Canadian Muslim leaders slam study on prevalence of extremist writing as ‘attempt to vilify’ community

By Jim Bronskill
The Canadian Press | August 24, 2016

OTTAWA — Canadian Muslim leaders are fiercely disputing a new study that says several mosques and Islamic schools are endangering young people with extremist teachings.

The study is “yet another anecdotal attempt to vilify” members of the religious community and their institutions, the National Council of Canadian Muslims said Tuesday.

Mohammad Iqbal AlNadvi, chairman of the Canadian Council of Imams, said he completely disagrees with the findings, adding that Muslim leaders in Canada have been quick to denounce radicalism.

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The National Council of Canadian Muslims called the study an “exercise in shoddy research” that generalizes about Canadian mosques and Islamic institutions.

“If the writers have any evidence of criminal activity such as the promotion of terrorism and violent extremism, then they should report it immediately to the authorities,” the council said in a statement.

“Otherwise, this is nothing more than an attempt to sow fear and distrust towards Canadian Muslim communities without any evidence of wrongdoing or proper context. Such writing only fans the flames of ignorance at a time when vandalism of mosques and hate incidents against Canadian Muslims are increasing.”

Canadian Muslims have “repeatedly and categorically rejected terrorism and violent extremism” in all their forms, the council added.

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