Canadian Muslims denounced a convert’s call for more lone-wolf attacks in this country Monday, just weeks after two soldiers were recently killed in the first jihadist attacks on Canadian soil.
The National Council of Canadian Muslims condemned a video message from Canadian jihadist fighter from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group as “abhorrent and un-Islamic.”
“The attempt to justify attacks against innocent people is deeply misguided and unsupported by Islamic principles,” echoed Imam Sikander Hashmi, spokesman for the Canadian Council of Imams.
In the video, John Maguire, originally from Ottawa, warns Canada it faces retaliation for participating in U.S.-led airstrikes against ISIS.
Calling himself Abu Anwar al-Canadi, Maguire urged Muslims to follow the example of a driver in a hit-and-run killing of a soldier near Montreal and of a gunman who killed an unarmed soldier in Ottawa.
Or, he said, Canadian Muslims should travel to Syria to join ISIS.
The six-minute video was distributed on jihadist websites and Twitter, according to the U.S.-based SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors militants’ online communications.
Maguire reportedly left Canada to join the ISIS group in January 2013.
“This young man is definitely John Douglas... but not the John Douglas that we knew, loved and remember,” a family member told public broadcaster CBC.
Canada’s public safety minister, Steven Blaney, urged citizens to be vigilant “against this terrorist scourge.”
Muhammad Robert Heft, a Toronto Muslim leader and outspoken critic of extremism, told the daily Toronto Star the call to arms is unlikely to inspire fresh attacks in Canada.
“He’s so delusional and so arrogant that he actually thinks his message is resonating with Muslims in Canada and worldwide,” Heft told the newspaper.
“He says he is supporting Syrians, but isn’t he killing the Syrians if they don’t submit to their group?” said Heft. “It’s not difficult to deconstruct his theology.”