The head of a non-profit Muslim research institute in Calgary is saddened by the attack outside a mosque in London, England.
Dr. Mukarram Zaidi, the chairman of Think for Actions, believes it’s all about a lack of understanding, despite all the work that’s been done over the years to try to communicate what the teachings of Islam are about.
“It’s a sad day for all of us that, you know, insanity, we are succumbing to our hatred and you know terrorism does not have a religion or ethnicity,” said Zaidi. “It’s just a state of mind where they would take the life of an innocent person.”
People are noticing that the imam stopped the alleged attacker from being injured by an angry crowd.
Dr. Zaidi hopes it will help communicate what Islam is all about.
“I think where the real hero comes and the teaching of Islam comes, that the imam came out and he stopped people beating him up,” Zaidi said. “That knee jerk reaction when people saw blood and some people saw people being hurt, we see that the teachings of Islam come into play through the imam who said, ‘no, do not harm him’.”
Zaidi added the latest research shows hate crimes against Muslims in Canada have increased by 60 per cent, which he believes is due in large part to a lack of education and communication.
“Every mainstream scholar, every Muslim, has denounced ISIS and their practices, but I think their voice is not louder than the actions which are happening in the media coverage of terrorism,” explained Zaidi. “We at the research institute at Think For Actions felt that there’s a real need to understand where’s the communication gap.”
The organization has launched a new study online to take a deeper look at how Canadians feel about Muslims in this country.
Anyone over the age of 18 is welcome to take the five-minute survey: https://thinkforactions.com/cces/survey/
The results will be discussed at a conference Sept. 16 at the University of Calgary.