Opinion: "We All Share the Fight Against Extremists" by Sheema Khan

June 27, 2006

Source: The Globe and Mail


On June 27, 2006 The Globe and Mail ran an opinion piece by columnist Sheema Khan, former chair of CAIR-Canada. Khan writes, "First, there was 'driving while black,' the expression that summarized racial profiling employed by some American police officers. Then came 'flying while Arab' to denote the suspicion that followed 9/11. Now, since the arrest of 17 alleged terrorists in Toronto, we have 'Canadian while Muslim'... Yet, we cannot give in to the cynicism. Today, 'Canadian while Muslim' implies an onus on Muslims to work twice as hard -- to fight extremism on the one hand and Islamophobia on the other. It is heartening to see individuals and groups stepping forward to take on this social responsibility, each in their own way... Muslims, as Canadian citizens, are stepping forward to work with Canadian institutions to tackle the problem of extremism. 'We will do our part, but we can't do it all alone. Let's work together to make our communities, our nation, safer' is the resounding message. It's a sign of maturation on the part of a community suffering from fear and uncertainty. It is the staunch commitment to universal principles that will entrench the same community into the fabric of Canadian society. Our shared humanity -- the basis for our shared citizenship -- is the single most powerful weapon we possess in our common fight against extremism."