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Photo: CIJnews

Will quoting Canadian Imams become Islamophobia, insult to Islam?

On Feb 9, 2017 CIJnews, the Canadian Investigative Journal, posted my article Why are Trudeau, Islamic groups silent over Quebec imam’s prayer to annihilate Jews?

Included in the article were prayers said in a Mosque in Quebec by Imam Sayed AlGhitawi (سيد الغتاوي) from the Al Andalous Islamic Center:

O Allah, destroy the accursed Jews

O Allah, show us the black day you inflict on them

O Allah, show us the wonders of your power and ability inflicted on them, O the most Merciful

O Allah, show us how you do to them what you did to [the peoples] of ʿĀd and Thamud [ancient peoples that perished by Allah because they didn’t heed the warnings of the prophets]…

O Allah, make their children orphans and their women widows”

The congregants responded to the supplications by saying Ameen. As happens in Christianity and Judaism the response means “agreement with” or “may it be so”.

At the time of writing this article, afternoon of February 12, there have been 102 tweets, 28 emails, 158 shares and more than 8,300 likes as well as 281 comments.

Here is one of the comments posted:

Tadhg Morris: Did he pray for the annihilation of CIJ English News? Because if he did, he should totally get the Order of Canada.

Isn’t it an implicit call to kill? Who though? The publisher? The author?

Is this under the rubric of free speech in Canada? Is this acceptable speech today?

Does Tadhg Morris feel the article was insulting to Islam?

The owner of the Youtube channel voluntarily and proudly published online the videos in question alongside hundreds of other videos featuring present and former imams at the mosque.

The article provided a translation of segments of two supplications recited by the Imam without further details or interpretation.

Does Tadhg Morris believe that the Imam’s sermon is Islamophobia and an insult to Islam?

Should Canadians be prohibited from quoting the Imams’ statements?

The Canadian government is in the process of passing Motion 103 that separates perceived anti-Islamic comments- now called Islamophobia-from other hate speech; as if negative speech about Islam is more serious than about other groups.

Text of the Motion: to be tabled on February 16:

That, in the opinion of the House, the government should: (a) recognize the need to quell the increasing public climate of hate and fear; (b) condemn Islamophobia and all forms of systemic racism and religious discrimination and take note of House of Commons’ petition e-411 and the issues raised by it; and (c) request that the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage undertake a study on how the government could (i) develop a whole-of-government approach to reducing or eliminating systemic racism and religious discrimination including Islamophobia, in Canada, while ensuring a community-centered focus with a holistic response through evidence-based policy-making, (ii) collect data to contextualize hate crime reports and to conduct needs assessments for impacted communities, and that the Committee should present its findings and recommendations to the House no later than 240 calendar days from the adoption of this motion, provided that in its report, the Committee should make recommendations that the government may use to better reflect the enshrined rights and freedoms in the Constitution Acts, including the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Note that the motion also includes the Canadian government’s support of petition e-411.

e-411Petition to the House of Commons

Whereas:

· Islam is a religion of over 1.5 billion people worldwide. Since its founding more than 1400 years ago, Muslims have contributed, and continue to contribute, to the positive development of human civilization. This encompasses all areas of human endeavors including the arts, culture, science, medicine, literature, and much more;

· Recently an infinitesimally small number of extremist individuals have conducted terrorist activities while claiming to speak for the religion of Islam. Their actions have been used as a pretext for a notable rise of anti-Muslim sentiments in Canada; and

· These violent individuals do not reflect in any way the values or the teachings of the religion of Islam. In fact, they misrepresent the religion. We categorically reject all their activities. They in no way represent the religion, the beliefs and the desire of Muslims to co-exist in peace with all peoples of the world.

We, the undersigned, Citizens and residents of Canada, call upon the House of Commons to join us in recognizing that extremist individuals do not represent the religion of Islam, and in condemning all forms of Islamophobia.

This petition went forward as Motion 103 despite the fact that our Charter already protects all people in this country:

Whereas Section 15.(1) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees that “every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right to the equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination and, in particular, without discrimination based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability.”

Will implicit death wishes, like the one made by Tadgh Morris, become common place because of, or in the name of, Islamophobia?

Tadgh Morris is a Professor at the University of Toronto. According to his LinkedIn account he is a Course instructor at St. Michael’s College, University of Toronto,St. Michael’s College, University of Toronto, Centre for Medieval Studies, University of Toronto since 2011.

Before that he was an afternoon Shift Foreman at Bank Note Company/RR Donnelly Financial Printing and before that a typesetter at Richard De Boo/Carswell Publishers.

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About Diane Weber Bederman

Diane Weber Bederman
Diane Weber Bederman is a multi-faith, hospital trained chaplain who lives in Ontario, Canada, just outside Toronto; She has a background in science and the humanities and writes about religion in the public square and mental illness on her blog: The Middle Ground:The Agora of the 21st Century. She is a regular contributor to Convivium: Faith in our Community. " Diane Weber Bederman is the author of the book "Back to the Ethic:Reclaiming Western Values" (https://www.amazon.com/Back-Ethic-Reclaiming-Western-Values/dp/1927618053) copyright dianebederman.com

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