Muslim readers reacted to an article in the Edmonton (Canada) Journal in their letters to the editor:
As a Muslim Canadian, I extend my deepest condolences to the family of Cpl. Nathan Cirillo and express my gratitude to House of Commons sergeant-at-arms Kevin Vickers [who killed the attacker] for a remarkable job in a dangerous situation.
There is no excuse for anyone to commit such heinous crimes in the name of religion.
In all the years Michael Zehaf-Bibeau was committing crimes across the country, he was still a Christian. After committing this heinous crime, all of a sudden he became a “Muslim brother” in the letter writer’s view.
There are 49 Muslim countries around the world and not a single one has ever supported ISIS or condoned such wrongful acts. They are all fighting against these radicals who portray Islam in a false light and wrongfully use the name of religion when committing crimes that violate the teachings of the Qur’an.
Zehaf-Bibeau deserved what he got. Anyone following that path should be dealt with in the same manner.
Z. Haqqi, Edmonton
Michael Zehaf-Bibeau is no brother of mine, neither in faith nor beliefs.
Like every other Canadian, I have been glued to the news with shock and horror. My children are similarly confused and have asked, “Why did a Muslim do this? Killing is a sin.” What Zehaf-Bibeau did goes against everything I have taught them. All I can say is that this is not Islam.
I, and many others like me, have been outspoken through the media, seminars and open houses about the perverted use of Islam for the sake of violence and political agendas.
Zehaf-Bibeau’s traitorous acts go against the Islamic principle of loyalty to one’s country. As an immigrant who has spent most of my life in Canada, I am honour-bound to this nation that has provided the chance to live in comfort and peace. It is unfortunate that Zehaf-Bibeau’s acts have marred the contributions of many Canadian Muslims and put their loyalties into question.
These accusations and responses take away from the sacrifice given by Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, and my heartfelt thoughts and prayers go out to his family.
Let us not be divided. As a Canadian and a Muslim, we all felt the loss of our Canadian brother on Oct. 22.
Humda Malik, Edmonton
While some may be quick to blame Islam, we must view these events with rationality and examine the root of the problem.
Like Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, many of these converts seem to be suffering from an identity crisis and view Canada as being complicit in the deaths occurring overseas. I do not condone this perspective, as it is a very myopic view of complex political events staged by an array of nations.
Men like Zehaf-Bibeau — who have no identity, no cause, no social network — learn to live through the suffering of others; they adopt an identity unlike their own so that they can feel significant.
As a Muslim, I condemn his actions, as he has taken the life of an innocent man and violated the security of our nation and the sanctity of my faith. What happened in Ottawa will have repercussions throughout the world, and what happens elsewhere will likewise affect us.
I’m sad for Cpl. Nathan Cirillio, but also feel pain for those killed in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan. There is no right or wrong party, just a lot of nations with blood on their hands. Let us strive for peace because every life is valuable.
Mansoor Baber, Sherwood Park
Love for all, hatred for none
Islam imparts peace and submission, is full of noble teachings and aims to establish peace between man and Allah, the creator of all; between man and man, and between man and the rest of God’s creations.
Unfortunately, these days we see the term “jihad” being used very loosely, and men claiming to be Muslims taking lives to achieve a status in heaven. Unfortunately, most of these ill-informed individuals are misinterpreting and misusing the guidance and teachings of Islam.
One such beautiful teaching holds that the unlawful killing or shedding of innocent blood is like the killing of the entire human race. In other words, the taking of a single life is like the massacre of thousands of innocents.
When anyone, Muslim or not, reads this guidance, why would they kill another, as that would clearly be going against the laws of Allah? God almighty has clearly stated how big a sin it is to kill someone without cause. [...]
My deepest and most sincere condolences go to the family and friends of the soldier killed in this attack.
I hope and pray that people of every faith will come to realize and uphold the motto of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community: Love for all, hatred for none.
Khalida Khawaja, Edmonton
I cannot begin to understand how taking an innocent life was valid in Michael Zehaf-Bibeau’s mind.
Since coming to Canada 30 years ago, I have been able to practise my faith freely without fear. I have been blessed with the chance to get somewhere in life and pursue my dreams, whereas in Pakistan I had to hide my identity as an Ahmadi Muslim to avoid persecution.
As immigrants, we have come to Canada to find peace and have the hope of a tomorrow. We should all recall how desperate we were to come here while we suffered in refugee camps, or how we prayed that our case was accepted by immigration. We must all leave our baggage at the door. I will never accept that this land of freedom and opportunity can be destroyed by the sick mentality of individuals like Zehaf-Bibeau, who do not know what it means to be a Canadian, a Muslim and, most of all, a human being.
The Muslim community should be on guard about how Islam is presented to new converts and be quick to challenge those who corrupt Islam for their political beliefs.
May God keep our land glorious and free. Amen!
Malik Hafiz Ullah, Edmonton »»» Edmonton (Canada) Journal
» 28 October 2014