Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Silencing Moderate Muslims in Canada

Robert Spencer has an excellent essay at FrontPage Magazine on two outspoken moderate Muslims in Canada who have been subjected to the regular Islamist practice of censorship by death threat:

At the same time, however, Islamic reformers have a difficult road. They are often targeted as apostates by jihadists, and often physically threatened. Farzana Hassan Shahid, the new president of the Muslim Canadian Congress (MCC), is the latest victim of this phenomenon. After her liberal views on many Islamic hot-button issues became known, she began receiving death threats from Muslim hardliners who considered her positions evidence of her falling away from Islam. One called her the “younger sister of Satan.” Another accosted her husband at an Ontario mosque and demanded he “control his wife.”

Consequently, Farzana Hassan Shahid explained, “there is an underlying fear all the time...that uneasy feeling is part of my daily life. I have been declared an apostate twice, for opposing the Sharia [Islamic law]. We have asked [Ontario Attorney General] Michael Bryant to include or acknowledge accusation of blasphemy and apostasy into the existing hate laws so the public and legal frame work is sensitized to this issue.”

Hassan Shahid is not the first MCC official to be targeted by jihadists. Up until recently, Tarek Fatah was the MCC’s communications director. But in August he abruptly resigned from his position, as well as from the group’s board, severing all ties with the organization, although he had been one of its founders.

Muslim Moderates Under Siege

While I disagree with much of what Mr. Spencer has written in the past, he is dead on with this piece. If the climate of fear and intimidation created by radical Islamists can extend even to Canada, how much hope is there for moderate Muslims to defy the jihadists?


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