Joint statement by ISSA and NCCM on United Against Terrorism handbook
(Ottawa – September 30, 2014) The Islamic Social Services Association (ISSA) and the National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM) issue the following joint statement in response to recent remarks by the RCMP with respect to the United Against Terrorism handbook which was released on September 29th at the Winnipeg Central Mosque.
« We greatly commend and appreciate the RCMP’s contributions to this important tool in the struggle against violent extremism. Since Monday, we have received enthusiastic support for this initiative from Canadians across the country and countless requests to distribute the handbook in our diverse communities.
« This initiative has been a true success as it brought law enforcement, community leaders and Canadian Muslim communities together with a common focus on safeguarding Canada and addressing youth radicalization towards criminal violence. The handbook does take an adversarial stance against violent extremists and those who seek to recruit and radicalize Canadian youth towards criminal violence.
« As might be expected, the content of the handbook was shared with all contributors for constructive feedback throughout the 14 month development process. All feedback received was incorporated. The handbook also contains a clear disclaimer on page 1 that states: ‘Contributors are only responsible for their respective contributions and do not necessarily endorse other material contained in this publication.’
« This is a handbook for use by Canadian Muslim communities to help them identify radicalization, prevent violent extremism, build civic engagement and uphold civil rights. Canadian Muslims are entitled, like all other Canadians, to know their legal rights when interacting with law enforcement. This is a basic Canadian and core democratic concept which we all uphold. Our recommendations to security agencies are based on years of direct experience with grassroots communities and the concerns aired by Canadian Muslims during local townhall forums in 2013 in the presence of law enforcement participants.
« We look forward to working with all of the contributors in challenging violent extremism and building a more secure, inclusive and just Canada. »
Ihsaan Gardee, NCCM Executive Director, 613-254-9704 or 613-853-4111; igardee(at)nccm.ca
Shahina Siddiqui, ISSA President, 204-781-7993