Imam Syed Soharwardy of Calgary, the head of the Calgary-based Islamic Supreme Council of Canada and the founder of Muslims Against Terrorism, is often invited by CBC as a guest expert to discuss issues related to terrorism and radicalization. He is introduced as a moderate voice in the Muslim community who “has worked to prevent the radicalization of youth in Canada.”
On his Facebook page, Soharwardy elaborates in detail his views on terrorism. He emphasizes that Islam and Muslims are not the cause for terrorist attacks in the name of Islam. The culprits, according to Soharwardy, are the Salafis, the Wahabis and the Deobandis. He also went on to say that “DAESH (ISIS), Al Qaeda, Taliban, Al Shabab, Al Nusra, Lashkar Taiba, Lashkar Jhangwi, etc.. are all followers of Wahabi beliefs” and all are not Muslims.”
Soharwardy warns of the infiltration of the Wahabi/ Salafi ideology into Canada revealing that the recruitment to ISIS is done inside the mosques which are mainly run by Wahabi/ Salafi imams. The Following are excerpts from Soharwardy’s postings:
February 6, 2015 (archive) – “Being an ally of Saudi Arabia Canadian government has given free hand to Wahabi / Salafi organizations in Canada to convert Muslims to Wahabism / Salafism. This conversion is the opening door for recruitment and radicalization.”
December 18, 2014 (archive) – “What opens the gate towards radicalization? The answer is simple. The Wahabi / Salafi and Deobandi beliefs are widely different from those of the overwhelming majority of Muslims. Unfortunately, the overwhelming majority of Muslims do not have the resources to counter the Wahabi / Deobandi propaganda and brainwashing. The Wahabis / Salafis / Deobandis control an overwhelming majority of mosques due to the huge support from the US, Western and Saudi governments.”
April 24, 2014 (archive) – “In Canada and elsewhere in the western world the extremists are open and freely recruiting and brainwashing innocent Muslims. Nothing has been done to stop this recruitment and brainwashing.”
In a testimony in front of the Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence on February 2, 2015, Soharwardy provided further details about the radical Islamic brainwashing in Canadian universities. The following are excerpts from his testimony:
“The money comes in different ways, in secret ways. Money comes through institutions.
“There are two organizations in Canada. Basically they are U.S. organizations that are operating in Canada.
“One is called AlMaghrib Institute, the other is called AlKauthar Institute.
“Both work in universities, not in mosques. Both give lectures. Both organize seminars.
“They are the ones who brainwash these young kids in lectures. Their topic is very normal: We’re going to talk about the life of Prophet Muhammad. We’re going to talk about how to live in a non-Muslim society. When you look on the surface, the topics are very normal No one has a problem.
“But when you develop an association with them — not everybody develops a long-term relationship, only a few — then the brainwashing begins.
“The shoe bomber in the United States attended AlMaghrib Institute lectures.
“These people are given a very free hand in our universities and colleges. They are organizing lectures and seminars…
“Go after the ideology of Wahhabi Salafi. That is the opening door for recruitment. Yes, not every Wahhabi Salafi imam recruits towards ISIL and ISIS and extremism. I agree with that, but there are a few imams, and they are the only imams who are the opening door for recruitment.
“Do these three things. Go after the recruitment process. It’s not just the recruits. It is the one who brainwashes; it is the one who teaches intolerance, and that intolerance is towards Muslims too, by the way. Look at the intolerance.”
Canadian Imam: Salafi Islam is “like a poison”, Sufi Islam is the answer to terrorism
Shaykh Faisal Abdur-Razak (الشيخ فيصل عبد الرزاق), a well known Sufi Imam in Brampton, Ontario, and the founder of the Islamic Forum of Canada, issued on June 12, 2016 a statement condemning the terrorist attack in Orlando, Florida.
The Omar Saddiqui Mateen, 29, of Fort Pierce, Florida, armed with an assault rifle, murdered on Sunday, June 12, 2016, approximately 50 people and injured 53 injured (some in critical condition) at Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando. The attacker, an American citizen of Afghan parents, was killed by Police.
Abdur-Razak, who serves also as the Ameer (Spiritual Leader) of the Ahlus Sunnah Council of Canada (CCAS) and the Spiritual Guide of ASJA (Anjuman Sunnatul Jamaat Association of Trinadad & Tobago),stated the following on behalf of the Islamic Forum of Canada :
“The Islamic Forum of Canada would like to express our shock, sorrow, and condemnation of the murder of 50 people this morning (Sunday, June 12th, 2016) in Orlando, Florida, USA.
“Like everyone else, we are searching for answers and trying to understand why and how this happened, and what caused it to reach this point.
“Our thoughts, prayers, and condolences are with the families of the deceased and the injured.
Especially during this month of Ramadan, a time of deep spirituality, compassion, self-control, and generosity, we are horrified by this action.
“As law abiding Muslims, we reiterate our commitment to peace, safety, and security for everyone.
And we pray that God Almighty will bless all of us with peace and security.”
In a follow-up videotaped message to Canadian Muslims, Abdur-Razak accused a “specific group” (in Islam) of terrorism because of its “ideology and teachings” which create “this type of behavior.”
According to Abdur-Razak, the solution to terrorism lies in the inner mystical dimension of Islam (Sufism), as it is proven by the fact that Muslims who adopted the Sufi way of life and faith were never involved in terrorism.
“We need to return back to Islamic spirituality, what we call Tasawwuf (تصوف) or Sufism,because this gives us a direction for our actions. It gives us a sense of responsibility for ouractions.
“People are mindful of what they do when they can have the spiritual connection with the Prophet, peace and blessing be upon him and Allah, glorious and exalted is He.
“And so you never have any a Sufi suicide bomber. You’ve never had any of them a Sufi who is a suicide bomber. All the suicide bombers and those who committed terrorist activities, they come from a specific group, identifiable group, whose ideology and teachings foment this type of behavior, give rise to this type of behavior and he have to be mindful about this.”