Muslims in Calgary mark holy day with anti-terror march
Annual Ashura celebrations mark ancient leader's martyrdom at hands of tyrants
An annual gathering of Calgary Muslims took on a different tone this year, as hundreds came out to protest terrorism ahead of the holy day Ashura.
Muslims around the world will mark Ashura on Monday to commemorate the death of their prophet's grandson, Hussain, who was killed for protesting tyranny in 680 AD. It's recognized as a national holiday in many Muslim countries and this weekend in Calgary, community members came together to use the event to condemn the recent killings of two Canadian Forces members.
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"We are here to build this country together, to make peace and love together," said Fatima Albarri, who took part in the march. "We are originally from the Middle East but we are Canadian."
RCMP investigators said their deaths were acts of terrorism by young Canadian men who held radical Islamist beliefs.
Once again, the violence has put Islam under the microscope and those attending the march in Calgary said it's important they clarify what their religion is about.
"Islam is a religion of peace," said Riyaz Khawaja, the leader of Calgary's Muslim community and head of the Hussaini Association of Calgary. "We are here to gather, to stand against terrorism."
Participants say commemorating Hussain's fight against tyranny gave them a perfect opportunity to remind Calgary just what Islam stands for.