Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, Secretary-General of the 57-member Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has denounced a recent statement made by Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, a high-profile non-Jewish supporter of Israel, who says that he considers ‘Islamic terrorism’ to be the biggest threat to the world.
Arab News (h/t Maurice) “Harper’s statement will only exacerbate the misunderstanding and suspicion between the West and the Islamic world and obstruct global efforts to confront bigotry and hatred between religions and cultures,” said OIC Secretary-General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu.
In an interview with CBC News, Harper said the biggest security threat to Canada a decade after 9/11 was “Islamic terrorism.” He continued: “When people think of Islamic terrorism, they think of Afghanistan, or maybe they think of some place in the Middle East, but the truth is that threat exists all over the world.”
An article written by Dovid Efune in The Huffington Post rated Harper as the No. 1 non-Jew having a positive influence in shaping the Jewish future.
“Harper has been a great friend to Canada’s Jewish community as well as an outspoken supporter of Israeli positions in the international political arena… saying last year, ‘When Israel, the only country in the world whose very existence is under attack, is consistently and conspicuously singled out for condemnation, I believe we are morally obligated to take a stand.’”
Efune, who is director of Algemeiner Journal, commended Harper’s efforts in blocking a G8 resolution in support of US President Barack Obama’s Middle East policy speech that would mention the call for a Palestinian State based on the 1967 lines, while not incorporating other elements of the speech. This stand “earns him the top spot this year,” Efune wrote in the daily.
“Islam is a religion of peace and mercy,” the secretary-general said and reiterated his organization’s commitment to combat terrorism and extremism in all its forms. “Our stand is based on Islamic teachings that reject terrorism and violence,” he added.
Hassan Al-Ahdal, director-general for media and public relations at the Makkah-based Muslim World League, expressed his dismay at Harper’s remarks.“Such irresponsible remarks should not have come from a prime minister. It will give fuel to extremists to carry out terrorist attacks and deepen the division between Islamic and Western cultures. It will also encourage Islamophobes to carry out more attacks against Muslim minorities.”
He said Harper’s remarks would encourage Muslim countries and parents not to send their students to Canada, fearing they would face bad treatment. (Promises, promises)