British Imam says his comments against Jews and Hindus were taken out of contex.
- Friends,The controversial British imam, Riyadh-ul-Haq told the CBC Radio this morning that his folllowing words, are not hate speech, and that they were taken out of context:"you shall find that the most intense in their hatred towards the believers, the most intense in their hatred and enmity towards the believers al yahoud wa-al-ladhina ashraku, the Jews and the mushrikin, the idolaters. Allah subhana wa taalaa said it. Of the peoples of the earth, the ones that hate Muslims the most, the ones who are bitterest in their enmity towards Muslims, the most unrelenting, unforgiving, are the Jews and the mushrikin, idolaters in all their forms. Allah places the Yahoud [Jews] and mushrikin together. And the chief mushrikin of this day and age, the chief idolaters, are none other than the Hindus."When pressed by the CBC Radio host to explain the context within which the above remarks would be considred appropriate, Riyadh-ul-Haq, evaded the question repeatedly, and not once denied having made the hateful remarks.His clumsy attempt to blame the media for his woes, made him sound dubious and his comments, a bad attempt at spin doctoring.Tarek-------------------------------------Last Updated Fri, 30 Jun 2006 10:56:06 EDT
Controversial Muslim cleric denies sermons are hate speech
The controversial Muslim cleric from Britain due to speak in Toronto this weekend has told CBC he does not promote hatred.
Tarek Fatah, founder of the Muslim Canadian Congress, one of the groups that contacted Immigration Minister Monte Solberg with concerns about the imam's visit. (CBC)Sheik Abu Yousef Riyadh ul-Haq, scheduled to speak at the Youth Tarbiyah Conference in Scarborough, has drawn fire for sermons his critics allege incite hatred of Jews, Hindus, gays and moderate Muslims."All I would like to say is that the picture portrayed from these quotes that I preach hatred against the Jews, the Christians or the Hindus is totally false," he told CBC.Ul-Haq was interviewed in London on Thursday by officials from the Canadian High Commission, who have been in contact with Air Canada regarding his possible arrival in the country.In an interview broadcast Friday on the CBC Radio program The Current, ul-Haq insists his words have been taken out of context and that he was actually condemning extremists of every religious persuasion who misinterpret their holy books to justify terrorism.Several groups in Canada, including the Muslim Canadian Congress and the Canadian Jewish Congress, want him turned back if he does arrive."This is a very divisive man," said Tarek Fatah of the MCC. "Even if the words were taken out of context, we would like to know in what context does he have the right to speak about gays and lesbians and Hindus and Jews?"The two groups were among a coalition that contacted Immigration Minister Monte Solberg in advance of the visit to raise their concerns.The cleric has preached in Canada on four occasions and attracted little attention. He was scheduled to speak in Montreal last week but withdrew.The media officer for the Islamic Foundation of Toronto, which is helping organize the conference, told CBC ul-Haq is being unfairly targeted because of heightened tension in the wake of the arrests earlier this month of 17 Muslims in an alleged bomb plot in the Toronto area."For some reason, they're pointing fingers at him and saying, 'There's the guy who's coming here, he's going to incite the youth,' " said Syed Zain Khan. "We want him to come here to help build the youth."Alistair Gordon of the Coalition of Democracies said the group was careful to have ul-Haq's speeches translated by a fluent Arabic speaker and he maintains nothing was taken out of context.Ul-Haq's speeches, he said, are intolerant."He says in his own sermon, 'Please forgive me for polluting the mosque,' before he would even utter the word homosexual."The Canadian High Commission has told ul-Haq that if he flies to Canada, officials at Pearson International Airport will likely decide to refuse him entry.