Critics Dismiss Canadian Imans’ Declaration of Values

The National Post – August 13, 2010
A declaration of fundamental Islamic values recently released by the Canadian Council of Imams and signed by more than 50 Muslim religious leaders is “completely meaningless” and a result of a “medieval mindset,” says the founder of the Muslim Canadian Congress. The council’s declaration is a series of seven points posted on its website and distributed to mosque leaders across Canada. Its signatories seek to affirm common Islamic values — including the belief in peaceful coexistence, the need for Muslims to engage in civic life and the assertion that Islam doesn’t permit the killing of innocent people “regardless of their creed, ethnicity, race, or nationality.”
For Tarek Fatah of the MCC, however, the declaration is a “lost opportunity.” It doesn’t include a strong affirmation of the separation of mosque and state or that the mosque is no place for political activity; it doesn’t demand that women be allowed to sit in the front row of mosques or be allowed to become imams; and most importantly, the declaration doesn’t denounce the theory of armed jihad, Mr. Fatah said.
Imam Habeeb Alli, secretary of the Canadian Council of Imams, said the goal of the declaration was to educate the Canadian public on the common values of Muslim religious leaders. It was also a proactive way, he said, to address questions from journalists about the beliefs of Canadian imams.