Muslims to honour Canadians who died in Afghanistan serving their nation
- Fri, December 29, 2006
Muslims to honour
By Canadian Press
The Edmonoton SUNTORONTO -- The Muslim Canadian Congress will honour Canadian soldiers who have died in Afghanistan during a prayer service this weekend in a move that's believed to be the first of its kind in the country.The congress organized the service even though it has been critical of Canada's role in Afghanistan in the past.In a letter to Prime Minister Stephen Harper in the fall, congress president Farzana Hassan suggested Canada should reassess the Afghan mission given the high number of soldier deaths.But interfaith affairs director Raheel Raza said this prayer service is not a political statement. "We're doing this as a humanitarian gesture, as reaching out to fellow Canadians, the families who have lost their children," she said yesterday."This must be a very hard time for them, and we want them to know that we are thinking of them and we hope that the troops come back safely.""Regardless of how people feel about our troops being in Afghanistan, this is for a human connection of our solidarity and of our concern, and because we are Canadian."Raza said she is not aware of any other Muslim group that has held such a prayer service for Canadian troops, and noted the timing of the event coincides with the Muslim celebration of Eid.The celebration commemorates Abraham's sacrifice of his son to God - a sacrifice Raza compares to the ultimate one made by slain Canadian soldiers.Since 2002, 44 Canadian soldiers and one Canadian diplomat have been killed in Afghanistan.