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Radical Speakers on Agenda for Toronto Islamic Conference

December 19, 2019
B’nai Brith Canada
TORONTO – B’nai Brith Canada is disturbed by the scheduled appearances of extremist figures at a major Islamic event, set to begin this Friday (Dec. 20) in Canada’s largest city.

“Reviving the Islamic Spirit,” Canada’s largest Islamic conference, will feature American preachers Yasir Qadhi, Siraj Wahhaj and Omar Suleiman among its lecturers, according to a program posted on its website.

All three have a history of antisemitic and inciting remarks. On Aug. 31, Qadhi defended the Islamic hadith, or saying of Muhammad, proclaiming that at the End of Days, the Jews will be slaughtered by the Muslims.

He further claimed that Muslims could not be antisemitic because Muhammad was a Semite. In 2017, a Jordanian imam visiting Montreal was charged criminally after B’nai Brith exposed him for uttering the same hadith defended by Qadhi. Siraj Wahhaj was named as an unindicted co-conspirator in the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center and was a character witness in the trial of Omar Abdel-Rahman, who conspired to commit further terrorist attacks in the U.S., describing him as a “respected scholar” and “strong preacher of Islam.”

Omar Suleiman, in a 2012 lecture, claimed in bizarre fashion that “if not for the Children of Israel, meat would not decay,” and that Jews “harmed all of their prophets.” He has also described Zionists, who support the existence of Israel, as “enemies of G-d.”

Islamic Circle of North America“It is troubling that a major Canadian Muslim conference continues to invite extremist preachers to Canada,” said Michael Mostyn, Chief Executive Officer of B’nai Brith Canada. “Surely there are enough qualified moderate Muslim leaders, without a history of extremist messaging, who can be chosen to speak at events such as these.”

Last year, B’nai Brith spoke out when Wahhaj and other radical figures appeared at the “Carry the Light” conference organized by the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) Canada. Also last year, a group of imams toured Canada on behalf of the Islamic Education and Research Academy (IERA), a British group with a history of antisemitic and homophobic statements.