Concerned about the number of Canadians leaving to join armed factions in Syria, imams from across the country have issued a statement warning Muslim youths against travelling abroad to fight in foreign conflicts.
Drafted at a meeting two weeks ago, the decree issued by the Canadian Council of Imams says those who participate in overseas wars are breaking the laws of Canada and violating Islamic principles.
“Canadian Muslims are law-abiding citizens and no one should get involved in international wars on the belief and excuse that they are helping their Muslim brothers,” reads the statement. “Canadian Muslims who might do this are promoting disloyalty to their government.”
Syria has become a magnet for Western jihadists, including an estimated 30 Canadians, some of whom have joined the ultra-extremist Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham, which recently seized parts of northern Iraq.