Is someone who opposes democracy and supports the Taliban and Hamas the right person to teach young Muslims how to apply their faith in Canadian society? The Al-Fauz Institute of Islamic Thought in Mississauga, Ontario apparently thinks so.
The institute claims its purpose is to encourage civic-mindedness and develop a new generation of Canadian Muslim leaders. Journalist/blogger Terry Glavin, writing in Tuesday's National Post, makes clear that Azzam Tamimi - a British political activist and writer that Al Fauz has brought in to lecture in Canada - would be a terrible role model for young Muslims.
Tamimi, who is listed as a member of the institute's "faculty," has renounced democracy. He explicitly praises suicide bombers and says he is willing 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, an advisor to Hamas, distinguishes good Muslims from their enemies, saying, "We love death. They love life."
Watch Tamimi declare his support for terrorism against Israel here. Glavin quotes Tamimi saying "Long live the Taliban."
Despite his pro-terrorist stance, the Al-Fauz Institute is bringing Tamimi in to deliver a four-day "intensive course on Islamic history" from July 24 to July 27 at Ryerson University in Toronto. When asked about Tamimi's record, Iqbal Masood Nadvi, the institute's "senior patron," denied any knowledge of it.
"I am hearing this from you for the first time," Nadvi told Glavin. "I don't believe in the Taliban. What I know about Tamimi is he is an academic person." Nadvi referred further questions to the Al-Fauz Institute's coordinator, Junaid Mirza. Mirza said he was familiar with Tamimi's political background, but invited him because of his expertise in Islamic history.
According to Mirza, Tamimi's support for the Taliban should not disqualify him to speak because he was coming to Ryerson for an "academic discussion" rather than politics.
Terry Glavin counters: "Is the Al-Fauz Institute really interested in helping young Muslim Canadians make healthy contributions to this country's mosaic? Azzam Tamimi preaches a toxic, anti-democratic Islamism and espouses a decidedly oppressive way of life. The Al-Fauz Institute must be called to account."
Read more about Tamimi here.