Conference Held At ISNA/Canada Accused Of Anti-Semitism And Homophobia


Canadian local media is reporting on a controversial conference associated with the Islamic Society of North America being held in Mississauga, Ontario. According to the report, critics of the conference have accused the sponsors of anti-Semitic and anti-gay remarks and one of the conference organizers suggested that the Jews were behind the 911 attacks:

People who spread hatred about others are not welcome in Canada. That was the message a group of more than 75 peaceful protesters delivered today at the Canada Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) mosque on South Sheridan Way, where the “Calling the World Back to Allah” conference was being held. The full-day conference is part of the Canada launch tour of the Islamic Education and Research Academy (IERA), a British organization seeking to establish a presence in Toronto and Montreal. They say the conference was held to build bridges amongst Muslim communities in Canada. Jewish Defence League National Director Meir Weinstein said he and other groups came out for one simple reason. “We don’t want those individuals, who believe in hatred, coming into Canada,” he said. “They’re looking for a fertile country for radical influence. “They’ve said things like ‘Jews are cursed,’ among all kinds of different hatred. “The bottom line is, this organization is coming here from England trying to set up here,” he said. “In an Islamic state, there’s no freedoms. Iran is not a beacon of humility or light.” IERA describes itself as a global “dawah” organization that’s committed to presenting Islam to wider society. Allegations of speakers making anti-Semitic and anti-gay remarks resulted in the IERA’s conference being cancelled at some venues, including Toronto’s Sheraton Centre where today’s event was originally scheduled. “This has to be exposed and confronted,” said Weinstein. ISNA staff confirmed the conference was taking place there all day, but at the same time, sought to distance itself from the event. “ISNA is not organizing the conference. All we’re doing is providing a venue for the event,” was the response to an inquiry. IERA head of communications Saleem Chagtai said the protesters demonize his group’s speakers. “We’re reaching out and we’re not interested in hate,” Chagtai said. “We’re interested in moral discussions.” He said media reports that link them to hate allegations are taking their words “deliberately out of context … stereotyping. It’s very much not like that.” He also said his group was disturbed by the Sheraton’s decision to oust them. “We don’t think that’s fair,” he said. “It’s very unbecoming for a multinational corporation to cancel.” In defended the IERA’s stance on homosexuality, which is looked upon as a sin by his group. But that doesn’t give “anyone a right to taunt or treat them any differently than anyone else.” One of the IERA speakers, Malaysian convert Hussain Yee, has said “the Jews” are “the most extremist nation in this world.” He also suggested that Jews perpetrated and celebrated the 9/11 attacks in America. People from various faith groups carried Israeli flags outside the Clarkson area mosque. They also carried signs that read “Stop Islamic Racism.” The protesters represented =Canadian Hindu Advocacy, International Christian Voice, the Canadian Egyptian Congress, the Costa Christian Mission and Lakshmi Narayan Hindu Temple Peel Regional Police officers were at the scene to ensure crowds stayed controlled, but most of the protesters appeared peaceful.”

report by the Hudson Institute has identified ISNA as a major part of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood. The organization has a long history of fundamentalism, anti-semitism, and support for terrorism and during the recent Holy Land Foundation terrorism financing trial, ISNA was named as an unindicted co-conspirator. Although recently ISNA has issued condemnations of terrorism which for the first time identify Hamas and Hezbollah by name, there is no indication that the organization has ever addressed or acknowledged its history.

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