Canadian imams condemn radical Islam

AFP/August 13, 2010

Montreal - A group of Canadian imams on Friday denounced radical Islam in a joint statement that promotes peace and calls for equality between men and women.

The seven point declaration, signed by 38 influential clerics belonging to the Canadian Council of Imams, is designed to be read in hundreds of mosques across Canada at the start of the holy month of Ramadan.

"We believe in peaceful coexistence, dialogue, bridge building, and cooperation among all faiths and people for the common good of humanity," the statement read.

"Islam does not permit the killing of innocent people, regardless of their creed, ethnicity, race, or nationality. The sanctity of human life overrides the sanctity of religious laws."

The statement goes on to say that the imams "believe in gender equity and each man and each woman's divine right to education, social contribution, work, and treatment with respect and dignity. Men and women complement each other, and healthy relationships between them are essential to a healthy society."

The imams also defend freedom of religion and the right to dress according to personal taste.

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