Muslims denounce 'abhorrent' threats against Canada in purported ISIS video
Published Monday, December 8, 2014 10:18AM EST
Last Updated Monday, December 8, 2014 7:09PM EST
The National Council of Canadian Muslims has denounced the "abhorrent and un-Islamic threats" against Canada by ISIS militants and their sympathizers, including a new video in which an Ontario man threatens violence against Canadians on their own soil.
"Canadian Muslims continue to unequivocally denounce and reject these abhorrent and un-Islamic threats by ISIS against our nation and fellow citizens," NCCM executive director Ihsaan Gardee said in a statement.
"We condemn the depraved violence and extremism exhibited by this and other terror groups. Nothing can justify such actions."
Anyone who "espouses, endorses, or in any way supports this ideology of violence" should know that their actions "have nothing to do with the authentic teachings of Islam," Gardee went on.
The statement is a response to a purported new Islamic State propaganda video, in which a Canadian man who identifies himself as Abu Anwar al-Canadi threatens violence and "punishment" against Canadians in Canada.
Al-Canadi, whose real name is John Maguire, studied at the University of Ottawa before "falling off the map" about two years ago, one fellow student said.
Adam Gilani, the former president of the University of Ottawa Muslim Students Association, confirmed that Maguire is the man in the video.
In the six-minute video, Maguire encourages others to follow the example of Martin Couture-Rouleau, who is accused of striking and killing Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent in Quebec with a car in October.
Maguire also denounces Canada’s involvement in the coalition anti-ISIS airstrike campaign in Iraq.
"It should not surprise you when operations by the Muslims are executed where it hurts you the most – on your very own soil," he says in the video, which is shot among the ruins of an unidentified town.
"Your people will be indiscriminately targeted, as you indiscriminately target our people."
CTV News has not been able to independently verify the video, including when it was recorded. It was distributed by a U.S. company that monitors jihadist posts around the world.
A media relations officer with the RCMP said the force is aware of the latest video.
"We remain vigilant for such threats, and take active measures to ensure that the safety and security of Canadians is protected," Cpl. David Falls told CTV News.
In the video, Maguire says he "grew up on the hockey rink," had good grades at school and no criminal record. He says he converted to Islam and accepted "the true call of the prophets and the messengers of God."
Maguire says Canadian Muslims have two options: join Islamic state, or follow Couture-Rouleau’s example.
Those who knew Maguire in his hometown of Kemptville, Ont., said they were shocked by the video.
Maguire was a loner as a teenager and played in a punk band at one point, said Joshua Powell, who went to high school with him.
Stephane Pressault, who knew Maguire from the University of Ottawa, said he’s been trying to go back in his mind to see what “we missed and what kind of flags were there.”
“The only flag was really that he was isolated and no one really had intimate conversations with him,” Pressault told CTV Ottawa.
Gardee told CTV News Channel Monday that people like Maguire represent only “a fraction of a fraction” of Canadian Muslims. Still, he said, “it’s something that we take very seriously.
“One person radicalized towards extremist violence is one person too many.”
Gardee said a “made-in Canada solution” is needed in the fight against radicalization. That solution must involve community leaders, police, social workers and mental health officials, among others, he said.
With a report from CTV Ottawa