Concerns about controversial material at mosque connected to local school
The education minister is concerned about claims a mosque connected to an elementary school in Montreal’s west end has been distributing literature that some say promotes a radical view of Islam.
Yves Bolduc said he is extremely concerned, and wants to know if the writings are influencing the school's curriculum.
The Ecole Musulmane de Montreal at 7445 Chester Ave. receives a subsidy from the Quebec government.
A side entrance to the school connects to a small mosque called the Muslim Centre of Quebec.
Inside, they give out several leaflets on Islam, including one called ‘Controversial Questions about Islam and Comments.’
One passage suggests a person might use violence to defend property and the innocent if they're motivated by divine teachings; the booklet calls that type of jihad "courageous."
Another passage explains why in Islamic countries, the law permits the cutting off of a thief's hand, while another discusses how a man can marry four wives, provided he is fair to them.
At the mosque, a man named Romiz Uddin said he could not answer questions about the pamphlet, saying he doesn’t speak for the mosque, but does work there.
He did, however, denounced terrorism.
“Yes. Terrorism -- Christian terrorism, Jewish terrorism, Islamic terrorism -- all terrorism is bad,” he said.
The school’s website says its mission is to teach the Muslim faith with a link to Quebec and Canadian values. No one from the school would return phone calls to CTV Montreal.
Bolduc confirmed to CTV Montreal the school is indeed subsidized by the government, adding that he wants more information on what the school is teaching.
“We want to know what happens there,” said Bolduc. “We’ve asked the minister of security to give the information for police to have an inquest.”
Upon returning to the mosque later Monday, the controversial booklet had disappeared.
Montreal Muslim Council president Salam Elmenyawi said he's now reviewing the book, explaining that it may have started as an attempt to explain Islam – but has once again embarrassed members of the peaceful faith.