Manitoba

Manitoba Muslims condemn ISIS video from Ottawa man

A Manitoba Islamic group is denouncing an ISIS video calling on Canadian Muslims to attack people in this country or leave Canada.
John Maguire, who was already reportedly under investigation by the RCMP after travelling to Syria to join ISIS as a foreign fighter in January 2013, appears in a six-minute, 13-second video released by the militant group on Sunday. (ISIS video still/CBC)

A Manitoba Islamic group is denouncing an ISIS video calling on Canadian Muslims to attack people in this country or leave Canada.

Idris Elbakri, president of the Manitoba Islamic Association, recently hosted an open house at the Grand Mosque in Winnipeg to dispel myths about Islam. The acts of ISIS are the acts of extremists, they do not represent Islam, he said, adding Islam is not about violence and bloodshed.

Elbakri said the association has worked hard in the community to communicate that message, but more of that is likely be necessary in light of the latest message from ISIS.

"We've actually had sermons on these issues, we've had workshops on these issues and we'll just continue as a community," he said.

"This is where we stand, and we will not waiver from this."

Funding needed

Shahina Siddiqui , founder of Islamic Social Services Association in Winnipeg, said groups such as hers want to counter what ISIS is doing but can't without the proper funding.

She is currently preparing a proposal for the federal government, asking for funding to help her group work across the country, so they can reach Muslim youth before ISIS does.

At present, Siddiqui’s association operates on a shoestring budget.

“It's one thing to say, 'what is the Muslim community doing?' But another thing to put the money where their mouth is, literally saying, 'if we are going to be a partner in this what capacity do we need to build, what resources do we need? How can we help you?'" she said.

On Sunday, ISIS released a video featuring an Ottawa man, John Maguire, calling on Muslims to carry out attacks on Canadian targets.

Maguire, identified in the video as Abu Anwar al-Canadi, was already reportedly under investigation by the RCMP after travelling to Syria to join ISIS as a foreign fighter in January 2013.

CBC News has learned that Maguire is not alone. He is part of a circle of people from Ottawa who have either left Canada to fight with extremist groups or have social media profiles dripping in ISIS propaganda.  

In the video, standing in the ruins of an unidentified area in Iraq or Syria, Abu Anwar warns Canadians that the country's participation in the U.S.-led coalition fighting the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria group will lead to revenge attacks.

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