There was outright condemnation of the violent attack on the Imam Husain Mosque in Ottawa which claimed the life of one man, Abbas Essop and left another two injured on Thursday night. Imam Ali Nchinyane survived the ordeal and is still in hospital recovering from his injuries.
Deputy Mayor, Mrs Fowzia Peer blamed the attack on locals and said that the Hawks were investigating and that arrests were expected soon. Meanwhile, communities and leaders expressed outrage at the attack, including
Spokesman for the The Islamic Unity Convention, Mr Magboeba Davids called for serious action to be taken in response to the senseless killing, attempted murder of the Imam / mussalees and the burning of the mosque in Verulam, KwaZulu-Natal. “The slashing of throats, and the burning of the mosque, can only mean that the intention was to kill and to destroy a place of worship. The IUC calls upon government to step in and take charge of the situation, as it has the potential to destabilise the country. This kind of random killing needs to be nipped in the bud For our local Ulama to call upon others to condemn these heinous crimes upon Muslims and places of worship will not be just, as it is them who have been spurring on this animosity among Muslims; between the Sunni and Shia brethren for some time now,” he said.
The IUC has warned the local leadership of the consequences of spreading such sectarian hatred among the Ummah in the past and they must take full responsibility for their actions. This is not a situation of Muslim killing another Muslim, or the violation of the sanctity of the mosque, but it is the importing of similar operations, conducted by America and its allies, like the Saudi regime in countries like Iraq, Syria and the rest of the Middle East. The Islamic Unity Convention extends its sincere condolences to the families of the deceased, the injured victims, musallees of the mosque, and the Verulam community.
Dr Faisal Suliman of The South African Muslim Network condemned the arson and violent attack at the Imam Hussein Centre. “We urge law enforcement agencies to spare no effort in tracking down and arresting the perpetrators. It is essential that the perpetrators are arrested, to ensure that the exact reason for the attack is discovered during their interactions with the criminal justice system. We appeal to the media and public not to speculate about the attack as it may not necessarily be religious, nor political, nor sectarian. Speculation and innuendo may have dangerous unintended consequences and is unwarranted. The South African Muslim community abhors this sort of violence perpetrated at any religious institution. Our condolences to the family of the deceased and we wish a speedy recovery for the injured. No religion preaches nor condones harm to innocents and perpetrators of such violence must not claim nor be given any religious legitimacy.,” said Dr Suleman.
Moulana Aftab Haider, national co-ordinator of the Ahlul Bait Foundation of South Africa lashed out at the “evil” behind the attack. “We are not fighting against anybody, any sect nor any religion, but against evil.”
The Diakonia Council of Churches, which represents religions across the city, condemned the attack. In a press statement, they said: “We are shocked by the terrible attack which disregarded the sanctity of a place of worship. “As an ecumenical organisation which has long worked with the interfaith community for justice and peace, we share the pain of loss and pray for the speedy recovery of the two injured men. To the bereaved family we offer heartfelt condolences on this devastating loss. The council also called for community dialogue between religious leaders, community leaders and local businesses to help the Muslim community “to get through this difficult period”, as well as calling for the “full force of the law to bring the perpetrators to justice”.