Mahmood Qasim is the head of fundraising at Islamic Relief Canada and the former Chief Executive of AlKauthar Institute.
On October 8, 2015 Mahmood Qasim posted on his Facebook page a link to a video by Canadian Muslim spoken-word poet and writer Boonaa Mohammed titled “A Muslim Message to Canadian Prime Minister Mr. Stephen Harper.”
Mahmood Qasim added a comment: “My man Boonaa Mohammed with a smack down. Well said, well said.”
Here is the transcript of Boonaa Mohammed’s video (published on Oct 7, 2015):
This is a video message for the current prime minister of Canada Mr. Stephen Harper. Steve, can I call you Steve? Cool. Why do you hate Muslims so much? why? I just want to know.
I don’t know if you think that you don’t or you’re just oblivious to the things that you say and how they are interpreted by the Muslims that actually live in Canada as it’s quite clear to us that you hate us. I just want to know why. Why do you hate us so much?
I’ll give you an example, Steve. This whole debate, okay, you and I both know that it means absolutely nothing. Nobody cares about it except for you and your conservative cronies. Otherwise it’s not even a point of discussion. Forget talking about unemployment or your boy [Senator Michael] Duffy and all the crazy corruption that he has been up to [In 2016 Duffy was cleared of all charges as judge excoriated PMO under Harper] or the over 1,200 Aboriginal women who are missing or presumed dead.
Let’s not talk about that. Let’s focus on a 25-minute [citizenship] ceremony that effects 1.001% of this population and take away from the things that actually matter in this election season. Steve, you would G [genius] man. I don’t know how you did it. How did you make us all so dumb.
Now, if you said the things you say about Muslims to any other group in the society you wouldn’t have a job by lunch time. But because there’s always this need for the enemy, the other, the foreigner, that we can blame our troubles on, Muslims just happened to be occupying that slot right now, like the language that was used to justify Aboriginal people and residential schools, you know, these ‘savages’ these ‘barbaric’ people.
You see any similarities? Because we’re the ‘barbaric’ people now. Not to mention the language that was used to justify slavery in Canada, and the justification of things like Africville [an African-Canadian village located just north of Halifax and founded in the mid-18th century] the destruction of an all black community in Nova Scotia or the same language that was used to justify the treatment of Chinese Railway workers who built this country from east to west. Steve, that language can go a long way. That language has a scary precedents and it usually is followed by something very scary down the line.
And I get. You’re scared of ISIS [Islamic State, Daesh] or Al-Qaeda or whatever crazy groups are out there and guess what? So are we.
But Steve [Stephen Harper], why don’t we ever talk about the root cause of groups like ISIS, like for instance, the role that our Western foreign policy plays and hoping to destroy countries like Iraq, the 2003 Invasion, creating a vacuum where groups like ISIS can flourish. Why don’t we ever talk about our role as Canadians in helping to create groups like ISIS?
Steve [Stephen Harper], come on bro, I’m trying to look out for you man. I’m trying to explain to you that you game plan, it sucks. I don’t know what you think you’re doing but it’s not working, because when you dehumanize Muslims in this country, you make us feel alienated, you make us feel isolated. You fits into the propaganda that groups like ISIS used to justify their tyranny in this country.
And Stevie [Stephen Harper], listen here now, if you don’t like that idea, you don’t like the celebration of religious and cultural differences, if you don’t like the dream of Canada, then why don’t you just go back to wherever you come from? Seriously, just get on a plane and fly back to wherever you or your family or your ancestors came from. Leave this country, because you do not represent Canada.
And all you Canadians out there who allow Stephen Harper to speak on your behalf and soil the name of this great nation, then shame on you. shame on you and every single person who doesn’t speak up when they see such blatant bigotry and discrimination coming from the leader of this nation. But sadly, he’s just a reflection of the direction that this country is going in.
For those of you who voted for him, or for those of you who more importantly did not vote at all, then you and I are all partially to blame for people like Harper, because he’s just a representation of us. We elected him.
He [Stephen Harper] is like that crazy guy on the subway who keep shouting obscenities and you don’t say anything because you hope he isn’t come [sic] next to you, and so you just keep your distance and you don’t give him any eye contact, but he looks at you and he sees you’re looking at him, so he looks back and he starts walking up closer to you, and you close your eyes and you just pray that he isn’t get any closer, and you open your eyes and he’s right there standing in front of you, and that’s when you realize that he is your problem.
Because I love Canada, and there isn’t a country on Earth who’s passport I would exchange my Canadian passport for. And Canadian culture and identity by definition is one that is constantly changing and evolving to include more diverse thoughts, religions and belief systems, and if you [Stephen Harper] don’t like that, then go back to where you come from.
Because, I’m from here. I’m Canadian and I’m not going anywhere and Muslims aren’t going anywhere, so deal with it, and learn to love us and treat us as your fellow Canadians. Otherwise the door is yours, you can go to wherever you want, but this is a place where we all belong.
So just because I don’t like poutine, or I don’t drink Molson Canadian [beer], or I don’t like hockey, or I don’t like Timmies [Tim Hortons cafe], I’m just kidding, if you don’t like Timmies you got to leave right now, cuz you have no place in this country, okay. Just because we may not be old stock Canadians doesn’t make us any less Canadian than you.
But you know what? In a really weird way I should be saying thank you to Stephen Harper, because he has inspired me. I haven’t voted years, he has taught me the value of making your voice heard, and come this election season, this election day October 19th, I will be casting my ballot for the first time in many years. Because politicians are like diapers. They need to be changed regularly, and for the exact same reason. Steve see you October 19th .