Canada Terror Attacks: Who’s to Blame? Islam or Islamism?

Canada Terror Attacks: Who’s to Blame? Islam or Islamism?

In the name of Allah, the Merciful to all, the Compassionate

A few days ago, BBC had an interview with Tarek Fatah, an author and columnist for the Toronto Sun and the founder of the Muslim Canadian Congress (MCC), about recent shooting incidents in Montreal and Ottawa. I have no idea who is trying to introduce such individuals as the prominent figures of the Muslim community. As the old saying goes, “If you have friends like this, you do not need any enemy”.

These are a few of his words:

The Islamic community leadership failed to identify the problems lie within our scriptures. We have not addressed these issues and the converts to Islam they read it.

I wish Prime Minister Cameron and president Obama would stop saying that Islam is a religion of Peace. We as Muslims know that the grandson of the prophet was beheaded and his son-in-law was murdered while praying during the Ramadan.

Why can’t we be simply be honest and say what the Canadian prime minister said two years ago that the world faces a threat from Islamism.

The anchor asked: “Just to be clear, what exactly is the problem? Is it Islam itself? Is that what you are saying?”

He replied: “No, It’s the political application of my faith. We need to make Islam a more re-compass, rather than an ideology closer to fascism or Nazism.

Let’s review what’s wrong with these claims:


The nature of scriptures, constitutions, philosophical ideas, and laws should never be mixed or mistaken with what people do. These are two different things.

If someone claims: “The constitution of US and its laws are what ordinary people practice in streets, and if you want to know what the laws are, just look at what people do.” Can you really buy this? Obviously people may have never read the constitution and may not even care about it. So people are solely responsible about what they practice. In case of the Quran, the only official Islamic scripture, it’s not any different.

There are many mass shootings in US every year; some of them are politically motivated, and the others are just random rampages in shopping malls and schools. But how many times do you hear someone to claim the problem of such incidents lie within the US constitution? Do such rampage killers read the constitution, before they shoot people? Or even when they buy a gun, do they care if it’s legal?

So attributing what people may do to what Quran says, is just a fallacy.


Some of the verses of the Quran explain the fundamental laws; some are advises how to conduct a better and more meaningful life, some only explain how the real world works; and some of them define what we know today as “common sense”.

Let’s put the hypes and misunderstandings aside; whatever the opponents of Islam claim about violence in the Quran, are just rules of self-defense and survival. Believe it or not, most of what people in western countries consider as common-sense is adopted from Quran. How many times you have seen someone to follow what bible says: “If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also.”

If you look at western civilization in a scholar and causal way, you will find Quran has a huge role in its success and survival.


Tarek Fatah claimed that Islam is not a religion of Peace, because the grandson of the prophet was beheaded and his son-in-law was murdered while praying. It seems he needs to attend a “Critical Thinking 101” course. How could he conclude such nonsense? How could people read a scripture, believe in it, and then massacre all of the family of the same prophet who brought that scripture for them, just based on what that scripture says? Can Islamism or any political application of faith have any role in those incidents?

Obviously, the advent of Islam, which forced two major empires of that era to collapse, disrupted the status-quo and caused a power struggle which have continued to these days. History is full of stories about jealousies, ambitions, greed, and brutalities, and the cases Tarek mentioned are not any different.


How can we conclude that what Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, a Libyan immigrant who converted to Islam 10 years ago with an extensive criminal record for several offences and criminal convictions, conducted his terrorist attack on parliament, just because of the political application of Islam, which Tarek calls Islamism?

What he did, can be just because of drug overdose, or withdrawal symptoms from antidepressant medication. Even if we want to find a political motivation for his actions, we can mention Canada and other western countries’ role in the destruction of Libya and handing her over to warlords and extremists and causing the eternal civil-war there.


Rarely can you find any deed based on pure religious teachings. ISIL and Al-Nusra front which share the same religion, and the same school of thought, without having any ideological difference, are each other’s arch-nemesis. Obviously, Islam or any political application of it, has nothing to do with this enmity. It’s sheer power struggle, which is a very known phenomenon.

Moreover, political application of Islam has nothing to do with Islam, so calling it Islamism is just nonsense. It would be better to describe such cases with more describing words than Islamism, like power struggle, greed, jealousy, hatred, racism,…


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