Muslim Council of Montreal rejects allegations that Montreal mosque is terrorist hubApril 27, 2011
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Montreal, Quebec, April 27th, 2011- The Muslim Council of Montreal (MCM) rejects the recent allegations that the Al Sunnah Al Nabawiah Mosque in Montreal has any connections to terrorist organizations, individuals or ideology.“Such stories unfairly target our communities and only serve the flame up suspicion and fear,” stated Salam Elmenyawi, president of MCM. “Objective analyses of the facts in this case reveal a very different picture. None of the mosque’s administrators or leaders have ever been accused of having terrorist connections or having been involved in terrorist activities. Moreover, the mosque routinely participates in mosques Open Doors events, inviting people of all backgrounds to visit the mosque. Over the many years that it has existed, numerous politicians have visited it, as well as members of various churches, synagogues and schools. The mosque operates very transparently and has nothing to hide from the public and there is nothing sinister, dangerous or illegal about its activities. On the contrary, it has always shown itself to be on the forefront of encouraging civic contribution, engagement and integration, as well as promoting social harmony and peaceful coexistence in our society.”
According to the leaked report that names the mosque, certain men who attended the mosque in the late 1990s later ended up being detained outside of Canada after the 9/11 attacks took place. However, none of them were ever charged with or found guilty of any terrorist activities, and given the exceptionally large congregation of the mosque, it cannot be held accountable for screening all individuals who frequent the facility for prayers.
“This mosque is the largest in Montreal, is situated in the center of the city and is attended by hundreds of different people,” Elmenyawi said. “No doubt if the mosque administrators ever become aware of anything illegal or suspicious taking place in the mosque, they would alert the authorities. But it is unfeasible to expect them to know the backgrounds of each individual who attends the prayers, or to blame the mosque itself if ever any of its congregation is found guilty of a crime.”
MCM notes that these allegations have been made and that they were addressed and answered many years ago when they first emerged. To continue to bring them up again ten years later, without any evidence of wrongdoing on part of the mosque only adds to the prevalent bias against the Muslim community, as the information of the analysis was already proved to be totally false and outlandish. Therefore, MCM calls on intelligence organizations to exercise greater caution and sensibility in targeting communities and raising suspicions about their intentions and activities without having solid evidence. It further calls on the media to present a balanced picture of the facts and avoid rushing to sensationalist reporting.
The Muslim Council of Montreal (MCM) is an umbrella organization representing a number of Islamic institutions in the Montreal region. There are over 250,000 Muslims in Montreal, about 1,100,000 in Canada and 1.9 billion worldwide.