By Farzana Hassan , Toronto Sun
A prominent Calgary imam, Syed Soharwardy of the Islamic Supreme Council of Canada, recently declared that many Muslims should go back to their Muslim-majority homelands.
It is against Islam, he said, for Muslims to migrate to non-Muslim countries for the purpose of economic betterment.
On his Facebook page, later relayed through the website Blazing Cat Fur, Imam Soharwardy wrote, “Muslims never migrated to non-Muslim countries for economic reasons, looking for good jobs and better life style. In fact, this is against Islam’s reasons for migration towards a non-Muslim country. Please go back.”
He’s right. In fact, conventional Muslim belief holds migration to non-Muslim countries to be a major sin, except when the faithful have the opportunity to proselytize and work toward establishing sharia law. They can stay on if their presence in any non-Muslim land does not result in apostasy or bar them from discharging their religious obligations.
Clearly, many orthodox Muslims are already working hard at proselytizing. The results are obvious.
Many Canadian Muslims call stridently for prayer spaces, burka accommodations, workplace faith provisions and demands to bend public school curricula to fit Muslim belief and practice. Added to this is the Islamist assault on free speech, particularly when it comes to criticism of Islam. Behind it all hovers the forbidding cloud of sharia.
Most Canadians would probably agree that sharia-peddling Muslims ought to go back to Muslim countries anyway.
What surely would not surprise Soharwardy is that many Muslims — even fundamentalist ones — are in Western lands to flee the tyranny of sharia and religious extremism.
They know that here, they can practice their own version of Islam without danger of being blown to pieces.
How nice it would be if, in exchange for repatriated Muslim extremists, Christian communities from countries like Pakistan and Nigeria could be invited to live in Canada.
These minorities endure routine persecution by fundamentalists. Christians in Muslim countries like Pakistan are mere dhimmis. This means they must pay the jizya tax, or risk being slaughtered by Islamic radicals who wish to purge “infidels”.
This week, Pakistan witnessed its worst ever carnage against Christians outside All Saints Church in Peshawar, when eighty-five Christian worshippers were massacred.
To be fair, Soharwardy has denounced this vicious attack on Christians.
But this imam, who tends to be sensationalist in his public pronouncements, also once declared that Muslims in the West were being persecuted like Jews prior to the Holocaust. He apparently feels Muslims here suffer the way Christians do in Muslim lands.
But surely, setting off a suicide vest outside a Pakistani church cannot be compared to throwing a severe glance at a woman wearing a hijab in a Calgary mall.
Whatever Soharwardy’s reasons for wanting to send many Muslims home, it is clear that orthodox Muslims must be aware of these unequivocal rules on Muslims migrating to non-Muslim lands.
We have no reason to fear the influence of Muslims who cherish Western laws based on democratic and egalitarian principles.
However, active and orthodox Muslims schooled in rulings such as the above must either return to Islamic countries or preach Islam here.
As it is, Muslims are migrating to Western countries in droves.
We can be sure many will work tirelessly to spread the faith.