I take exception to the inflammatory and offensive comments made by some in the article “Madrassah barred from Toronto public schools” (cjnews.com, May 24).Seriously, dude, you really think all the touchy-feely stuff you mention gives you a pass to teach Jew-hate? What it really does is make you look like a hypocrite, make a mockery of all your interfaithy endeavours, and make your "partners" look like gullible fools.
David Spiro, of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, refers to the “dubious activism” of the madrassah’s religious leadership, yet offers no explanation of the basis of this allegation. The madrassah’s religious leadership is Islamic Shia Ithna-Asheri Jamaat (ISIJ) in Thornhill, Ont. As members of the MOSAIC Interfaith Group for more than 20 years, we have hosted some 150 to 200 group visits per year by students from Toronto-area high schools.
We were the first Islamic organization in the Toronto area to condemn the 9-11 attacks in a joint press conference with our neighbouring synagogue, Temple Har Zion. When a Montreal Jewish school and an Islamic centre in Pickering, Ont., were hit by arson attacks, we issued a joint condemnation and made a donation to the synagogue. We are a founding partner with a Zoroastrian temple, a synagogue and a Christian church of the Out of the Cold program. And we are joint recipients of the Harmony Award with Temple Har Zion, in recognition of our promotion of Canadian values. Is this what Spiro considers “dubious activism?”
The article also quotes Avi Benlolo, president and CEO of Friends of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, who accuses the madrassah of teaching “antisemitic hate.” Our record of decades of partnership with our friends in the Jewish community and with other religious and secular organizations speaks far louder than any baseless and inflammatory remarks made by vocal critics.
Director of Operations
Islamic Shia Ithna Asheri Jamaat of Toronto
Update: BTW, Sayyid Muhammad Rizvi, the cleric in charge of Mr. Jaffer's mosque is a big time Khomeinist.