This poor excuse of a school should be shut down
TORONTO — A Toronto Islamic school whose teaching curriculum disparaged Jews and encouraged boys to keep fit for jihad will not face criminal charges but police said they had identified curriculum materials they found concerning.
A Toronto Islamic school whose teaching materials disparaged Jews and encouraged boys to keep fit for jihad will not face criminal charges but police said their investigation had identified passages of syllabus books they found concerning.
A York Regional Police report outlining the hate crimes investigation of the East End Madrassah said a review of 30 school syllabus books found portions that “challenged some of Canada’s core values” and “suggested intolerance,” even if they were not criminal.
The report also confirmed some of the school materials originated from books published by Iranian foundations, one of which is an alleged front for the Islamic regime. The Iranian-origin passages referred to Jews as “crafty” and “treacherous,” and contrasted Islam with “the Jews and the Nazis.”
Police held Principal Masuma Jessa and Imam Syed Mohammed Rizvi responsible. “As leaders in their respective roles the two must accept responsibility for failing to appropriately screen the learning material. Although not held criminally responsible, the complaint has raised a legitimate concern and has prompted change.”
The Friends of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre said it was disappointed no charges would be laid but praised police for the investigation. “The antisemitic hate contained in the curriculum of Toronto’s East End Madrassah was blatant,” said Avi Benlolo, President and CEO of FSWC. “It is frightening to learn that this revolting content … is being taught to young children; their minds are being poisoned and I cannot imagine how these youngsters will one day become grown ups capable of functioning as tolerant and respectful adults in a multicultural society.”
The investigation began in May after Jewish organizations in Toronto publicly complained about the curriculum books on the East End Madrassah website. The madrassah apologized and said it would review its teaching materials but the Toronto District School Board revoked the school’s permit.
The curriculum documents not only referred to Jews in crude terms but also said “good Muslims” could not listen to music, that girls should limit their involvement in sports and that Islam was “the best and most perfect of all religions.”
In addition, the books said boys should exercise to be ready for jihad, which they said “sometimes also involves fighting a war against an unjust ruler” and quoted Muslim scripture that said “fighting (in the cause of Allah) is ordained unto you.”
The Level 3 curriculum asked students to color 10 boxes, each representing a branch of Islam. One of the boxes was labeled: Jihad. Another explained that jihad could be a personal struggle or “the physical defending of Islam in a war.”
But police traced the most contentious passages to books published by the Al Balagh Foundation in Iran and the Mostazafan Foundation of New York, an alleged front for the Iranian regime.
“The Iranian question was raised by investigators with Imam Rizvi to which he responded that it is not unreasonable for some of the literature sourced by the Shia community to have its origins in Iran,” the police report said, adding the city of Qom was like the Vatican for Shia Muslims.
“Although Imam Rizvi’s statement has some merit, further investigation reveals that while the Iranian connection is ancillary as mentioned earlier in the introduction it cannot be dismissed, as The Islamic Republic of Iran is a theocratic Islamic State with the current leader, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on public record stating, ‘Death to Israel,’” police wrote.
York police said the hate crimes investigation had forced them to stray beyond their traditional law enforcement function “into an educator’s role to determine what is acceptable to teach young Canadians from a religious perspective,” the report said.
“What needs clarification is the degree to which we tolerate the exposure of young impressionable minds to the promotion of a belief or ideology while it denigrates other communities or faiths.”