This item is available on the Militant Islam Monitor website, at http://www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/7350
Raheel Raza "Devout Moderate Muslim" Waging Jihad Through Taqiyya - Says That Islam Has Nothing To Do With Violence
July 18, 2016
Raheel Raza is the founder and president of the innocuously named 'Muslims Facing Tomorrow'. She promotes herself as a "Diversity Consultant" and considers herself to be a devout Muslim.She is also one of 14 founding members of the 'Muslim Reform Movement' headed by faux moderate Mohamed Zuhdi Jasser. http://www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/7240
Her claim that "What I do is essentially "damage control." speaks volumes to the disingenuous campaign she is waging on behalf of Islam. She has co authored a publication to teach Muslim women how to manipulate the media (see below) and makes the rounds of gullible non Muslim news outlets and groups proclaiming her message that anyone who thinks Islam is violent is "uneducated" and has never seen the "image of an educated Muslim woman" like herself.
MIM: In a post 9/11 interview Raza equated Islamist suicide attackers with the "defenders of the Alamo"! http://www.raheelraza.com/atc13.htm
Raza wrote a book which is entitled " Their Jihad... Not my Jihad"- A Muslim Canadian Woman Speaks Out with a picture of Bin Laden and weapon toting terrorists on the cover which disingenuously purports that jihad can be a non violent struggle and that she is herself waging jihad by her actions. http://www.amazon.com/Their-Jihad-Muslim-Canadian-Speaks/dp/0973508728
"Distressed by the challenges facing Muslims living in North America, author Raheel Raza has engaged her own jihad in her adopted homeland."
"...The first theme is "Political Jihad - A Struggle for the soul of Islam". The second theme is "Gender Jihad - A Struggle for Women's Rights", while the last one is "Spiritual Jihad - A Struggle to Know Each Other"
MIM: After the initial publication Raza changed the cover to a picture of herself and subtitled it"How Can You Possibly Be An Anti - Terrorist Muslim?" which begs the question if this is intended to be rhetorical given her self proclaimed jihads.
"Raheel has made a documentary film called "Whose Sharia is it anyway?" dealing with the sharia debate in Ontario, Canada."
"A fervent advocate for human rights, Raza is the first Muslim woman in Canada to lead mixed gender prayers."
MIM: On her website resources page Raza links to the radical Islamist Muslim Woman lawyers organisation http://karamah.org/ "KARAMAH's primary mission is to educate both Muslims and non-Muslims about the just, gender equitable foundation of Islam" http://karamah.org/about/vision-and-mission
She (Azizah Al-Hibri) is also the founder and executive director of KARAMAH: Muslim Women Lawyers for Human Rights. This organization is heavily funded by the El-Hibri Charitable Foundation, which was established by Al-Hibri's brother Ibrahim, who earned a fortune from his business transactions with Saudi Arabia. Another major donor has been Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, whose $10-million-dollar check for post-9/11 disaster relief was famously rejected by then-New York City mayor Rudolph Giuliani when the prince suggested that U.S. policies in the Middle East had provoked the al Qaeda attacks.http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/individualProfile.asp?indid=2566
http://www.raheelraza.com/resources.htmMIM: In a newspaper interview Raza claimed that Islam has nothing to do with violence and condescendingly stated that "uneducated beliefs" and non familiarity with Muslims lead to the association of Islam with it.
"Every faith has had people at various times who have done acts of violence but we don't associate them with the faith," Raza said. "Unfortunately in the case of Islam and Muslims, they seem to be under a microscope and every time there is a violent act it's associated with the faith."
She said similar uneducated beliefs damage the reputation of the Islamic faith, especially for Muslims living in North America. Raza enjoys speaking in communities where the knowledge and understanding of Islam is not as widespread. She regularly speaks out against television media who in her opinion present only a skewed view of the Islamic faith.
"People in Canada, especially those in small towns like Chatham, who are not exposed to Muslims on a day-to-day level, learn their Islam, unfortunately, from things like CNN." She said television media like to focus on the downside of society as they present the negative view which makes for good news..."
MIM:In an article on her website entitled "Two Faiths Unite At One Pulpit" jihad obsessed Raza disingenuously and dangerously claimed that Bin Laden and other terrorists were not true Muslims and that "battling misconceptions and stereotypes is actually a form of jihad".
"...Jihad, she said, has many meanings; not one of them amounts to murder. "Jihad is a word that has been mis-used and mis-represented by a few wrongly minded people," she said, calling it an oft-used cloak to "legitimize criminality."
Battling misconceptions and stereotypes, she added, "is actually a form of jihad..."
"...Osama bin Laden is part of a trend in contemporary Islam that is far from mainstream," she said. "The people that committed this ghastly crime were definitely not people of God or people of any religion."http://www.raheelraza.com/interviews.htm
MIM: Raza does pro Muslim/Islam propaganda work which makes one think of CAIR and has published a book on how Muslim women can manipulate the media to promote a pro Muslim narrative:
"...Raheel also works with various Boards of Education on raising awareness of diversity and working towards a more inclusive curriculum; her name is included in the Community Role Models Resource Inventory developed by the Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario. Raheel has co-produced a publication titled "Muslim Women and the Media" - a report and media contact list of "Muslim women professionals in the GTA". The publication has been sent to print and electronic media as an educational tool for accessing a large section of the community. She also produced a media handbook titled "Managing Media" for The Canadian Council of Muslim Women and conducted workshops in many provinces to help the Muslim community in dealing with media issues..."
MIM: Raza sees herself as the poster girl for Muslim moderation and stated in an interview that:
..."Tell me when have you last seen the image of an educated Muslim woman. The images you mostly see are dark and dreary, you see images of terrorists. You very rarely see progressive upper-class people on media."...
..."I build bridges between not only the faiths, but between the cultures as well."
MIM:"...In an article entitled "The Koran Avows Peace And Harmony" Raza obscenely asserted the bald faced lie that the Koran which is the basis of Islamist supremacist doctrine and ideology and urges Muslims to kill non Muslims and wage jihad against infidels is 'the secret weapon to neutralizing violent Islamic fundamentalism" due to its "views of peace and harmony"!
"...The secret weapon to neutralizing violent Islamic fundamentalism lies in the pages of the Koran itself, says a Toronto Muslim writer.
Media consultant and Toronto Star columnist Raheel Raza says Muslim peoples around the globe need to be reminded of the Koran's pluralist views of peace and harmony among all nations and faiths...
...Raza, who says she sees a lot of parallels between her Muslim faith and the multicultural policies of her adopted Canada, told a group of biblical scholars and clergy here this week that the Koran actually describes Jews and Christians along with Muslims as the "people of the Book."
MIM: In the wake of the 9/11 attacks Raza perversely asserted that they had nothing to do with Islam or Muslims and that it was Islam and Muslims who were the real victims.
"...Rev. Christopher White invited Raza to speak at the Sunday service and cast light on popular misconceptions about Islam in the wake of terrorist attacks in the United States...
"I thought it was really important that we hear the voice of Islam - to reach out as a faith community," White said. The sermon, he added, was all about building bridges across a dark divide of ignorance.
To dispel those myths, Raza told congregants what Muslims do believe in: "Above all we believe we have to love one another to make the world a better place."
Jihad, she said, has many meanings; not one of them amounts to murder. "Jihad is a word that has been mis-used and mis-represented by a few wrongly minded people," she said, calling it an oft-used cloak to "legitimize criminality."
Battling misconceptions and stereotypes, she added, "is actually a form of jihad."
Raza moved quickly beyond "everything you ever wanted to earn about Islam but were afraid to ask" to everything you heard about Islam that made you afraid.
Terrorists didn't just hijack planes on Sept. 11; they hijacked a faith. By using Islam as a cover for murder, the terrorists cast a cloud over all of Islam.
"Osama bin Laden is part of a trend in contemporary Islam that is far from mainstream," she said. "The people that committed this ghastly crime were definitely not people of God or people of any religion..."
MIM: For someone who constantly proclaims that ISIS,Al Qaeda,The Muslim Brotherhood and Saudi Arabia among others 'have nothing to do with Islam and have hijacked the religion' Raza,who is head of the group "Council For Muslims Facing Tomorrow" can't bring herself to write the words Islam or Muslim when condemning the attacks in Nice. Instead she writes that "once again evil has struck at the heart of Europe" as if some sinister alien entity perpetrated the Nice jihad attack.
COUNCIL FOR MUSLIMS FACING TOMORROW
PRESS RELEASE......FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE .....
July 14, 2016
The Council for Muslims Facing Tomorrow expresses horror and condemnation for the attack on Nice, France and offers prayers and thoughts for the injured and families of the victims.
Once again evil has struck at the heart of Europe. World leaders, political leaders and religious leaders need to recognize this as an ideological war and understand that unless they expose the source from where this evil ideology emanates, there will be no change and terrorists will continue with murder and mayhem as they are not afraid of death. The narrative needs to change.
To do this effectively, political correctness and a victim ideology has to be put aside in favour of truth and reality. We have already lost a lot of valuable time, not to mention thousands of innocent lives.
- 30 –
Contact: Raheel Raza, President MFT 416-505-6052
MIM: Raheel Raza can again be proven to be a liar (surprise!) in this exchange regarding the wearing of the niqab and burqa by Muslim women.First she said its "cultural norm" and woman should do whatever they like. Proclaiming that:
"It's a free world"
She then writes an article saying she thinks that "Canada should ban the Niqab and Burqa in public" saying it "has nothing to do with Islam" and is a "cultural norm" adding that:
"They're the political flags of the Muslim Brotherhood, ISIS, the Taliban, al-Qaida and Saudi Arabia" thus disingenuously implying that these Islamist groups also have nothing to do with Islam."
An untiring struggle for gender equality and world peace
by Zubair Masood
TNS: Burqa is viewed as a symbol of oppression against women. Do you agree with this perception?
RR: It depends. In old days women wore burqas, but it was a different time and place. If they are forced to wear burqas, then it's a problem. It is important that women know it is not an Islamic requirement, but a cultural norm. Then they can do whatever they like. It's a free world.
MIM: In an article in the Huffington Post she inadvertantly admits that the niqab and burqa have everything to do with Islam claiming that; "They're the political flags of the Muslim Brotherhood,ISIS, the Taliban and Saudi Arabia". Last time we looked all of the groups and countries mentioned were considered "Islamic". In fact Saudi Arabia is the location of Mecca the most sacred place for Muslims, something the self proclaimed "devout" Raheel Raza should know.
Excerpt from: "As a Muslim, I Think Canada Should Ban the Niqab and Burqa in Public"
"...But in the 25 years I have called Canada home, I have seen a steady rise of Muslim women being strangled in the pernicious black tent that is passed off to naïve and guilt-ridden white, mainstream Canadians as an essential Islamic practice.
The niqab and burka have nothing to do with Islam.
They're the political flags of the Muslim Brotherhood, ISIS, the Taliban, al-Qaida and Saudi Arabia."...
MIM: In a screed entitled "Whose Shari'a Is It Anyway?" Raza claims that sharia can be made compatible with Western democracy.
"... It's not Sharia that is flawed but the way in which dictatorial and oppressive regimes have used it to suppress the rights of women and minorities. These are countries where religion is used as a bait to gain power or vet votes. Stoning, flogging and honor killings were never a part of Sharia and it's up to us to see that it never happens here. There's absolutely no reason why Sharia can't be updated and brought to par with life as it is in Canada today and be in sync with the Canadian charter of rights and freedom.
MIM: Raheel Raza's biography is featured on the WISE website where she is designated as one of the "WISE" women..."WISE is headed by Daisy Khan the wife of Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf the Islamist who initiated the 'Ground Zero Mosque' project. The American Society for Muslim Advancement's agenda is in their name. They are stealth Islamists who aim to make Islam the driving force in American society. See: ASMA: American Society for Muslim Advancement- faux moderates promoting Islamisation by "Muslim Leaders of Tommorrow" http://www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/2860
"The American Society for Muslim Advancement (ASMA) has been re-launched as Cordoba House under new leadership. To learn more, please visit www.cordobahouse.com.
ASMA's programs, led by Daisy Khan, have been transitioned to her newly launched organization, the Women's Islamic Initiative in Spirituality & Equality (WISE). To learn more, please visitwww.wisemuslimwomen.org.
"...WISE is a program of the American Society for Muslim Advancement, a New York-based non-profit organization dedicated to strengthening an authentic expression of Islam through interfaith collaboration, youth and women's empowerment, and arts and cultural exchange...."
MIM: In a screed entitled "Eid and Awe" Raza gushed about Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf and the now defunct Progressive Muslim Union. For more on the PMU see: "Uber hyped 'Progressive Muslim Union' a bust as three more founding members resign" http://www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/1064 "The Pro'paganda'gressive Muslim Union - Islamists in Yuppie clothing & Muslim Wake Up! - Sex in the Umma" http://www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/331
Excerpt from "Eid and Awe In New York" from 2004
I went to NYC ostensibly to attend the launch of the Progressive Muslims Union of North America and I got there two days early...
"...Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf is a dynamic man with a vision as large as his heart. Author of a new book titled "What's Right with Islam: A New Vision for Muslims in the West", he was educated in England and Malaysia and has a degree in Physics from Columbia University. Founder and CEO of the American Sufi Muslim Association (ASMA Society) and Imam of Masjid Al-Farah, a mosque in New York City, twelve blocks from Ground Zero, he has dedicated his life to building bridges between Muslims and the West and is a leader in the effort to build religious pluralism and integrate Islam into modern American society. ...
...Young people surrounded the Imam after the sermon but the surprise did not end there for me. Following the prayer, there was brunch and live music – some enthusiastic families also indulged in a bit of ‘bhangra'. I was also astounded to see the Imam's wife does not cover her head. Daisy Khan leads women in prayer at their mosque and is involved in interfaith dialogue at an international level. Upon my questioning, she said "I've done my own ijtihad (research and reasoning) and found that modest dress is what is required so I believe this is fine for me." Wow, I felt I had found the
....However, next morning (Monday 15 Nov) was the official launch ofThe Progressive Muslims Union of North America (PMU). The Union Theological Seminary of Columbia University hosted this event in The Bonhoeffer Room (at one time called The Prophet's Chamber). I was the first one to get there in my enthusiasm to beat New York rush hour traffic. PMU is the result of months of work and planning by a diverse group of American Muslims including well known academics like Omid Safi, Professor of Islamic Studies at Colgate University, professionals like Hussein Ibish, Communications Director of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee & Sarah Eltantawi, a Consultant to American organizations plus community activists like Ahmed Nassef, editor-in-Chief of Muslim Wakeup, the worlds most popular Muslim online magazine..."
"...Joining the PMU Board is Torontonian Tarek Fatah, founder of Muslim Canadian Congress who pointed out that Canada has made great contributions to the progressive religions agenda..."
"...The New York Times columnist made note that none of the women who attended the PMU launch were wearing hijab – this bothers me because the message seems to connect head covering with being ‘regressive' and that's certainly not the case..."
MIM: Here is a short description of Feisal Abdul Rauf's radical Islamist ideology from "Discover The Networks".
- New York City Imam who was first associated with the proposed contruction of the "Ground Zero Mosque"
- Said that "United States policies were an accessory to the crime" of 9/11
- Stated that "in the most direct sense, Osama bin Laden is made in the USA"
- Claimed that "the United States has more Muslim blood on its hands than al Qaida has on its hands of innocent non-Muslims"
- Conducted post-9/11 "sensitivity training" for the FBI
- Asserts that the "American political structure is sharia-compliant"
MIM: Sohail Raza is Raheel Raza's husband. When their two sons announced plans to marry non Muslim women both he and his "diversity consultant" wife were appalled. One 'consolation' however is that Islam is patrilineal and all the children are Muslim. Both daughters in law are studying Islam.
"When it came to reconfiguring their own family, however, the Raza's had their doubts: "You can't betray your religion," they told their sons.
Sohail acknowledges that he's "lost" both his sons to interfaith marriages, but also gained wonderful daughters-in-law..."
MIM: Raza's dismay at the marriage of both her sons to non Muslims is proof of her hypocrisy and that she is literally paying lip service to "diversity" in front of gullible audiences in order to promote the myth of Islamic tolerance.
"...Raza bridges the gap between East and West, promoting cultural and religious diversity. She has appeared in print, on television and radio to discuss diversity, harmony and interfaith. In a presentation to Members of Parliament and international diplomats at the House of Commons, Raza received a standing ovation for her speech called "Celebrating our Differences".
MIM: Some examples of how Raza attempts to whitewash Islam can be taken from her speech to the House of Commons entitled "Celebrating our DIfferences". She also propagates the fallacy of the Abrahamic Faiths , Muslim victimhood and quotes CAIR executive director Nihad Awad about "educating" the media. Incredibly she claims that those present in the House of Commons are practicing jihad!
"...We are no longer out there, we have arrived and we are here to stay. Therefore we require a new frame of reference and need to preserve, protect and promote our heritage for the future of our most precious commodity - our future generations...
"...Muslims believe in Prophets Abraham, Moses and Jesus just as surely and truly as they believe in Prophet Mohammed as the Last Messenger - may peace be upon all of them..."
"...Right now Muslims are a bit sensitive, because, after the collapse of communism, we are the newest and latest targets of media hype and negative propaganda..."
"...If we tend to criticize the media, we have a valid point. However, Nihad Awad of the council on American Islamic relations, advises, and I agree, that before we criticize, we must educate.
The education which Awad refers to is a simple matter of eliminating ignorance and learning to be culturally sensitive to others. In case of the Muslims I'll just pick up a widely misused and misunderstood term, one that you must all be familiar with it..."
Jihad - made synonymous with Muslims, terror, violence and war. Western media has wrongly translated the word jihad to mean holy war a concept that is truly at odds with itself. How can war ever be holy? Jihad, the Arabic word does not translate, either literally, or by suggestion to mean holy war. I've heard of holy cow, holy moly and holy macaroni - I believe there is a forest in California called holy - wood but despite what you may read or hear, war is never holy."
Ladies and gentlemen, Jihad literally means "to strive for." Our presence here today is jihad as we strive to clear misunderstandings; our lives are a constant Jihad as we strive for good over evil..."
Tonight ladies and gentlemen, thanks to the efforts of Dan mcTeague, your distinguished guests and our esteemed audience, such a bridge has been built. I hope we have erased some misconceptions and you have gained some knowledge about this amazing Canadian community you see before you who are:
Steady as a bloc
Progressively conservative in nature
Reformists at work
Democratic in their dealings
And above all
Liberals at heart.
I leave you in peace - thank you and wasalaam.
MIM: Her quoting of Nihad Awad is not the first time Raza has sided with CAIR regarding issues of how Muslims are portrayed in the media. She spoke at a "Muslims in the Media" conference session together with Riad Saloojee, the then director of the Council on American Islamic Relations in Canada. (CAIR -CAN)
"...Raza and the other two speakers at this session — Riad Saloojee, then executive director of the Canadian Council on American- Islamic Relations (CAIR-CAN), and Karim H. Karim, associate director of the journalism and communication department at Carleton University — are not alone in their condemnation of the mainstream media...." http://www.raheelraza.com/hussain.htm
MIM:Like any devout practicing Muslim Raza really believes that Islam is the one true religion which is meant to be supreme over all others and that she is religiously obligated to get non Muslims to "revert" to Islam by proselytising aka Jihad through da'wah. This is usually done under the guise of "interfaith understanding" aimed at "bridging the gulf between Muslims and non Muslims". Raza does this using the insidious means of offering a course called "Understanding Islam" which is described as follows:
"...Islam is the faith of approximately 1.3 billion followers all over the world, and almost one million across Canada. As the faith of one in every five human beings on earth, Islam has mostly been seen in terms of oil, turmoil, fundamentalism and bigotry - which is not a clear and honest understanding. This lack of knowledge about the diverse and admittedly complicated world of Islam has given rise to pervasive, damaging misperceptions and stereotypes. An understanding of Islam will help bridge the gulf between Muslims and non-Muslims and create better relations..."
"MIM: Raheel's husband, Sohail Raza, is director and and media and communications coordinator of the Forum For Learning which promotes interfaith activities aka Jihad through dawah and is funded by the government of Canada's Citizenship and Immigration department.
"FORUM 4 LEARNING is a Canadian organization founded by Raheel Raza to promote knowledge and learning in the fields of cultural and religious diversity and interfaith harmony and to create opportunities for open and honest dialogue, discussion and understanding between all people of the world, and especially immigrants who call Canada home." http://www.forumforlearning.org/home.html
MIM: A classic example of the da'wah aka interfaith MO can seen in the excerpt from Raza's article "The Colours of Autumn Merge With the Colour of Islam" which describes an Islam dominated prayer service in a church. The "message" is that Islam is the one true religion.
"...As the congregation settled, there was a call to worship from the pulpit of the church. This was no ordinary call. It was the azaan (Muslim call to prayer) recited with feeling and passion by Noman who has an extremely melodious and soulful voice. The vibration of the azaan could be felt upto the stained glass ceiling and I saw two women in the front row, wipe their eyes. After the call to prayer, there was pindrop silence as the congregation absorbed what had just happened. Perhaps one of many firsts in this part of the country where a Muslim call to prayer in a church, is not the norm. When I translated the azaan for the congregation, they were moved.
The entire service was a combination of readings from the Qur'an and the Bible, and sayings of Jesus and Mohammad. Noman played sufi music and the congregation who had thought that there is no music in Islam were thrilled to the core. We spoke about the united colous of Islam i.e diversity within Islam as well Islam's relationship with other faith traditions. We expounded on the similarities between the two faiths and it was a message received with open hearts and minds. People came and hugged us and said they were so grateful for the message."
"What I want people to know about me is that I am a builder of bridges." She said without being asked. And so she is: a committed activist in the Interfaith Movement; she hold firmly to her beloved Islamic faith and practice. All the while she is opening herself to the 'banquet tables' of the other world faiths which have found root in Toronto .http://www.interfaithunity.ca/illumination/profiles/raheelraza.htm
MIM: Note that "bridge building" is an Islamist euphemism for Daw'ah. Below an excerpt from "Bridge Building Between Christians and Muslims" by civilization jihadist and Muslim Brotherhood member Jamal Badawi: http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/individualProfile.asp?indid=1009
"...For the Muslim, constructive dialogue is not only permitted, it is commendable. In the Qur'an we read, ‘Say, ‘O people of the book' (a term which particularly refers to Jews and Christians) ‘come to common terms as between us and you: that we worship none but Allah; that we associate no partners with Him (in His powers and divine attributes); that we erect not from among ourselves lords and patrons other than Allah.' If then they turn back say you ‘Bear witness that we are Muslims.' (Bowing) to the will of God.". (al-i-Imran;3:64)..." http://www.islamicity.org/4630/bridge-building-between-christians-and-muslims/
MIM: The full text of Raza's incoherent and rambling "speech" to the House of Commons (for which she received a standing ovation) is below.
Celebrating Our Differences SPEECHES
Honourable Senators,, Members of Parliament,your excellencies and
fellow Canadians - on this joyous occasion of Eid, a word that
literally means joy - I bring you the universal greeting of peace -
Asalaam Alaikum Wa Rahmat Allah Wa Barakatuhu - May the Peace and
Blessings of Allah be upon you.
It is a great honour and pleasure to share these hallowed halls with
you - Winston Churchill once said of the Speaker of the House of
Commons, There's one of those orators of whom it is well said before
they get up they don't know what they're going to say; when they are
speaking they don't know what they're saying; and when they sit down
they don't know what they've said!
Fortunately, I'm not the Speaker of the House, because I have to
already contend with some of the nasty rumours that circulate about
journalists - that journalists write because they have nothing to say
and they have nothing to say because they write!!
Talk about stereotypes - well I'm here to remove many -
first few being that I'm a Muslim woman, a journalist and I prefer to be heard
even if I'm not seen.
When I was growing up in Pakistan and studying to follow a career in
journalism, we were told there are three things you never discuss in
public: the weather, religion and politics. In Canada, I've learned
just the opposite. These are the three issues most important to
Canadians and this is the glue that binds us. From desert storm to
the recent ice storm - challenges are essentially what bring us
together for a cause. So while the rest of the world may be hostile
to each other due to religion and politics, we find a way to make this
work for us towards a caring and peaceful Canada.
As 1997 ended and we started the new year, peace was visibly in the
air. Christmas, brought us nuances of peace and goodwill towards all,
followed closely by the echo of Shalom at Hanukkah. Hindus celebrated
the light of Diwali as Sikhs enjoyed the colours of Besakhi and then,
peace and prayer followed for Ramadhan.
Yes, Peace is the buzz word of the new Millennium. I believe many of
you must be familiar with the internet site promoting an international
day of peace in January 1, 2000. The idea is that every warring
faction, anywhere in the world, should lay down their arms for one
day, and more importantly, we should empower the media not to air or
publish any news that relates to violence or war for 24 hours.
Theoretically, this is an inspiring and impressive thought but I can't
see the media being motivated to comply. It doesn't exactly suit the
needs of the media to have world peace. If there is world peace,
newspapers and television stations might have to close down.
I experience this irony constantly as I'm involved in an ongoing
discussion on the air, with journalists from other faiths. Mostly we
concur on key social and human issues. We find that whether we are
Christians, Muslims, Sikhs, Jews or indeed have a faith at all, we are
bound by similar values. However, our audience doesn't care for the
harmony between us because when there's no heated debate, no
passionate discussion and little controversy, there's not much of a
story. So we have to agree to differ and continue the arguments.
Incidentally, there is a north American resurgence back to faith and
spirituality as mentioned in the Macleans year end poll and in the
December 7 special edition of the New York Times magazine.
Fact is that those who wield power (and this is meant with no
disrespect to present company), would love to see us in continual
conflict with each other. I use peace as the key to our presence here
today because peace, to me is not just abandoning of weapons - It's a
state of mind well echoed in the Unesco Constitution which makes note
that "Since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men
that defense of peace must be constructed."
Just across the border from us, you have to be melted down in the pot
to be American otherwise you may as well be an Asian, a European or a
Martian - it's all Alien to them. We are fortunate to become Canadian
in name since the day we land, and Canadian in spirit soon after, when
we start calling this country, home. You know what they say of home -
it's the only place that when you go there, they have to take you in.
Well, this is Canada - home to the world where we can say thanks by
offering our allegiance and standing on guard, to ensure that this
amazing land remains glorious and free.
In the past two decades, Muslims have increased in numbers in the West
economically and geographically we are slowly becoming an essential
and major part of the North American infrastructure with numbers close
to 500,000 and growing - (not I might add, due to lack of birth
control as you may have been lead to believe, but because we place
great value on family ties). We are no longer out there, we have
arrived and we are here to stay. Therefore we require a new frame of
reference and need to preserve, protect and promote our heritage for
the future of our most precious commodity - our future generations.
Russell Baker, a New York Times journalist points out that North
America no longer boasts only Judeo-Christian majority - North
Americans should now be correctly referred to as people following a
Judeo-Christian-Islamic tradition. This is specially true in Canada
and can become one of the key factors in building the Canada of our
dreams - the peacemaking Canada that the world talks about.
Having said this, a key thought comes to mind. What can Muslims do to
improve their chances for peaceful co-existence in the West? Larry
Poston, a Christian scholar writes in the American Journal of Islamic
Social Science, that there are some key actions crucial to the well
being of Islam and Muslims in North America. Briefly, we need to
develop and indigenous North American Islamic leadership, we need
proper use of the media with avoidance of anti-Christian and
anti-Jewish polemics; more co-operation among Muslims as one
community, one faith and an increase in Muslim social welfare
I think this is a fair assumption but I would like to take the liberty
of adding two more requirements, essential in ;my mind - loads of
tolerance and a large dose of humour, then we are well on our way
towards a harmonious future in Canada.
When we attend occasions like this one today, it's proof of positive
participation. It's at venues like this that we learn from and are
educated about each other. When Mark Twain said "Oh East is East, West
is West and ne'er the twain shall meet", he obviously had no idea what
Canada will be about.
Islam places great stress on promoting peace, harmony and caring for
each other. There is a prophetic statement that if we wake in the
morning without being aware that our neighbour is hungry, then we are
fulfilling our duty as caring human beings and as Muslims. This
awareness comes when we respect each other, minimizing and accepting
differences because we believe that we are all from the same source
and that Canadian values are at par with our key values.
Muslims believe in Prophets Abraham, Moses and Jesus just as surely
and truly as they believe in Prophet Mohammed as the Last Messenger -
may peace be upon all of them. We understand that the essence of all
humanity is the same and this beautiful anti-racist sentiment is
echoed in the Qur'an more than 25 times when it refers to "humankind"
and not specifically to one race, nation or people.
There is an interesting parable in our faith in relation to Moses who
we believe, had the miraculous ability to converse with God. This
parable reflects the human nature of man. Moses asked God to grant
him only one wish of ensuring that after he is gone, people will not
talk about him negatively. God replied, "Oh Moses, how can I grant
you something that I have no guarantee of myself?"
In Islam, dialogue is given great importance. The Prophet of Islam
(pbuh) encouraged intelligent discourse and discussion specially
between Muslims and non-Muslims as a way of education. it's
unfortunate that there are some Muslim countries where - due to
authoritarian regimes supported by vested interests, such a dialogue
would not be possible today. in Canada however, we enjoy liberty,
equality and freedom of speech at it's best.
I know that many of you have been here before and have heard
distinguished speakers in the years before me as they talked about the
history of Muslims, how and when they came to Canada, about their
assimilation, trials and tribulations and more importantly, their
contributions. This exercise is key to our survival, because it
removes the myths and mystery from our existence. It tells you who we
are, where we come from and what our agenda is for the future.
Every immigrant undergoes duress in settling into a new land. We
Muslims are only one community in a long line of immigrants that have
experienced discrimination and racism and we too, will survive it and
come out stronger for having weathered it because we can learn from
our peers and those that paved the way for us.
Right now Muslims are a bit sensitive, because, after the collapse of
communism, we are the newest and latest targets of media hype and
negative propaganda. However, when we share our experiences with each
other, we gain strength in solidarity. So the tales of our travails
are an essential link in the process of assimilation and settlement
which involves every
member of society.
There is one important sphere in the history of Muslim settlement into
Canada, that the public may not aware of. This is the contribution of
Muslim women. Progress and harmony is only achieved when everyone is
equally involved in the process of growth and development. I know
Canada prides itself on being gender inclusive, so it=s important to
understand how our women have in the past, and continue presently, to
contribute positively to the assimilation of the community into
mainstream Canadian life.
We obviously can' depend on western media to remove the specter of
negative stereotyping that surrounds the existence of Muslim women.
The media can't seem to remove their veil of ignorance - literally.
They don't seem to comprehend that a head covering doesn't make anyone
brain damaged and that Muslim women aren't the only ones covering
their heads out of respect for their faith.
There are many reasons for the exclusion of women from mainstream
media. One explanation given at an international Unesco symposium on
women and the media held in Canada, was that "the causes are deeply
rooted in social, economic and political structures, as well as in
culturally determined attitudes.." This doesn't come as a surprise
because my gender has had the distinct honor of being at the blunt
end of media bashing many times. It's unfortunate that the
achievements of many Muslim women today are buried under an avalanche
of misinformation by media in projecting them as third class citizens
or non contributing members of society.
Ladies and gentlemen, I don't have to remind you how the media
dominates our lives and what clout it wields. We are in the midst of
the Clinton scandal and in the end, it will be the media who will make
or break the story. This debacle only reinforces what a powerful a
tool the media is.It was in the 1940's that Harold Innes, a Canadian pioneer in
communication theory spoke of the bias of communication. His idea was
that the medium biases the message.The Muslim community and
especially Muslim women have been fighting the battle of the bias
since eons. If we tend to criticize the media, we have a valid
point. However, Nihad Awad of the council on American Islamic
relations, advises, and I agree, that before we criticize, we must
The education which Awad refers to is a simple matter of eliminating
ignorance and learning to be culturally sensitive to others. In case
of the Muslims I'll just pick up a widely misused and misunderstood
term, one that you must all be familiar with it.
Jihad - made synonymous with Muslims, terror, violence and war.
Western media has wrongly translated the word jihad to mean holy war a
concept that is truly at odds with itself. How can war ever be holy?
Jihad, the Arabic word does not translate, either literally, or by
suggestion to mean holy war. I've heard of holy cow, holy moly and
holy macaroni - I believe there is a forest in California called holy
- wood but despite what you may read or hear, war is never holy."
Ladies and gentlemen, Jihad literally means "to strive for." Our
presence here today is jihad as we strive to clear misunderstandings;
our lives are a constant Jihad as we strive for good over evil.
Similarly, the kind of coverage or more correctly, lack of coverage
that Muslim women get internationally, is appalling. Our women are an
integral force behind Muslim society. In their varying roles as
mothers, wives and daughters, they are revered and respected. In Islam
we believe a woman is the nucleus around which all life centers. She
is the centrifugal force of life and when she is firmly anchored,
everything around her remains focused and steadfast. When the woman
is put out of sync, all of society suffers. We put great stress on
the nurturing and care giving abilities of women believing that if you
educate one woman, you actually educate
an entire nation.
With rights to voting, pre-nuptial agreements and inheritance many
centuries ago, our women have paved the way for women's rights. While
they can participate in battle, and keep their maiden name, in
contrast I believe it was only in the 1900's that Canadian women were
actually declared persons. This is not meant as a comparison, but to
point out the injustice of a very biased media.
All over North America Muslim women are making a mark - today, our
women proudly take part in everything that is Canadian. Women like dr.
Nafees Sadek, executive director of the united nations population
fund; Huma Bedin, Hilary Clinton's office manager; dr. Huda al
Maraghwi, dean of engineering at Windsor university; madam Fatima
Houda Pepin, member of the Quebec assembly are just a few. They are
others working in finance, law, medicine, education and even politics.
I was pleasantly surprised to hear that one of our young ladies was
part of the Canadian armed forces during the gulf war. These women are
fortunate that they are able to follow their passions and achieve
personal satisfaction whereas there are millions of Muslim women right
now, who live in abject poverty and terror. These women are the
forgotten legacy of the world.
They are the mothers in Bosnia who watched their daughters being
brutally raped; they are the daughters in Kashmir who see their entire
family slaughtered; they are the wives and children in Iraq living
with internal strife and external sanctions against medicine and daily
amenities; they are the daughters of Palestine striving for peaceful
co-existence and they are women of Africa who are slowly watching
their tribes die of starvation and thirst.
We don't hear about these women because they aren't newsmakers. Let
me share some mind boggling statistics with you. According to undp
human development figures, today there are 37 million people who have
been forced from their home, of these approximately 28 million are
Muslims and of these 28 million, 22 million are women and children.
Majority of Muslims live in countries where poverty is at its highest.
The Muslim women of these countries have their hands full trying to
dodge bullets or finding one square meal and clean drinking water.
They don=t make world news, so it's up to those of us who enjoy
freedom and peace in a democratic country, to give them some thought
I come back to the crux of our co-existence in Canada - peace and I
beg your tolerance for one more moment. I don't want to leave you with
heavy thoughts, so let me share with you an anecdote I just read.
Khrushev once said that politicians are the same all over - they
promise to build bridges even where there is no river. While he may
have said this in jest, I believe in all seriousness, that tonight we
prove this to be true.
Tonight ladies and gentlemen, thanks to the efforts of Dan mcTeague,
your distinguished guests and our esteemed audience, such a bridge has
been built. I hope we have erased some misconceptions and you have
gained some knowledge about this amazing Canadian community you see
before you who are:
Steady as a bloc
Progressively conservative in nature
Reformists at work
Democratic in their dealings
And above all
Liberals at heart.
I leave you in peace - thank you and wasalaam.
MIM: Raza is also a supporter of Maajid Nawaz the self proclaimed "ex" terrorist and director of the stealth jihadist Quilliam Foundation and met with their members while in London. See: "UK Stealth Jihadists Profit From Forming Quilliam Foundation" http://www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/3825
Below is a sample of her syncophantic tweets lauding Nawaz and Quilliam. Raza has doubtless gotten a few pointers from them regarding how to "pimp for the profit" and milk the system by creating numerous organizations claiming to promote "moderate" Muslims which provide generous salaries to themselves and their cronies from private,public and government funding they receive.
Dec 26 2015
Thank you Maajid Nawaz for this educational piece - Happy New Year and be safe. We support you every inch of the way.
Raheel Raza at Raheel Raza
Please read and share. We work on the same mandate and platform as Quilliam and need to spread this message.
Jan 4 on Facebook
Everything Maajid Nawaz says needs to be attended to closely. He speaks for many of us...
MIM: Below are more examples of Raza's taqiyya from an interview with YNet News.
"....I believe the spiritual message of Islam has been hijacked and politicized to such an extent that what is being presented is a twisted ideology that comes out of Saudi Arabia; Wahabism; Salafism; and it's not the message that we learn from the Qu'ran..."
"...Islam is "Judaism light..."
This item is available on the Militant Islam Monitor website, at http://www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/7350