Local Muslim association faces rumour campaign

By ANDREW HANON, Edmonton Sun

Last Updated: August 19, 2010 9:16pm

Issam Saleh, chairman of the Muslim Association of Canada's Edmonton chapter, sits in a prayer room at the Rahma Mosque on Thursday. (AMBER BRACKEN/EDMONTON SUN)
Issam Saleh, chairman of the Muslim Association of Canada’s Edmonton chapter, sits in a prayer room at the Rahma Mosque on Thursday. (AMBER BRACKEN/EDMONTON SUN)

A letter to the editor in a west-end newspaper suggesting a local Muslim association has ties to extremists could be the final straw in an increasingly shrill campaign against a proposed Islamic school in Lessard.

The chairman of the Muslim Association of Canada’s Edmonton chapter says the organization is considering suing a tiny handful of “people exhibiting Islamophobia” who are spreading distortions and outright falsehoods about the organization.

“Very much so,” said Issam Saleh. “Our lawyers are compiling a case and we’re considering legal action.”

He said last month an opponent of MAC’s plan told the media that the group might be funding terrorism.

MAC plans to turn a vacant, run-down strip mall in the tony west end neighbourhood into a mosque, community centre and Islamic primary school.

Saleh says that while most of the neighbours have welcomed them – especially the four churches and two synagogues in the area – a small group is “promoting misconceptions” to turn public support against them.

In this month’s issue of the West End News, a letter to the editor signed only by “concerned residents of Lessard/Gariepy Community” warns of “MAC’s affiliation with the Muslim Brotherhood.”

The Muslim Brotherhood is a political group, who calls for an Islamic political and social system and opposes western political and cultural influences,” the letter says. “Given the above, we would like to know what the new centre will be preaching.”

Safwat Girgis, vice president of the Lessard Community League and one of the people behind the letter, said he and his group were initially opposed to MAC’s plan because they feared it would bring too much traffic to the area and cause parking problems.

But when they discovered its “ties” to the Muslim Brotherhood, “it added a different dimension.”

The brotherhood “has a bit more of a radical view of Islam,” he said, “and that’s something to be concerned about.”

But Saleh calls that a complete distortion.

MAC’s national website says it traces its roots to “the Islamic revival of the early 20th century, culminating in the movement of the Muslim Brotherhood.”

” What that means, he said, is that they follow the spiritual teachings of Imam Hassan al-Banna, who taught his followers such virtues as understanding, perseverance, personal sacrifice, and service to the whole community.

In some parts of the Islamic world, the brotherhood became politicized, but that’s not the case here in Canada.

“We get no funds from overseas, and we don’t send any funds out of the country,” Saleh said. “We want to be part of the social fabric of Canadian society. We want to integrate.”

One of MAC’s biggest programs is the Educational Muslim Achievement Awards Night, where students are honoured for their success. This year 280 local Muslim students from elementary school to university were given trophies and scholarships.

“This is what we’re trying to do in the community, things like promoting education,” said Saleh.

MAC has applied to the city to rezone part of its building for a school. He said they plan to begin with a preschool and slowly work up to Grade 3.

The organization eventually wants to have a K-9 school somewhere in the west end, but not at that location, he said.

“They’re using scare tactics, (suggesting links to) terrorism and things like that,” he said. “On the basis of goodwill and building the community, we haven’t responded in a legal way to this, but they’re pushing it to the point that we have no choice but to respond by taking legal action.”



  1. I hope someone can prove that connection to the Muslim Brotherhood.

    Here’s one of the conditions in the Muslim Brotherhood’s Project

    To reconcile political engagement with the necessity of avoiding isolation, on the one hand, with permanent education and institutional work on the other.
    a- Elements
Liberty to function politically in each country according to local circumstances, without however participating in a process which makes a decision which would be contrary to the texts of Shari’a.
    To invite everyone to take part in parliament, municipal councils, labor unions and other institutions of which the membership is chosen by the people in the interest of Islam and of Muslims.
    To continue to educate individuals and generations and to guarantee the training of specialists in various areas according to a previously designed plan.
    To construct social, economic, scientific and health institutions and penetrate the domain of the social services, in order to be in contact with the people and to serve them by means of Islamic institutions……..

    and here’s another

    To dedicate ourselves to the establishment of an Islamic state, in parallel with gradual efforts aimed at gaining control of local power centers through institutional action.
    a- Elements
To channel thought, education and action in order to establish an Islamic power [government] on the earth.
    To influence centers of power both local and worldwide to the service of Islam.
    b- Procedures
To prepare a scientific study on the possibility of establishing the reign of God throughout the world according to established priorities.
    To study the centers of power, both local and worldwide, and the possibilities of placing them under influence.
    To conduct a modern study on the concept of support for the dawa and Islamic law, and more particularly on the men of influence in the State and the country.
    c- Suggested Mission
To draw up an Islamic Constitution in light of efforts deployed up to now.
    To draw up Islamic laws, civil laws, etc.
    To work within various influential institutions and use them in the service of Islam.
    To use the work of economic, social, and other specialized Islamic institutions.

    Their intentions are clear. Use whatever means to infiltrate and eventually convert & take over.

    Don’t trust any of them and keep up the good fight.

  2. Every fighting age male moslem should be considered a valid target… especialy in theater.

    send this junk back to lahore and bangladesh. their law-fare and grand jihad is tantamount to high treason (not integration) and should not be tolerated.

    with their new attacks on Sikhs in pakistan these may be the canadian partners we need to rid ourselves of mosque and moslem taquia.

    the Sikhs knew how to deal with this cult in the past…

    ban islam and its koran as the gutter moon god cult it is.

    visiting their third world shit holes myself, it is easy to see what the west will become unless we get a very strong backbone. garbage and dust everywhere, second class slaves working inside the walled houses of their masters…

    it should bring a great shame upon oneself to be called Muslim, Muslima, Islamic.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s