Letter Sent to the Canadian Prime Minister
Source: London Muslim community
To: The Honorable Prime Minister: October 26, 1999.
STOP RUSSIAN ATROCITIES IN CHECHNIYA
We are calling on Prime Minister Jean Chretian to demand that Russia withdraw its forces from Chechnya and cease attacks on civilians in that country. Since Russia began its most recent attacks on Chechnya, hundreds of innocent civilians have been killed and almost 200 000 have been forced from their homes. Many of these refugees are without shelter and now face hunger and disease.
This campaign exposes the hypocrisy of Russian officials who condemned NATO’s actions against Serbian forces in Kosova. NATO used every means to avoid civilian casualties. Russia seems to be targeting the entire Chechnyan population with what amounts to state terror by a rogue nation.
For some 200 years, the Chechnyan people struggled to determine their own fate, free from dictates of Russian and Soviet colonial masters. It is time the world community offered its support for the freedom and independence of Chechnya.
We respectfully call on you to:
1. Condemn Russian attacks on innocent civilians
2. Pressure Russia to withdraw from Chechnya
3. Suspend Economic aid that allows Russia to finance its nuclear campaign On behalf of Canada’s 500 000 Muslims, and some 1.2 billion worldwide, we believe that these reasonable measures are consistent with the Canadian government’s stance on other local and regional conflicts such as in Kosova and East Timor. It is always in Canada’s interest to help save innocent lives and end conflict.
We ask of you to push for and support a peaceful resolution to the conflict in Chechnya that will result in freedom for the Chechnyan people. Anything less will inevitably lead to endless conflict and suffering.
The London Muslim community represented by its various Muslim organizations:
London Muslim Mosque
Chairman, Abdul Rahim Chahbar
Islamic Centre of Southwest Ontario
President, Dr. Zafer Hussein
Muslim Youth Association of London (MYAL)
President, Ali D. Chahbar
Al-Mehdi Almuntathar Islamic Union
President, Mahmoud Haidar
Muslim Students Association (MSA)
President, Khaled Sultan
Islamic Call Society
President, Asem Fadel
Canadian Bosnian Islamic Centre
President Majda Delic