but when a Canadian Muslim commits a crime, all Muslims are expected to do so?... Why is it that when Muslim community leaders and members speak out against terrorism tirelessly and unequivocally condemn it, it often goes unreported? In light of the recent Ontario arrests, it is rather unfortunate that much of the mainstream media is carelessly whipping up anti-Muslim hysteria and neglecting the fact that the suspects are presently accused of a crime and as per our democratic principles, they are innocent until proven guilty by a fair trial... On the other hand, it is a relief to see that statements by CSIS [Canadian Security and Intelligence Service], RCMP [Royal Canadian Mounted Police] and the Mayor of Toronto put the arrests into proper context as criminal activities by suspects and explicitly declared that in no way do they implicate the Canadian Muslim population. If the accused are proven to be guilty by a court of law, then I am extremely grateful to our security forces and applaud them for their vigilance... At the same time, Canadians need to ignore the baseless rhetoric perpetuated by certain elements in society who are echoing the same detrimental and dangerous line of thinking as the one currently employed in Washington D.C. We need to scrutinize the genuine causes of terrorism and the legitimate reasons and issues people may have against Canada... Canadians must take a step back and determine whether we are following our own principles of neutrality, peace and justice or not... We must recognize that these very values are being hijacked and consequently causing danger for our country and fellow citizens."

See also: Islam, International