Speak­ers have jus­ti­fied bomb­ings, at­tacked ho­mo­sex­u­al­ity in the past

Ottawa Citizen - - CITY - BLAIR CRAW­FORD bcraw­ford@post­media.com twit­ter.com/getBAC

Among the guest speak­ers at the Ot­tawa Is­lamic Cen­tre and As­salam Mosque, which had its char­i­ta­ble sta­tus stripped in July for al­low­ing ac­tiv­i­ties that “pro­mote hate and in­tol­er­ance,” were ones who have in the past jus­ti­fied sui­cide bomb at­tacks, said Al­lah cre­ated women with in­com­plete and de­fi­cient in­tel­lect, and con­demned ho­mo­sex­u­als as “filthy and de­viant.”

The in­for­ma­tion comes from a May 2018 re­port by the Canada Rev­enue Agency — ob­tained by this pa­per — that re­voked the mosque’s char­i­ta­ble sta­tus and an ear­lier 2016 au­dit.

Ex­actly what the speak­ers talked about in­side the St. Lau­rent Boule­vard mosque isn’t known be­cause the mosque said it didn’t record their talks, but the CRA re­port out­lines past views and state­ments by a hand­ful of the 36 speak­ers hosted by the mosque be­tween Jan­uary 2012 and De­cem­ber 2013.

ABU USAMAH AT-THAHABI

At-thahabi spoke at the mosque in De­cem­ber 2012, Jan­uary 2014 and April 2014. The CRA doc­u­ment cites an undercover 2007 re­port by Bri­tain’s Chan­nel 4 in which At­tha­habi says:

“Al­lah has cre­ated women de­fi­cient. Even if she gets a PhD. De­fi­cient. Her in­tel­lect is in­com­plete.”

“Take that ho­mo­sex­ual man and throw him off the moun­tain.”

“No one loves the kuf­far (non­be­liev­ers). Not a sin­gle per­son here from the Mus­lims loves the kuf­far, whether those kuf­fars are from the U.K. or from the U.S. We love the peo­ple of Is­lam and we hate the peo­ple of kuf­far.”

In a lec­ture avail­able on YouTube, At-thahabi says: “But even greater than that is the zina (adul­tery) of ho­mo­sex­u­al­ity and the zina of les­bian­ism. The prophet said, “Kill the one who does it and the one who it’s be­ing done to. Kill the one who was on top and the one who was on the bot­tom, whether it’s a man or a woman.”

ABU AMEENAH BI­LAL PHILIPS

Philips spoke at the mosque in June 2012 in a talk en­ti­tled “Dis­tin­guish­ing the fire of de­sire,” and has been de­nied en­try into Aus­tralia, the U.K., Kenya, Bangladesh, the U.S. and Ger­many, and ar­rested in the Philip­pines for “in­cit­ing and re­cruit­ing peo­ple to con­duct ter­ror­ist ac­tiv­i­ties.”

Ac­cord­ing to the CRA doc­u­ments, Philips ap­pears in a video that con­demns sui­cide, but jus­ti­fies sui­cide bomb­ing as a le­git­i­mate tac­tic: “Such an act is not re­ally sui­cide in the true sense. In­stead it is a mil­i­tary ac­tion re­quir­ing the sac­ri­fice of hu­man lives,” he says.

In a text­book he wrote and pub­lished on his web­site, Philips out­lines times when its per­mis­si­ble for a hus­band to beat his wife, for ex­am­ple, “as a last re­sort to save the mar­riage” or for a “re­bel­lious or un­justly dis­obe­di­ent wife.”

AB­DUL­LAH HAKKEEM QUICK

Quick spoke at the mosque in May 2012. In 2004, he was con­demned by the New Zealand Broad­cast­ing Stan­dards Author­ity for broad­casts that spoke of “the filthy prac­tices of ho­mo­sex­u­als,’’ and said, “Mus­lims are go­ing to have to take a stand (against ho­mo­sex­u­als) and it’s not enough to call them names.” In its rul­ing, the broad­cast author­ity judged

Quick’s words “might be in­ter­preted as an in­cite­ment to vi­o­lence.”

In its re­port, the CRA re­buked the mosque for fail­ing to keep proper records of its speak­ers and for not record­ing or pro­vid­ing tran­scripts of the talks to en­sure they “de­liv­ered the req­ui­site pub­lic ben­e­fit.”

The As­salam Mosque ap­plied for char­i­ta­ble sta­tus in 2003, but a CRA au­dit found prob­lems with its books and in­ter­nal struc­ture. It was fi­nally granted char­i­ta­ble sta­tus in 2009. The 2016 CRA au­dit found many of the same faults that even­tu­ally led to the loss of the char­i­ta­ble sta­tus.

In a let­ter of re­sponse to the 2016 au­dit, lawyers for the mosque out­lined a power strug­gle that had di­verted the or­ga­ni­za­tion from its orig­i­nal path and un­der­mined that vi­sion of its founder, Mo­hamed Rashad Moal­im­ishak, who, they said, pro­moted a prac­tice of Is­lam that was “in­clu­sive and aligned with Cana­dian val­ues.”

Af­ter Rashad’s un­ex­pected death in 2009 when he col­lapsed while climb­ing Mount Arafat, the mosque fell un­der the con­trol of two men — Ahmed Hassan and Suleiman Os­man Hersi — who sought to un­der­mine the mosque’s in­de­pen­dence and used it “to pro­mote their own ex­trem­ist views and those from the ri­val Is­lamic groups they were af­fil­i­ated with.” It was Hassan and Hersi who booked speak­ers, usu­ally with­out con­sult­ing board mem­bers.

In one in­stance, Hassan and Hersi al­lowed groups to hold a meet­ing in the base­ment with­out per­mis­sion of the board. When the board banned any­one from us­ing the base­ment room, the in­di­vid­u­als asked to use the base­ment wash­rooms, then propped open win­dows so they could re­turn later af­ter the mosque was locked up for the night.

Hersi and Hassan have both since left the mosque’s board of di­rec­tors.

But con­tro­ver­sial speak­ers weren’t the only rea­son the CRA gave for re­vok­ing the mosque’s char­i­ta­ble sta­tus. It also listed miss­ing emails and phone records, poor record-keep­ing and fishy fi­nanc­ing. In 2012, the mosque paid $54,000 to in­di­vid­u­als for “ser­vices ren­dered” but didn’t is­sue any T4s. In 2013, it paid more than $118,000 to in­di­vid­u­als, again with­out is­su­ing T4s.

The CRA also re­buked the mosque for al­low­ing pri­vate for­profit busi­nesses, in­clud­ing a restau­rant, to op­er­ate out of the mosque rent-free. It also found the mosque made nu­mer­ous er­rors in its an­nual Reg­is­tered Char­ity In­for­ma­tion Re­turn that re­sulted in “in­her­ently un­re­li­able re­turns.”

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