Two national Muslim organizations say they are troubled that Prime Minister Stephen Harper last week drew a link between radicalization and mosques.
Harper made the remark last Friday when he was answering a question about the Canadian government’s new anti-terrorism legislation. The measures unveiled in Bill C-51 include criminalizing advocacy for or promotion of a terrorist act. Another measure lowers the threshold needed for police to arrest somebody they suspect may commit a terrorist act.
Asked how to distinguish between teens messing around in their basements and someone who is radicalized, Harper said it would be a serious offence “no matter who you are.”
“It doesn’t matter what the age of the person is, or whether they’re in a basement, or whether they’re in a mosque or somewhere else,” Harper said Friday in Richmond Hill, Ont.
The National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM) and the Canadian Muslim Lawyers’ Association (CMLA) said in a press release Monday that they are “deeply troubled” Harper “implicated Canadian mosques as venues where terrorism is advocated or promoted.”