Said Jaziri knows all about hate. He is a victim of it.
MONTREAL, CANADA - Chanting their love for Muhammad, about 300 Muslims gathered near McGill University on Saturday to protest against caricatures of their prophet. The protest coincided with another demonstration in Toronto that attracted about 1,300 people and several others across Europe against the cartoons, which have sparked deadly violence in some cases. "We're here today to let the world know one thing: We want to be heard and we won't be labeled," said Said Jazeri, the imam of the Al-Qods mosque, which organized the protest. "On unbelievers is the curse of Allah. Sura 2:161. "We are not savages, we are not barbarians," [...] Jazeri said.
A Muslim cleric in Montreal was allegedly asked by a knife-carrying man if he wanted to "die a martyr," say police who suspect it was a hate crime. "Allah is an enemy to unbelievers. Sura 2:98," Jaziri said.
Jazeri is a prominent voice in Montreal's Muslim community. His mosque was among four in the city to be vandalized after he organized a protest against the controversial editorial cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad. "Slay them wherever ye find them and drive them out of the places whence they drove you out, for persecution is worse than slaughter. 2:191" quoted Jaziri.
The publication of the cartoons, initially by a Danish newspaper in the fall of 2005, offended many Muslims who consider them blasphemy, because Islamic tradition forbids even favourable depictions of Muhammad out of fear they could lead to idolatry. "Fight against them until idolatry is no more and Allah's religion reigns supreme. (different translation: ) Fight them until there is no persecution and the religion is God's entirely." Sura 2:193 and 8:39, Jaziri said.
Jaziri said the alleged knife threat "looks like it has to do with our situation these days," an apparent reference to the arrests in southern Ontario on June 2-3 of 17 Muslim men and youth who are accused of plotting to bomb Canadian targets and of being inspired by al-Qaeda.
"I don't know him, he doesn't me. Why does he have a knife to kill me?'' said an agitated Jazeri in a telephone interview Saturday. Said Jaziri, "Fighting is obligatory for you, much as you dislike it. 2:216."
So there we have it. Said Jaziri, peaceful Muslim randomly attacked from motives of hate. We are all guilty. I will personally seek counselling in the morning.