A rather unimpressive letter has been published on the internet by “The Muslims of Ottawa-Gatineau” decrying “[t]he recent attacks in Ottawa and St-Jean-sur-Richelieu [which] have shocked and horrified Canadians from coast-to-coast-to-coast.” The identity of the author, and any indication as to how he/she/they might have the authority to speak on behalf of “Muslims of Ottawa-Gatineau” is conspicuously absent.
If the “Muslims of Ottawa-Gatineau” or any other group, religious or otherwise, wish to know who to totally dissociate themselves from an individual who claims to represent their ideology, they are going to have to be a good deal less diplomatic about it. Take, for example, the response of the Canadian Forces to the conviction of Russell Williams: His “uniform was burned and his medals were also later cut into pieces, his commission scroll (a document confirming his status as a serving officer) was shredded, and his Pathfinder was crushed and scrapped” (Wikipedia). The message was clear. “You are no longer one of us.”
So here is what I would really like to see from from the “Muslims of Ottawa-Gatineau.” (And let’s make it clear — I’m not picking on Muslims. The letter below could be easily modified by any group, religious or otherwise, who wish to show the world that anyone blowing themselves up in a crowded mall in the name of their deity or cause is actually a loose cannon without the support of the group.)
Dear Mr. Bin Laden (or other terrorist)
As (title of person with actual authority), in light of your resent actions, I regret to inform you of your excommunication. Your actions, which you claim to have taken on behalf of Islam have brought shame to our worldwide community, and are a disgrace to our God. You are no longer a Muslim. As such, you will be barred from the Hajj and attendance at any mosque. May God have mercy on your soul.
You are not a Muslim. In fact, your sin is multiplied by your message to the world that your despicable acts represent our God and our faith. Until your actions and your words show a complete repudiation of this message, you are to be regarded as an infidel by those who were once your family.
It is not heaven that awaits you for what you have done, but the fiery torments of hell. Until you submit yourself to God and his messenger, you are lost.
Signed (name of Muslim with actual clout)