Re: Reality of fear, Sept. 30 letters.
I would like to thank letter-writer P. Bistritan for his/her comments about “moderate” Muslims, as it gives me the opportunity to speak up. I do believe that is what he/she is asking me to do as a ‘moderate’ Muslim.
Before I go further, I think it’s important to make a very clear distinction. In Islam, there are variations, as would be expected in any faith of 1.6 billion followers.
There are variations in the way we pray; in the percentage of our incomes we must give back to the communities; in our reasons for fasting; in reasons for going on pilgrimage… These are variations in Islam.
Being a criminal, a terrorist, an evil person – this has absolutely nothing to do with Islam. It is a deviation. It is not a version of Islam. It is not a type of Islam.
Now, I am not going to speak for 1.6 billion people.
Some people might be OK being called a “moderate” Muslim, but I prefer to be called, simply, Muslim. To call me anything else suggests that there is a different type of Muslim out there, and it just isn’t so.
To answer the letter writer’s question – “where are the moderate Muslims?” – we are here. We’re doing the same things you do. We’re going to work to put food on the table, we’re walking our kids to school and helping them with their homework, we’re volunteering with charities, we’re hanging out with our neighbours. We are artists and business people, engineers and non-profit founders.
And we are also worried, afraid and angry about the deaths around the world at the hands of these people.
Why aren’t we speaking up against jihadists? We are. In some countries, we are writing articles and letters to the editor, and speaking on radio shows. In other countries, we’re carrying on with activities that these criminals have condemned – and are being killed for it.
You would find it fascinating to learn about the kinds of ways Muslims are standing up for human rights.
We are being distracted and divided by these kinds of questions – where are the “moderate” Muslims and why aren’t they speaking up.
The thing is, nobody expects members of the Christian faith to be responsible for shutting down the KKK. We all know that Christians do not condone the behaviour of that group and nobody expects that Christians be solely responsible for speaking up against them.
There are deviants and criminals masquerading for all kinds of faith groups, and nobody expects just one faith group to stand up to them.
If we continue to see these criminals as Muslim and as a Muslim problem for the “moderates” to take the lead on, we will continue to be divided. We need to, as a social collective, understand that this is a problem within humanity and for humanity. It is only then, when we actually come together on that intellectual level, that we can begin to create a world of peace.
Taslim Jaffer, Surrey
Sound reason against niqabs
Another reason that the niqab should not be worn in some situations is that hearing-impaired people who rely on lip reading would be negatively affected.
In Canada we Canadians pride ourselves in going out of our way to help those with disabilities.
Lorraine Pfortmueller, Surrey