Saskatoon Muslims react to Ottawa shooter’s manifesto

Watch above: Members of Saskatoon’s Muslim community distance themselves from Michael Zehaf-Bibeau after RCMP released his video manifesto last week. Joel Senick says, unlike the man who attacked soldiers on Parliament Hill last year, locals say they love this country.

SASKATOON – A group of Saskatoon-based Muslims say they don’t relate to the “God” that Michael Zehaf-Bibeau speaks of in his manifesto, recorded shortly before killing a Canadian soldier in Ottawa last year in the name of Islam.

“It is very sad that a Canadian felt so strongly about this wonderful country of ours,” said Nasser Malik, a Pakistani immigrant and member of Saskatoon’s Ahmadiyya Muslim community.

“We have a judicial system so you go through that, you do not take law into your own hands, no matter what the conditions are.”

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Last week, RCMP released a portion of the cell phone video that Bibeau took before killing Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, who was positioned at the National War Monument in Ottawa.

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“This is in retaliation for Afghanistan and because Harper wants to send his troops to Iraq,” said Bibeau, in the roughly 55-second video released by the RCMP.

“Just aiming to hit some soldiers just to show that you’re not even safe in your own land and you gotta be careful.”

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The Ahmadiyya community has denounced the attack and others carried out in the name of Islam. The group held a rally in Saskatoon after Cirillo was killed and has organized the anti-radicalization campaign “Stop the CrISIS.”

“If there is anybody that we find that has these kind of views, to harm anybody, regardless of faith, a Muslim, or anybody, it is our duty to try to stop that,” said Malik.

“There is no reason to harm anybody, we are all in this together, this is our homeland,” said Muhammad Mirza, a visiting Ahmadiyya Imam from Ontario.

Mirza said the group battles radicalization by talking openly with its youth about the issue.

“I specifically tell them that there’s no room in Islam for any violence, we are Canadians and we should love this country,” said Mirza.

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“We have a very close knit community and system where we keep a very close eye on our youth, what they’re doing, what their activities are,” added Malik.

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