Stewart Bell of Global News reports that “The federal government has stripped one of Ottawa’s largest mosques of its charity status over “activities that promote hate and intolerance,” Global News has learned … [and] … The Canada Revenue Agency took action against the Ottawa Islamic Centre and Assalam Mosque following audits that raised concerns about its roster of guest speakers … [the CRA said that] … “Many of the views expressed by the organization’s speakers are misogynistic, homophobic, racist and/or promote violence,” … in a letter sent to the mosque president.“
That’s fine, as far as it goes, but we, our government, should be equally concerned about ANY group that promotes the supremacy of any race or creed or that promotes hatred against any other group(s) like blacks or gays or Jews or, it goes without saying, against Muslims.
Of course there’s always another side to any story and “Mosque officials denied promoting intolerance and said the troubles dated back to more than five years ago when the organization was run by two hardline board members. The audit covered the years 2012 and 2013. Speakers are now pre-screened, they said.“
The courts have now held that charities can have legitimate, even partisan political projects as part of their core programmes; that’s all well and good but there have to be some limits and I hope that this case will go to court and that, in this case, the judges will side with the Canada Revenue Agency and agree that hate speech crosses an important line. But the evidence may be flawed: “Documents detailing the results of the government audits were obtained by Global News. They indicate the CRA was unable to determine exactly what the various speakers said while at the mosque … [that may be a problem in court, but] …the CRA auditors reviewed the views that had been publicly expressed by a number of the speakers and found them to be at odds with the “public benefit” required of charities under federal tax law … [and] … The CRA documents (available below) singled out Abu Usamah At-thahabi, Bilal Philips, Hakkeem Quick and Saed Rageah — all of whom had spoken at the Ottawa mosque one or more times … [and] … According to the CRA, At-thahabi has called women deficient, said Christians and Jews were enemies, spoke about throwing homosexuals off a mountain and said those who left the Islamic faith should be killed.“
A cautionary afterthought
The Global News report notes that a couple of prominent, serving, Liberal politicians attended Eid celebrations at the Assalam Mosque in 2013, the period of concern to the CRA. I am not faulting any politician for attending religious or cultural observances ~ promoting tolerance and understanding is the right thing to do ~ but, as with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the Khalistan movement, in 2017, in Toronto …
… I think politicians should do a bit of homework before attending such celebrations.