Jul 22 2009
You want to help inform Canadian students about what Islam is really about and create the leaders of the future, so you bring in “the shrewdest Hamas propagandist in the English-speaking world”. What could possibly go wrong?
An Islamic history and culture course at Toronto’s Ryerson University launches this week, July 24-27. This is the chosen vehicle for the Al-Fauz Institute for Islamic Thought’s endeavors to educate Muslim youth about Islamic values and provide context for the “issues experienced in the daily lives of Muslims in the pluralistic Canadian society”. But intrepid investigative journalist Terry Glavin has the scoop in the National Post on why the person delivering these lectures, Azzam Tamimi, seems particularly ill-suited to this organization’s stated mission:
Tamimi has loudly renounced democracy, explicitly praises suicide bombers, and he’s said he’d even be happy to blow himself up in Israel: “It’s the straight way to pleasing my God and I would do it if I had the opportunity.” Tamimi distinguishes good Muslims from their adversaries this way: “We love death. They love life.”
Tamimi recently proclaimed: “I don’t believe in democracy anymore,” and it was at an anti-Israel rally in Dublin only three months ago that Tamimi declared: “With regard to their attitudes to liberation, I say ‘Long Live the Taliban’.”
And we’re just getting started. An excerpt from MEMRI’s report on Tamimi in regard to September 11 and the Taliban Regime:
In an interview with the Spanish daily La Vanguardia titled ‘I Admire the Taliban, They Are Courageous’ in late 2001, Al-Tamimi claimed that the September 11 attacks brought joy to the Arab world. He begins by assuring the interviewer that “everyone” in the Arab world cheered upon seeing the Twin Towers fall. “Excuse me,” says the interviewer, “did you understand my question?” Al-Tamimi: “In the Arab and Muslim countries, everyone jumped for joy. That’s what you asked me, isn’t it?”
Not interested in international relations? Here are Tamimi’s ideas on attaining domestic bliss, spoken at a Cambridge University event, as captured in the MEMRI report:
Dr. Al-Tamimi firstly said that beating was the last in a series of three steps that husbands could use to ‘discipline’ errant wives (a ripple of concern swept the audience at this point), so to concentrate on beating alone was to miss that. But Dr. Al-Tamimi also said that he was regularly surprised why this verse was such a concern to Westerners since he knew of many Arab women who regularly asked their husbands to beat them…
This is the guy that Al-Fauz want to help them to “prepare Muslim advisors and scholars to serve the needs of their communities and generations to come” — here in Canada?
Surely there are more suitable candidates out there somewhere. Perhaps someone who isn’t pulling for the Taliban while our troops are going toe-to-toe with these thugs on the battlefield? Could be a good start.
But that’s the thing: The Al-Fauz Institute knew who Tamimi was when they hired him for this gig. This gives us some pretty clear insight into the kind of values they hold and would like to instill in Canadian society.
I’m guessing the history course at Ryerson won’t actually teach anything all that contentious. The curriculum covers topics like Islamic history, language studies and “personal development”. They’re not going to teach how to make a bomb and blow yourself up in Tel Aviv (or Toronto, for that matter). But that doesn’t matter.
This is just a first point of contact. Many students in this course may be incorporated in Tamimi and the Al-Fauz Institute’s network for a long time after these first lectures. What other lessons do they have in store? Who’s their next guest lecturer: Mahmoud Ahmadinejad?
Look for more of this from the “leaders of the future”: