By Taha Ghayyur
Over a year and a half ago, I was alerted by a Facebook friend about an article by a fringe blogger known for promoting Islamophobic content, targeting me and the community organizations I was affiliated with.
Soon after, several bloggers and websites across North America known for advocating hate and intolerance against minorities began to “re-publish” the “original” article.
Authors of such blogs and websites are known for targeting genuine Muslim community leaders who are faithful to their faith and traditions as Muslims and are proud, contributing Canadian citizens. They actively discredit the efforts of community leaders by misquoting or quoting out of context something they may have said or written decades ago. Moreover, they attempt to make remote connections between the community work the leaders do here with some “political Islam” ideology, movement, or group in the Muslim world. The drill is familiar.
However, what is truly disturbing about the recent attempts to discredit me, my work, and the organizations I have been working with for years, is the fact that the quotes and extracts that are being attributed to my name and my writings ARE NOT ENDORSED OR PUBLISHED BY ME!
Here are the facts about the two-part article, “Understanding Punishment in Sharia”, being attributed to me by these writers:
- The article DOES NOT EXIST on my own blog or on any of the websites I have been writing for or have been associated with for 20 years.
- The article being cited was published as a post on a DEAD ONLINE FORUM dating back to 2007; no one knows who the maintainers of this forum are; none of the contacts associated with this forum are active.
- The forum’s post itself cites “Young Muslims Canada” website as the original source; however, Young Muslims Canada website DOES NOT EXIST and the actual organization itself NO LONGER EXISTS.
It is obvious that my name is being attributed to this piece either mistakenly or deliberately. Or perhaps there is another author out there with the same name.
This is sloppy journalism at its best!
Or, perhaps, it is a classic case of fake news.
My writings, presentations, and volunteer work have always been transparent. I believe, no community leader should have anything to hide if they are doing the right thing.
My 20 years’ of community volunteerism, leadership, and civic engagement have been based on the following core values that are both Islamic and Canadian:
- Peace and Harmony
- Freedom of religion
- Freedom of speech
While politics is not my forte (and certainly not “political Islam” and “Shariah”), I have categorically spoken out against the sickening and deadly ideologies of AlQaida, ISIS, and Daesh. In fact, I have written about why young Muslims get radicalized and what we need to do to engage youth in positive and productive ways as a civic society and leadership in North America.
Anyone who wants to objectively understand what I stand for and what I do has to simply look at my official blog. Anything published outside is either fabricated and fictitious or not endorsed by me. Period.