Hamilton's Muslim community is denouncing the extremism by the militant group, ISIS, a jihadist group that has taken control of large swaths of territory in Syria and Iraq and responsible beheadings of multiple journalists.
- Obama's ISIS strategy speech
- ISIS: How to 'degrade and destroy' the militant group
- ISIS by the numbers: How big, strong and rich the militant organization may be
- ISIS: 5 things to know about the Iraqi jihadist group
The Muslim Council of Greater Hamilton (MCGH) said their statement is not tied to any violence or hate locally as a result of the actions globally by the Islamic State of Iraq and Shams (ISIS), but rather a reassurance of their stance to Muslims in Hamilton.
"MCGH categorically condemns any form of extremism and violence perpetrated for any reason, by anyone and against any individual or group", said. Dr. Ali Ghouse, chairman of the MCGH.
MCGH: 'We also feel it is our community duty to let our neighbours know'
“We call on the federal government to take all measures to protect all Canadians in the region, to promote peace, and to ensure the security of all religious minorities”, added Shaikh Syed Tora, Imam of the Hamilton Downtown Mosque. “Moreover, we call on the Canadian government to proactively provide Canadian mosques with resources and tools to promote opportunities for peaceful dialogue and community engagement, particularly for the youth.”
MCGH spokesperson Raza Khan said it was important for them to let Hamilton know where they stood.
"We have a large population of Muslims here in Hamilton - close to 30,000 - and wanted to make sure they are all clear about our position. We also feel it is our community duty to let our neighbours know what our position is and they don't have to fear Muslims. We are a peace-loving, law abiding people and are looking to build bridges with our neighbours, not walls," Khan said.
ISIS raises $1- to $4-million a day: expert
Publicly, the intelligence community has said taking stock of ISIS is a daunting task. Estimates on how many fighters they have range between 10,000 and 80,000.
Colin Clarke, an associate political scientist at the Rand Corporation, which specializes in insurgency and transnational terrorism, previously told CBC News it's believed the militant group takes in $1-million to $4-million (US) a day through bank robberies, extortion, kidnappings for ransom.
U.S. President Barack Obama has laid out a four-part plan to "ultimately destroy" ISIS in a speech Wednesday night, which was the 13-year anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks Al-Qaeda. Part of plan from Obama was to ask congress for $500 million (US) to train fighters.
ISIS beheaded journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff, posting videos of the gruesome acts online.