Monday, July 31, 2006

There should be no debate

The Christian Science Monitor:
"I wanted to prevent the loss of life," Shaikh told the Toronto Star newspaper. "I don't want Canadians to think that these [suspects] are what Muslims are. I don't believe in violence here. I wanted to help, and I'm as homegrown as it gets."

Before this, Shaikh was a well-known conservative leader in the Muslim community. He runs a shariah arbitration center and is a fierce advocate for Islamic law, in Canada.

"Whatever the source of his motivation, he did his duty as a Canadian citizen," The National Post newspaper wrote in an editorial. "And he has taught a lesson that others in the Muslim community would do well to heed."

But that view is not shared by many in Toronto's Muslim community. Some wonder whether Shaikh couldn't have dissuaded the terrorism suspects, most of whom are younger than he, from violence. Some accuse him of entrapping the suspects. Some question his motivation - Shaikh claims he was paid C$77,000 (US$68,000) for his work and is owed another C$300,000. Others simply scorn him as a betrayer.
Before all other considerations, there must be a duty toward peace and nonviolence. The fact that this Muslim leader is even questioned by his peers is alarming.


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