(AFP) — A Canadian imam known for his pacifist sermons warned that Islamist militant group IS was actively recruiting in Canada and said one member issued him a death threat.
Syed Soharwardy, founder of the Islamic Supreme Council of Canada (ISCC), on Friday called on Canadian and Western authorities to intensify the fight against jihadist movements.
Soharwardy added that a Muslim man from Ottawa who was fighting with IS in Mosul in northern Iraq had sent him a death threat on Facebook.
The Calgary-based imam said such threats were nothing new.
In February, intelligence services said at least 130 Canadians were fighting with IS in Iraq and Syria.
Soharwardy also began a 48-hour hunger strike “to create awareness about the dangerous nature of ISIS” and pay homage to American journalist James Foley, who was executed by his jihadist captors in a video released Tuesday by IS.
IS declared itself a “caliphate” in late June and has since added a swath of northern Iraq to territory it already held in eastern Syria. The move has prompted a US campaign of air raids backing regional Kurdish and Iraqi forces fighting IS in the country’s north.