August 31, 2023
TORONTO – B’nai Brith Canada is calling on the Muslim Association of Canada (MAC) to remove an antisemitic speaker from its annual convention, scheduled for this Labour Day weekend.
Sheikh Nashaat Ahmed, a prominent Egyptian-born Salafi preacher, has long been a speaker at mosques and Muslim community centres across Canada. He is routinely invited to appear these days at the Dar Foundation, an Islamic charity in Oakville, Ont.
Although Salafis tend to follow a relatively strict interpretation of the Quran, many of Ahmed’s views are extremist. In 2016, for example, he openly prayed at an Alberta mosque for Jews to be destroyed. On his YouTube channel, he posts similar content, including one denouncing Jews as “the worst living creatures.”
In addition, on different social-media platforms, he has, among other things, referred to Jews as “descendants of pigs and apes.”
“We are highly disappointed in MAC for giving a prominent podium to Sheikh Ahmed, who is an open and vile Jew hater,” said Michael Mostyn, B’nai Brith Canada’s Chief Executive Officer. “His anti-Jewish statements clearly foment hate, and he should not be featured in any forum by a charitable organization.
“MAC can still do the right thing and cancel this antisemite’s appearance. As leaders in the Canadian Muslim community, MAC should set a good example by refusing to endorse and promote Sheikh Ahmed.”
B’nai Brith is also concerned that the Dar Foundation – another Canadian charity – has so far evaded scrutiny for their ongoing willingness to promote Ahmed.
“We are hopeful that MAC and Dar will listen to reason and suspend their relationships with this problematic individual,” Mostyn said.
This is not the first time that B’nai Brith has raised concerns about MAC’s guest speakers at their annual convention. In 2021, we raised similar objections when the organization invited Tareq al-Suwaidan, a Kuwaiti activist who authored a faux “Jewish Encyclopedia” purporting to expose the Jews’ “wickedness, treason and deception.”
At the time, B’nai Brith wrote to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and Diane Lebouthillier, then-Minister of National Revenue, demanding that the MAC’s charitable status be revoked unless it issues a full and unequivocal apology for its invitations to al-Suwaidan and promises not to associate with him ever again. We never heard back from any of the parties about the concerns we raised.
B’nai Brith has separately reached out to the Dar Foundation.