Salim Ahmad is the Secretary-General of the Muslim Canadian Congress. He is a graduate of the University of Punjab in Pakistan and moved to Canada in 1974.
The Muslim Canadian Congress says it believes “in a progressive, liberal, pluralistic, democratic, and secular society where everyone has the freedom of religion.”
The following is Salim Ahmad’s interview with the Clarion Project’s National Security Analyst Ryan Mauro:
Ryan Mauro: You were recently on SUN News Network to discuss the involvement of the leader of Canada's Liberal Party, Justin Trudeau, with Islamists. Can you summarize for us what the problem was, and how he reacted when he learned of the group's background?
Salim Ahmad: The problem can be summarized very simply. Justin Trudeau was consorting with those who seek the destruction of Western civilization as a long-term goal of international Islamism, as reflected in the works of Syed Qutb of the Arab Muslim Brotherhood and Syed Maududi in the Indo-Pakistani Jamaat-e-Islami.
Can you imagine Canadian Prime Minister Diefenbaker visiting the offices of the Communist Party offices during the Cold War when it was seeking the destruction of the West and its socio-economic order? Islamism is, in a way, a far more serious political threat to the West as it hides behind the cover of Islam, camouflages its true agenda behind multiculturalism and deceives even the most wise among the politicians by employing disarming smiles and sporting inter-faith demeanor.
We don't know how Justin Trudeau reacted to our denunciation of his flirtation with the ISNA-Canada. He has surrounded himself with Islamists who have ensured the man has no chance of ever meeting secular or liberal Muslims to hear our perspective without him being surrounded by his Saudi-born advisor.
See Related Article: Canadian Gov.'t Investigates ISNA for Terror Funding
Mauro: How much support has your anti-Islamist cause received from Muslim-Americans?
Ahmad: I hate to admit, but very little. Too many well-meaning Muslims rally around the Islamist organizations as an act of what I call “Muslim patriotism.”
The Muslim Brotherhood legacy groups in the U.S.A. are well-funded from Gulf Arab states and Saudi sources, whereas those Muslims who oppose this cancer are ill-financed and disorganized and often are lone individuals seeking star status who are unready to work in disciplined groups. The one exception is Dr. Zuhdi Jasser and his American-Islamic Leadership Coalition that has made some headway.
The fact that no more than 10% of North American Muslims regularly attend a mosque means they are amenable to reason, but the challenge is how to reach them and engage them. Whereas the Islamists use their mosques as political offices, people like us are busy as “9-to-5” Muslims trying to work our way through our mortgages and family responsibilities.
Mauro: As a Muslim, how do you grapple with the issue of Sharia Law?
Ahmad: I totally reject the application of Sharia Law in the public domain. Most of Sharia is man-made laws dressed up as divinely-ordained texts that have subjugated the status of women; institutionalized racism by placing Arabs as the most favored people in the eyes of Allah; endorsed slavery, rape and polygamy and promotes the hatred of Jews, Christians and Hindus.
Mauro: Tell us about the Muslim-Canadian community and the levels of extremism and moderation within in.
Ahmad: There is no single Muslim community and there has never been one. There are many Muslim communities divided by race, religion, class, language and even cuisine.
The Turkish Muslim world would probably never mingle with a Bangladeshi while the Arab Muslim has little love lost for the Persian Muslim. The wars inside Syria and Iraq tell you the story of the Muslim religious divide while the story of Baluchistan and Kurdistan is the story of Muslim-on-Muslim occupation and enslavement.
Most Muslims around the world suffer from poverty and illiteracy. Most have never read a book or have gone to school, so the question of extremism and moderation must be seen through the complexity that is Muslim-ness.
To answer the question about Canada, I am sad to say that the extremists are on the rise. Not the immigrant Muslims, but those who are born here, speak fluent English or French and have converted to Islam and found a safe place to spread their anti-Semitism. If we, as Canadians, do not recognize the threat posed by Islamists inside Canada and continue to sleepwalk through this fog of deception, we will most certainly facilitate our own demise.
Mauro: CAIR-Canada just changed its name to the National Council of Canadian Muslims and says “there was never any operating or funding relationship between CAIR-CAN and CAIR.” What’s your take on CAIR-Canada?
Ahmad: They may say there was no operating or funding relationship between CAIR and CAIR-Canada, but they do not deny their ideological relationship. Furthermore, it was the president of CAIR-Canada who submitted an affidavit claiming that CAIR-Canada was a branch of CAIR-US.
They can change their name, but there will be no escape from their legacy of having been ideological offshoots of an organization listed by the U.S. Justice Department as “unindicted co-conspirators” in a terror-funding trial where all the accused were convicted. It’s old wine in a new bottle.
See Related Article: CAIR Canada Alters Name to Dodge Islamist Links
Ryan Mauro is the ClarionProject.org’s National Security Analyst, a fellow with the Clarion Project and is frequently interviewed on Fox News.