A moderate Muslim group that called for a separation of religion and state in a recent documentary has received a pointed death threat.
The Muslim Canadian Congressreceived themessage Tuesday morning. It was left on the Toronto telephone of secretary general Munir Pervaiz.
"I swear on 99 names of Allah, if you don't cease from your campaign of smearing Islam … I will slaughter you," the unidentified caller said.
Toronto police andits hate-crime unit are investigating.
The message was addressed to congress president Farzana Hassan and founder Tarek Fatah, and mentioned Allah's name three times in a row.
"It is scary," Pervaiz told CBC News on Wednesday.
"This is the first time that someone is really swearing in the name of God and it appears that person is taking an oath by announcing the name of God three times."
'Proves problem exists'
Pervaiz said the accusation of smearing Islam is a serious one, an offence that some Muslims believe is worthy of punishment.
The death threat comes after the Muslim Canadian Congress took part in a documentary that aired on CBC News on March 6. The piece examined the divides between secular and fundamental beliefs within the CanadianMuslim community.
The congress has been targeted for its moderate beliefs before, but never in such a direct fashion, Pervaiz said. Members have had their homes and cars damaged after sharing their opinions publicly.
"We want as many people to know that such a problem exists in Canada," Pervaiz said. "People thought we were exaggerating, but this now kind of confirms and proves the problem exists."