Muslims across Canada listened to a statement of solidarity with Indigenous peoples from their Imams during the Friday sermon on July 9th, 2021.
“Friday’s statement before an attentive congregation of a few hundred Canadian Muslim attendees in every mosque will highlight the collective mourning, compassion and solace on behalf of the Canadian Muslim communities towards Indigenous peoples,” said Imam Refaat Mohamed, the President of Canadian Council of Imams.
The statement reads, “We, Canadian Imams, offer our deepest regret, condolences and solidarity in this time of incalculable grief. We seek your forgiveness for the inhumane colonial policies of Canada and the systemic injustices that still continue.
“The discovery of hundreds-upon-hundreds of graves of innocent children — stolen from their families, abused, tortured and starved in the name of European imperialism — has left us numb with pain and shame.
“We acknowledge that the oppression and persecution of the Indigenous Nations was genocide. We do not claim to know the depth of your pain. Our hearts are broken and our souls are burdened for our ignorance and for our silence. Our own experience with European colonialism should have compelled us to reach out, to learn and to listen to your stories. For this neglect — and in spite of this — we stand humbled and grateful for your gracious generosity.
Our pledge to you as Relatives: We will stand and work with you to bring healing, justice and peace with Truth and Reconciliation.”
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About seventy-five Muslim congregations from across Canada have responded to the call by the organizers, Justice For All Canada and the Canadian Council of Imams, to include the statement in the Friday sermon.
“The act of religious leadership acknowledging the Indigenous genocide and elevating First Nations, Metis, and Inuit peoples is essential to bringing justice, healing and reconciliation,” says Taha Ghayyur, the Executive Director of Justice for All Canada.
“The discovery of thousands of Indigenous children in unmarked graves, in the name of European imperialism, has left Canadians in pain and longing to advocate for justice and equal rights for the Indigenous peoples.”