Ahmadiyya Muslims launch campaign to stop homegrown terrorism

TORONTO ─ In the wake of the recent killings of two soldiers on Canadian soil by homegrown jihadists, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Canada is launching a campaign to fight youth radicalization.

Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at Canada launched the Stop The CrISIS initiative on Wednesday at the Tahir Hall in Vaughan, Ontario just north of Toronto.The campaign includes events in Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, Brampton, Mississauga, Calgary, Saskatoon and Vancouver, among other communities.

Events taking place in each community features a keynote address, a multimedia presentation and an “in-depth” question-and-answer session with a panel of Islamic scholars.

The first Stop the CRISIS event happens at York University today (Thursday) starting at 6:30 p.m. with future instalments taking place at universities and community centres across the country over the coming weeks.

The youth group of Ahmadiyya Jammat, AMYA (Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association) says the growth of radicalization and extremism over recent months, including several Canadians travelling abroad to join terror groups, and the attacks that killed Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent and Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, encouraged them to take action.

“Through this national campaign we wish to address all the communities within Canada and educated them (on) the real teachings of Islam,”

AMYA president Tahir Ahmen said. “There are these terrorist activities going on. There are political initiatives but they have nothing to do with the peaceful teachings of Islam.”

The aim is to provide a “counter-narrative” — focusing on the Ahmadiyya motto: love for all, hatred for none — to the philosophy that attracts youth to extremist groups, noted local Imam Farhan Iqbal.

Beyond the campaign, Iqbal said he’s working with York police to develop a plan to try to prevent youth from becoming radicalized and going abroad to join the fight as members of ISIS, as reportedly happened with a former York University student earlier this year.

For more about the campaign and local events, visit stopthecrisis.ca.