Representatives of major Canadian Muslim groups gathered Thursday to reiterate their denunciation of terrorism in the name of Islam at a news conference in Ottawa, even as fear of harassment and violence grows in the Muslim-Canadian community.
"Our message to anyone who believes in violent extremist ideologies is that you have nothing to do with Islam," said Ihsaan Gardee, the executive director of the National Council of Canadian Muslims and one of several speakers at Thursday's event. "You have nothing to do with the noble principles of our faith, which categorically condemn the taking of innocent life."
Muslim associations across Canada were quick to issue statements of solidarity with their fellow citizens as events unfolded in Ottawa on Wednesday and the killer of Cpl. Nathan Cirillo was identified as Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, a recent convert to Islam.