A massive upcoming Islamic conference in Toronto, which was to be headlined by an Indian televangelist until he was recently banned from Canada for his inflammatory statements, features a list of speakers whose past comments against Jews, homosexuals and the West have raised red flags in other countries.
The Journey of Faith Conference -- billed as North America's largest Islamic conference -- features such personalities as Abdur Raheem Green, who has advocated "fighting jihad" and who was reportedly invited by the Christmas Day airline bomber to address British students in 2007, and Sheikh Hussein Yee, who once said Jews are the "extremists of the world" and will "go to Hell.
The chairman of the conference -- which is slated to attract upwards of 10,000 people to the city next month -- is Imam Saed Rageah, whose Toronto mosque, the Abu Huraira Centre, made headlines last fall after several young worshippers vanished and were feared to have joined a Somali militant group.
The National Post reported yesterday that the conference's main speaker, Peace TV founder Dr. Zakir Naik, will not be allowed to enter Canada because of concerns surrounding past statements such as "every Muslim should be a terrorist," Jews are "our staunchest enemy," and "If [Osama bin Laden] is fighting the enemies of Islam, I am for him."
But while Dr. Naik recently grabbed headlines around the world -- first for his exclusion from the U.K. ahead of a speaking tour later this month -- the conference itself has managed to keep a relatively low profile, despite its controversial list of a dozen speakers and chairman...I must say I'm shocked--shocked!--to learn that such things could be openly said in such company. I had always heard that Islam was a religion of, you know, peace.
In any event, I think I've come up with someone who might be a good pinch hitter for Dr. Zakir Naik: Salman Hossain. You may recall him from his website, Filthy Jewish Terrorists, which would put his thinking firmly in line with those pitching "Jews are extremists" palaver. And since he's already here--and, as we know, is allowed to say anything he wants with no fear than authorities will charge him with a hate crime--there’s no chance of his having to tangle with border officials. Also, he's young, bright, hip and computer-savvy, which would definitely appeal to the kids, both Muslim and infidel.
On the downside, Hossain may not be the drawing card conference organizers are looking for since, as the Post editorial assures us, the Canadian brand of Islam is far more tepid and less ghettoized that the European variety. (Sure, the assurance is based largely on say-so of Canadian Islamic leaders, but there's no reason to believe they would want to steer us wrong on this matter, right?) That might make it difficult for Hossain to draw a crowd.
Then again, it sounds like the faithful are determined to show up en masse no matter what. (Let's hope that CSIS is there, too, to keep tabs on the proceedings--undercover, of course.)
Update: "Jihadstock": heh.