Canadian mosque acting less than “moderate.” “Mosque in hot water again,” by Iain Marlow for The Star, November 17 (thanks to Patrick):
The Toronto mosque that once warned its members to avoid wishing others “Merry Christmas,” equating it with murder, is once again pitted in controversy.
And now the Muslim Canadian Congress is calling on Ottawa to strip the charitable status of the Somali Islamic Society of Canada, which owns the Khalid Bin Al-Walid mosque in Etobicoke, founded in 1990 and serving more than 10,000 worshippers.
Congress president Farzana Hassan said postings on the mosque’s website are “in contravention of what a moderate Muslim should stand for.”
Asked for specifics, Hassan cited the site’s “statements about women.” For example, she said, “they say female circumcision is honourable and yet they find piercing your ears reprehensible, wearing high heels reprehensible, laughing objectionable. It’s very disconcerting that their priorities are where they are.”
But the mosque defends its postings, arguing in a statement posted on its website that “different scholars of Islam may have differing opinions on the same subject.”[…]
“We have maintained our web site to reach out to Muslims and non-Muslims alike to provide to them the authentic teachings of Islam,” the mosque’s administration says in the statement. “We do not seek to offend or harm anyone with what is written on our web site.[…]
Perhaps not with what is “written” on your website, but if such statements do not literally cause “harm” (as for “offend,” they most certainly do), they lead to the “harm” of others, through the use of, not words, but swords, baseball bats, machetes and metal poles.
It’s not the first time the mosque or its board have been the subject of critical attention from other Muslim organizations that see it as extremist or ill-informed about Islam.
In 2002, a mosque employee sent an email to the Khalid mosque’s Internet message service on Christmas Day, warning that saying “Merry Christmas” was akin to “congratulating someone for drinking wine, or murdering someone or having illicit sexual relations and so on.”