Islamic school in Toronto off the hook for brainwashing children

From Canada’s National Post comes a story about an Islamic school in Toronto (the East End Madrassah) accused of promulgating ant-Semitism and jihad to young children.  The school, however, won’t face formal charges for defamation and hate crime (I believe Canada has stricter laws about this than the U.S.):

A York Regional Police report outlining the hate crimes investigation of the East End Madrassah said a review of 30 school syllabus books found portions that “challenged some of Canada’s core values” and “suggested intolerance,” even if they were not criminal.

The report also confirmed some of the school materials originated from books published by Iranian foundations, one of which is an alleged front for the Islamic regime. The Iranian-origin passages referred to Jews as “crafty” and “treacherous,” and contrasted Islam with “the Jews and the Nazis.”

One of the books at issue is given below; you can scroll through it or download it. This is the Level 8 curriculum, presumably more advanced than the level 3 described below:

The curriculum documents not only referred to Jews in crude terms but also said “good Muslims” could not listen to music, that girls should limit their involvement in sports and that Islam was “the best and most perfect of all religions.”

In addition, the books said boys should exercise to be ready for jihad, which they said “sometimes also involves fighting a war against an unjust ruler” and quoted Muslim scripture that said “fighting (in the cause of Allah) is ordained unto you.”

The Level 3 curriculum asked students to color 10 boxes, each representing a branch of Islam. One of the boxes was labeled: Jihad. Another explained that jihad could be a personal struggle or “the physical defending of Islam in a war.”

Some of the material allegedly traces back to theocratic Iran:

But police traced the most contentious passages to books published by the Al Balagh Foundation in Iran and the Mostazafan Foundation of New York, an alleged front for the Iranian regime.

“The Iranian question was raised by investigators with Imam Rizvi to which he responded that it is not unreasonable for some of the literature sourced by the Shia community to have its origins in Iran,” the police report said, adding the city of Qom was like the Vatican for Shia Muslims.

How would you like your children to be taught this?

Here are a few screenshots, but if you really want to see scary brainwashing in action, scroll quickly through the entire document.

Jihad. Note the conjunction of Jews and Nazis, and also the euphemism about Islam requiring adherents to “rescue” the benighted people who don’t accept Allah:

Here are two more quotes about jihad from the Post’s page:

“Islam has allowed boys to engage in sports for one specific reason and that is to always keep them healthy and strong. But why should a Muslim be healthy and strong? Firstly, it is necessary to take care of the body because it is a gift from Allah. Secondly, so that you may physically be ready for jihad whenever the time comes for it.”

“No doubt any wise, humanitarian person accepts such a combat and admires it [jihad] because there is no other way to achieve the sacred ends of the Prophets.”

(Other quotes were taken from the East End Madrassah website, which appears to have been suspended.)  Let us hear no more from Muslims, or occasional readers of this site, that jihad has nothing to do with conversion via physical force—that it is only a synonym for “persuasion.” In the end, Muslim theology mandates that those who don’t willingly accept Islam should be either forcibly converted or killed.

The hijab, and why women should wear it (check out the first “benefit”):

This shows the dangers of brainwashing: you not only accept a belief, but you’re told you have to act on it.

And sharia law:

Obedience to authority. Finally, an admonition that you’re not supposed to ask questions, but to believe the admonitions of your mujtahid (an Islamic scholar):

Remember, this is not Iran, Yemen, or Saudi Arabia: this is a  schoolbook in Canada, and the parents of these students have presumably seen it and approved it.

It’s ironic, then, that the National Post article ends this way:

York police said the hate crimes investigation had forced them to stray beyond their traditional law enforcement function “into an educator’s role to determine what is acceptable to teach young Canadians from a religious perspective,” the report said.

“What needs clarification is the degree to which we tolerate the exposure of young impressionable minds to the promotion of a belief or ideology while it denigrates other communities or faiths.”

Here’s the answer about how much exposure of children to an ideology of hatred the Canadians should tolerate:  NONE!

Are there “moderate” Muslims? Maybe, but this is what is being taught to children in Canada. As the Jesuits supposedly said, “Give me the child for his first seven years, and I’ll give you the man.” Or, in this case, the woman.

Islam poisons everything.

 

h/t: Joe

75 Comments

  1. akb
    Posted November 11, 2012 at 6:46 am | Permalink

    Teachings of Jihad are embedded in the Quran……and standing by oppressed people does no wrong. Anything repugnant to whatz contained in the Quran is wrong n exaggeration of Quranic teachings by the sect promoting it. Whither yr Freedom of speech

    • Andrew B.
      Posted November 11, 2012 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

      What?

  2. Linda Grilli Calhoun
    Posted November 11, 2012 at 7:08 am | Permalink

    “Here’s the answer about how much exposure of children to an ideology of hatred the Canadians should tolerate: NONE!”

    I’m sorry, but I respectfully disagree. Children should not be EXCLUSIVELY exposed to an ideology of hatred. Children, and adults, too, should be openly exposed to as many ideologies and viewpoints as they can reasonably examine. And EXAMINE is the operative word here.

    Censorship is never the answer. Daylight is the answer. L

    • notsont
      Posted November 11, 2012 at 8:51 am | Permalink

      Those books and how they are taught are censorship, or do you think they are being taugh5t to examine them critically?

      • Linda Grilli Calhoun
        Posted November 11, 2012 at 9:09 am | Permalink

        No, I don’t think they’re being taught critically.

        My point is that the way to combat the problem is to expose it, again and again, over and over, in the larger world.

        Trying to limit the publication of books such as these never works, and it leaves open the possibility of censorship in other areas.

        The best result of daylight is that some of the kids being taught this nonsense will get some perspective. But, even if they don’t, one result will be that other people will get some perspective and at least will be prepared to respond.

        I don’t think anything is gained by censorship. Plus, in a free society, censorship has huge practical problems. Who will the censors be? What will the criteria be? How do you avoid those criteria being applied inappropriately?

        Daylight is still the answer. L

    • Torbjörn Larsson, OM
      Posted November 11, 2012 at 9:57 am | Permalink

      Preventing mandatory or other exposure is not the same as censorship.

      On the contrary it has the same end goal in mind, letting people make their own choices. If you haven’t been exposed but is curious about quaint religions, there are libraries.

      • Linda Grilli Calhoun
        Posted November 11, 2012 at 10:13 am | Permalink

        How, precisely, would you “prevent exposure”? L

        • Posted November 12, 2012 at 12:13 am | Permalink

          He/she wrote “mandatory exposure”, which is fairly easily prevented. You cannot simply ommit crucial words from other people’s argument and argue only about what is left.

  3. Sunny
    Posted November 11, 2012 at 7:09 am | Permalink

    At least no one named a pineapple or a teddy bear ‘Mohammed’. Now that would have been offensive.

  4. Er
    Posted November 11, 2012 at 7:13 am | Permalink

    An analysis of Israeli textbooks in 2000 by the Center for Monitoring the Impact of Peace (CMIP) found that in some textbooks for the Orthodox Jewish community, there were derogatory adjectives, prejudices, patronizing expressions and disrespect toward Arabs. The Arab leadership was portrayed as motivated by an eternal hatred independent of historical circumstances. In textbooks for every age, Israel’s wars are described as justified wars of defense, and the Arabs held responsible for them. The Palestinian exodus is attributed to the fact that the Arabs fled from their homes. Only few textbooks stated that some refugees were expelled by Israel or were forced to flee through threats. Some do not mention the Palestinian exodus at all.

    Fundamentalism spoils everything.

    • Malgorzata
      Posted November 11, 2012 at 7:58 am | Permalink

      It is strange that some people just have to drag Israel into everything. I didn’t find the report Er is writing about but I found many other reports by CMPI, a very thorough Israeli organization. It’s critique of some aspects od Israeli schoolbooks led to changes, its critique of some aspects of schoolbooks in Arab and Islamic countries didn’t lead to any changes. Some things Er gives as examples of distortion in Israeli schoolbooks are no distortions, only historical facts. Israeli wars were defence wars, majority of Palestinian Arabs left the war theater because they were urged to do it by their leaders and threatened with imaginary Jewish crimes. Only an minority was expelled. The hatred towards Jew in Islam is of very, very old date. Instead of believing blind in Arab “narrative” I would recommend reading contemporary description, not even heavy historical books. For example D.R. Elston, No Alternative, and John Roy Carlson, From Cairo to Damascus. A lie repeted ten thousand times should not replace the truth.
      I agree that fundamentalism spois all (and it does not need to be religious fundamentalism).

      • akb
        Posted November 11, 2012 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

        Your ‘conclusion’ about Paledtinians fleeing is ridiculous. Who would vacate n flee his own house unless for risk of destruction by ”Sandy”?? The Jews ousted them n captured their lands.
        Jihad is like a training in times of war. Moreover, it is Not targettef against anyone but the enemy for self defense. Don’t you teach kids n adults martial arts??then whythis hue n cry over Jihad?? Evidently it could be called ISLAMOPHOBIA.
        Those who don’t like Jihad must not be sent to such schools. Freedom as allowed must not be violated bcause it doesn’t sound good to a segment. Jihad is not bad n should hve no implication on Canada as Muslims arealso taught tobe loyal to the country where they live.

        • Sally
          Posted November 12, 2012 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

          But it’s not ridiculous. In 1948 they were told by the surrounding Arab powers to get out of the way while they wiped out the Jews, and then they could go back home. Ben Gurion begged them to stay put, and some of them did and their descendants are now Israeli citizens. The ones who left were considered enemy aliens after the war. That’s it in a nutshell. It’s too bad, and it was probably dangerous to stay and risk being in a battlefield, but that’s what happened.

    • Pray Hard
      Posted November 12, 2012 at 7:10 am | Permalink

      “The Arab leadership was portrayed as motivated by an eternal hatred independent of historical circumstances.”

      The Arab leadership spews this every day, from their own mouths and or from their funding of terrorism.

      “In textbooks for every age, Israel’s wars are described as justified wars of defense, and the Arabs held responsible for them.”

      How many rockets were fired into Israel the other day before the Israelis fired one back? Headline … “Israel Attacks Palestine” … Arabs/Muslims are professional victims.

      I’m thinking of writing a song about equivocation.

      Religion is poison. Islam is plutonium.

  5. Miles_Teg
    Posted November 11, 2012 at 7:19 am | Permalink

    I’m always curious as to why women in Islam have to cover up, but not men.

    I once had a Shia boss, he hated Israel but in other ways was quite moderate. He said he liked flirting with fully covered Moslem women, even where only eye contact was possible. And the first time I met his wife, I expected to be covered from head to tow in one of those gowns that are high fashion in Tehran. But she was dressed as an ordinary Western woman, in a tight fitting outfit that would have got her arrested instantly in Iran.

  6. Er
    Posted November 11, 2012 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    The quotes come direct from Wikapedia, you will find the references there. Here are some more. In his 2004 article “The Arab Image in Hebrew School Textbooks,” Dan Bar-Tal of Tel Aviv University studied 124 textbooks used in Israeli schools. He concluded that generations of Israeli Jews have been taught a negative and often delegitimizing view of Arabs. He claims Arabs are portrayed in these textbooks as primitive, inferior in comparison to Jews, violent, untrustworthy, fanatic, treacherous and aggressive. While history books in the elementary schools hardly mentioned Arabs, the high school textbooks that covered the Arab-Jewish conflict, stereotyped Arabs negatively, as intransigent and uncompromising.[9][unreliable source?]
    Nurit Peled-Elhanan, a professor of language and education at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem has published Palestine in Israeli School Books: Ideology and Propaganda in Education, an account of her study of the contents of Israeli school books. She asserts that the books promote racism against and negative images of Arabs, and that they prepare young Israelis for their compulsory military service. After examining “hundreds and hundreds” of books, Peled-Elhanan claims she did not find one photograph that depicted an Arab as a “normal person”. She has stated that the most important finding in the books she studied concerns the historical narrative of events in 1948, the year in which Israel fought a war to establish itself as an independent state. She claims that the killing of Palestinians is depicted as something that was necessary for the survival of the nascent Jewish state. “It’s not that the massacres are denied, they are represented in Israeli school books as something that in the long run was good for the Jewish state.”[10]. “[T]he Israeli version of events are stated as objective facts, while the Palestinian-Arab versions are stated as possibility, realized in openings such as ‘According to the Arab version’ … [or] ‘Dier [sic.] Yassin became a myth in the Palestinian narrative … a horrifying negative image of the Jewish conqueror in the eyes of Israel’s Arabs’ . (Palestine in Israeli School Books:pg 50-51)
    With reference to previous studies of Israeli school textbooks, Peled-Elhanan states that, despite some signs of improvement in the 1990s, the more recent books do not not ignore, but justify issues such as the Nakba. For example, in all the books mentioning Deir Yassin, the massacre is justified because: “the slaughter of friendly Palestinians brought about the flight of other Palestinians which enabled the establishment of a coherent Jewish state” ( Palestine in Israeli School Books:pg 178).
    She also states that contrary to the hope of previous studies “for ‘the appearance of a new narrative in [Israeli] history textbooks’ … some of the most recent school books (2003-09) regress to the ‘first generation’ [1950s] accounts — when archival information was less accessible — and are, like them ‘replete with bias, prejudice, errors, [and] misrepresentations’ ” (Palestine in Israeli School Books:pg 228).

    It is strange why some people are selective in their condemnation of religious fundamentalism.

    • Malgorzata
      Posted November 11, 2012 at 8:16 am | Permalink

      Here is CMPI reply to Dr. Peled-Elhanan analysis. Not very supporting, rather demolishing her ideologically biased “research”: http://www.impact-se.org/docs/reactions/individuals/NuritPeled2006.pdf (z 2003 r.)

    • notsont
      Posted November 11, 2012 at 8:54 am | Permalink

      Israel isn’t Canada, also just because some other asshole does something does not mean its OK. Of course you know that, and were just making stupid points because…why?

      • Er
        Posted November 11, 2012 at 9:10 am | Permalink

        Prof. Nathan Brown, in his Democracy, History, and the Contest over the Palestinian Curriculum article—described CMIP’s reports on Palestinian textbooks as “tendentious and misleading

        • Andrew B.
          Posted November 11, 2012 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

          Well Doctor Andrew B. of WhoCares University says that Nathan Brown is “full of it” and can “go suck an egg.” So there.

    • whyevolutionistrue
      Posted November 11, 2012 at 9:17 am | Permalink

      Er,please try to keep your comments short. And I don’t appreciate your sniping remark about about “selective condemenation”, since over the years I’ve criticized religious fundamentalism of all stripes, including that of Jews. Are you unaware of that?

      But what you’re doing here is being selective by concentrating on Jews and ignoring what I said about an Islamic textbook in the West.

  7. Peter
    Posted November 11, 2012 at 8:20 am | Permalink

    I am from Canada and we are seeing this more and more. Concessions are made every which way for Muslim students, but at the same time other students, whether Jewish, Christian, or other would never be granted similar concessions. We value freedom of speech as highly as our American neighbours (Canadian spelling), however we are usually much more stringent in defending against hate speech. (The Westboro Baptist phenomenon would never be tolerated here). I think, as a society we do not want to treat Muslims differently then we do any other religious group. We may think all religious groups are scarily stupid for believing in a fictional deity but what is concerning is that Jesus says to turn that other cheek and pray for those who persecute you while Mohammed wants Muslims to be ready to fight for their faith and not tolerate questioning of any kind. At least, misguided as they are, Christians will attempt to defend their faith rationally and most will be open to questions and not always use the most ridiculous of all lines: “because god said so”. Well, maybe my bagel told to me to sacrifice my children this morning. Why should that message be any less credible? I’m sure I could make up some story to back of my claim that a group of people would find credible. I was raised as an evangelical christian for many years and would have considered myself one into my late teens. But I could not turn my mind off and I am so thankful for a university education that taught me, above all else, to think, examine, test. This led my reject anything supernatural and I would consider myself an Athiest in that I believe in god as much as I believe in Santa Claus. What is strange after growing up religious is how ridiculous it all becomes as soon as you are on the other side. That is why all religions must have gatherings weekly and prayers and their own education. You must be exposed to an inundated with this nonsense constantly to continue believing it. So many statics show that as soon as people stop attending religious services/gatherings/etc. they quickly fall away from their faith. Anyways, enough from me.

    • Sastra
      Posted November 11, 2012 at 11:53 am | Permalink

      At least, misguided as they are, Christians will attempt to defend their faith rationally and most will be open to questions and not always use the most ridiculous of all lines: “because god said so”.

      Some still hold to a “rational faith” (as do Muslims who at least pretend to offer credible apologetics) — but more and more seem to be falling for overt forms of presuppositionalism. Such “arguments” usually just reduce to a taunt that non-christians already secretly believe in God/Jesus and are thus lying to themselves. Not a lot of wiggle room for genuine communication there.

    • Buzz
      Posted November 11, 2012 at 8:27 pm | Permalink

      This is off topic, but I have to say that I am frankly mystified by statements like this coming from inhabitants of other free countries:

      “We value freedom of speech as highly as our American neighbours (Canadian spelling), however we are usually much more stringent in defending against hate speech. (The Westboro Baptist phenomenon would never be tolerated here).”

      The self-contradiction is glaring. A state can decide that they want to prioritize “defending against hate speech” more highly than freedom of speech, but it is absurd to deny this prioritization is going on, and that the freedom is being less highly valued.

      • Diane G.
        Posted November 12, 2012 at 2:40 am | Permalink

        + 1

  8. Er
    Posted November 11, 2012 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    Israel isn’t Canada. Correct, but meaningless. Just because Saudi Arabia publishes offensive textbooks does not excuse Israel doing the same. Why make this point, why not condemn ALL instances of this occurence?

    • Andrew B.
      Posted November 11, 2012 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

      What makes you think that Prof. Coyne and the rest of us don’t? Just because we happen not to mention Israel problematic textbooks AT THIS VERY MOMENT doesn’t mean we condone them! We just don’t think it’s relevant to the very specific subject we happen to be discussing presently!

    • Pray Hard
      Posted November 12, 2012 at 7:15 am | Permalink

      Because there aren’t 1.6 billion Jews and the Saudis are funding terrorism all over the world. Also, “condemning ALL instances of this occurence” is, firstly, impossible and it begins an infinite regression into a black hole of meaninglessness. I mean, you can’t leave the Christians out, you can’t leave the Hindus out, you can’t leave the Buddhists out, you can’t leave the Scientologists out, you can’t leave the Mormons out, etc., etc., etc.

  9. Er
    Posted November 11, 2012 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    Nathan Brown is Professor of Political Science at George Washington University, and Senior Associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. According to Prof. Brown, CMIP’s “method was to follow harsh criticisms with quotation after quotation purporting to prove a point…In short, the CMIP reports read as if they were written by a ruthless prosecuting attorney anxious for a conviction at any cost… Exaggerated rhetoric, charges of anti-Semitism and racism, and denial of the significance of existing changes in the curriculum will hardly convince any one further improvements are worth the effort.” (Nathan J. Brown, Getting Beyond the Rhetoric about the Palestinian Curriculum, 1 January 2002)

    • whyevolutionistrue
      Posted November 11, 2012 at 9:19 am | Permalink

      The textbook above speaks for itself. It’s anti-Semitic and horrible. Stay on topic, please.

      • Er
        Posted November 11, 2012 at 9:23 am | Permalink

        The Saudi textbooks are indeed anti offensive. If you do not want to face the fact that this occurs on other countries, then why mention it. The topic should be the damage done by religious fundamentalism. I will respond to allegations on here about Palestinian textbooks. Everything I have written can be checked.

  10. Er
    Posted November 11, 2012 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    Before anyone repeats the claim that the EU funded anti semitic textbooks.

    The European Union, responding to the false allegations, issued a statement on 15 May 2002 which asserted that: “Quotations attributed by earlier CMIP reports to the Palestinian textbooks are not found in the new Palestinian Authority schoolbooks funded by some EU Member States; some were traced to the old text books that they are replacing, some to other books outside the school curriculum, and others not traced at all. While many of the quotations attributed to the new textbooks by the most recent CMIP report of November 2001 could be confirmed, these have been found to be often badly translated or quoted out of context, thus suggesting an anti-Jewish incitement that the books do not contain… Therefore, allegations against the new textbooks funded by EU members have proven unfounded.” Chris Patten, on the Foreign Affairs Committee of the European Parliament, and External Relations Commissioner stated that “It is a total fabrication that the European Union has funded textbooks with anti-Semitic arguments within them in Palestinian schools. It is a complete lie.”

  11. Er
    Posted November 11, 2012 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    The phrase anti offensive should be anti semitic and offensive. Apologies.

    • whyevolutionistrue
      Posted November 11, 2012 at 9:31 am | Permalink

      8 comments out of the 20 on this thread is enough. Perhaps you’re not aware of my request that commenters not take up more than 20-30% of single threads.

  12. Torbjörn Larsson, OM
    Posted November 11, 2012 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    Not criminal, just criminally insane then.

    I don’t see how they got off the hook though. And it will only be worse the next time the idiocy surfaces.

    The Muslims are well aware of the fact that the oppressed masses will most willingly accept Islam as the best divine faith if Islam is correctly explained to them.

    Translation:

    Of course we prevail by the sword, we don’t deny it or forbid violence. We don’t even try to prevent it. But we have a nice shiny sign to hide behind.

    Also, don’t mind us replacing any earlier oppression, less likely as time goes by and most only islamistic theocracies remains, with our own brand.

    hijab is a very loud message

    Precisely why I would want to prohibit anyone not clergy from using religious uniforms. It is loud and confusing. (Clergy? Not clergy? Clothes? Uniforms?)

    On the other hand, having provocative clothes or uniforms doesn’t harm anyone much. If they accept hijabs they should accept shirts.

    Obviously, you trust the mechanic

    It is as if they have never heard of second opinions or markets.

    Obviously, in this case you shop around for differing opinions from other religions. And you will get them!

    • John Scanlon, FCD
      Posted November 12, 2012 at 9:57 am | Permalink

      Yes, this is the most obviously wrong thing in the quoted sections of the book. Apart from all the rest, of course. :)

    • josh
      Posted November 12, 2012 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

      “Obviously, you trust the mechanic.”

      This bit really gets me. It’s like they were actively trying to find an analogy that undermined their point. I mean, a doctor: okay, we often trust doctors; but the shady car mechanic is one of our cultural standbys here in the US. Maybe Canada is populated by automotive philanthropists, but I have my doubts.

  13. marycanada FCD
    Posted November 11, 2012 at 10:32 am | Permalink

    Pisses me off that Canadian taxpayers are subsidising these schools and there’s nothing we can do about it.

  14. jose
    Posted November 11, 2012 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    Reminds me of books Spanish kids had during the regime. Different religion but pretty much the same brainwashing shit.

  15. Benjamin Sholmo
    Posted November 11, 2012 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    As usual, people are making a mountain out of a mole-hill here.

    • whyevolutionistrue
      Posted November 11, 2012 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

      Thank you for your concern and your deeply unconstructive comment, meant only to show that you’re better than everyone else. Some of us here are concerned about the indoctrination of schoolchildren in hatred and religious fanaticism.

      I suggest you go elsewhere if making mountains out of molehills in this way disturbs you.

    • Diane G.
      Posted November 12, 2012 at 2:42 am | Permalink

      In what possible way is this a molehill?

  16. Brygida Berse
    Posted November 11, 2012 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    On one hand, freedom of speech should be one of the most cherished values in a democratic society, one that trumps all, unless there is an immediate danger (so crying “Fire!” in a crowded theatre is not allowed). If Nazis want to parade in a Jewish neighborhood of Skokie, Illinois, the ACLU is the first to defend their right to do so (and I support that idea). And, as far as I understand, publishing Mein Kampf is allowed by the US law. On the other hand, the society should teach children tolerance and not hatred and indocrinating them with Nazi (or any other violent) propaganda would surely violate that intent. 

    How do we reconcile those two principles? Can brainwashing children be made illegal? We can’t censor what parents say to them in the privacy of their own homes. Should we have separate/special laws governing what’s being taught in religious schools? 

    • Diane G.
      Posted November 12, 2012 at 2:44 am | Permalink

      The whole concept of religious schools should be challenged.

      • Brygida Berse
        Posted November 12, 2012 at 11:45 am | Permalink

        The whole concept of religious schools should be challenged.

        Unless we are talking about accredited educational institutions that receive government funding, I don’t see how we can do that. We can’t ban religion, churches or, for that matter, religious education. The best we can hope for is removing them from the public realm, but even that is questionable. We allow theatres and sports organizations to thrive, be part of our culture and advertise their activities, why not religious schools?

        • Diane G.
          Posted November 13, 2012 at 1:16 am | Permalink

          I’d like to see some sort of compulsory public education of “basic stuff everyone should know.” Literacy, math, science, history…

          There’s no Christian math.

          • Brygida Berse
            Posted November 13, 2012 at 8:02 am | Permalink

            I’d like to see some sort of compulsory public education of “basic stuff everyone should know.” Literacy, math, science, history…

            There’s no Christian math.

            The need for non-religious compulsory education is obvious and it is fulfilled in Canada and in the US, but that’s not the issue here. The problem is how we prevent religious organizations like this madrassa from indoctrinating children. And in a society that values freedom of speech above all, there is no easy solution.

  17. Posted November 11, 2012 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    “Islam poisons everything.”

    I don’t think this is a very well substantiated generalization. I would like anyone who held that view to explain how the wonderful cultural contributions of the Sufis: especially their music and their poetry, “poison” anything.

    However, I should hasten to add that the kind of deplorable brainwashing seen in the texts posted has become all too common, mostly for the reason that the most well financed Islamic sect today is the extremist Wahabbi school (which happens to enjoy the support of the Saudi rulers). In fact, in India, where I come from, cases of the far milder sects (like Sufis and Ahmaddiyas*) raising voices against such brainwashing are not uncommon.

    * The more extremist schools like the Wahabbis often go to the extent of declaring the adherents of these sects as “apostates”. In Pakistan for example, the grave of the Nobel laureate physicist Abdus Salaam officially defaced because he belonged to the Ahmaddiya sect.

  18. guilherme21msa
    Posted November 11, 2012 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    The Quran says that the Sun settles on a pond of Murky Water. That shows the level of competence of Allah and His Prophet. (Surah 18:86)

    And that a human being is formed from a drop of sperm that emanates from between the ribs and the spine. (Surah 86:6-7)

  19. Sastra
    Posted November 11, 2012 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    I love how they try to reframe the hijab as a feminist statement, that it liberates a woman “from the chains and shackles of male scrutiny,” and that wearing one shows that you refuse to conform or surrender to how society defines you, nor will you be treated as an object.

    Nice try. But it’s pretty clear that we are in Opposite Land with this one.

    Sure, nothing screams nonconformist liberation like obediently decking yourself in an outfit which represents your obligation to submit and your responsibility for provoking male scrutiny into violence. Ayan Hirsi Ali wrote that she was fed this tripe and believed it — till she was able to travel and thus contrast how a society where virtually all women wore hijab differed from a society where virtually no women wore hijab when it came to how women were treated when they simply walked down a public street. Sneers, shoves, and lewd remarks for the first — and the other one was, iirc, modern Copenhagen.

    • jose
      Posted November 11, 2012 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

      Yep. Perhaps I’m missing something, but I find those arguments very similar to the arguments for things like Slutwalk and “lipstick feminism”, specially in their results, which don’t look very revolutionary…

    • darrelle
      Posted November 11, 2012 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

      “I love how they try to reframe the hijab as a feminist statement, that it liberates a woman “from the chains and shackles of male scrutiny,” and that wearing one shows that you refuse to conform or surrender to how society defines you, nor will you be treated as an object.”

      Us USians should be very familiar with this style of lying. It is clear that the people that came up with this and Karl Rove are working from the same playbook.

      You have a trait, or have done / do something, that most people find vile? Boldly and repeatedly accuse your opponents of it. Your opponents have a trait, or have done / do something that most people find commendable, and your actions clearly show that you don’t have / don’t do? Boldly and repeatedly claim the commendable characteristic or actions as your own, and accuse your opponents of your own non commendable characteristics or actions.

      Tell even the most ridiculous lie forthrightly and repeatedly and about half the people will eventually believe it, even in a “free” society.

      • Hempenstein
        Posted November 11, 2012 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

        Yep, whoever wrote the cited text was channeling Josef Goebbels.

    • Diane G.
      Posted November 12, 2012 at 2:45 am | Permalink

      Hear, hear.

  20. Ian Liberman
    Posted November 11, 2012 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

    For those who think it is censorship to have hate laws regarding exposure to doctrines that expect children to hate other racial groups and practise human rights violations within a publicly subsidized educational system or any civilized environment , you are wrong. It is one thing to have adults discuss or engage in discourse but it a totally abusive activity to expose children to this drivel anywhere. Democracy does have it`s limits especially for the under aged.

    • Observer
      Posted November 11, 2012 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

      You are arbitrarily re-defining censorship. By any standard definition, it is still censorship, and all you are doing is offering a rationale for why censorship should be allowed in this instance.

      I think a better approach would be to get the government out of the business of funding religious education.

      • Draken
        Posted November 12, 2012 at 3:42 am | Permalink

        But then they could continue privately-funded (in this case, with money from Saudi Arabia) and possibly evade further scrutiny of their learning program. Which probably also happens in voluntary Sunday schools.

  21. Alektorophile
    Posted November 11, 2012 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

    One core problem is clearly stated on page 26:

    “We must always remember,we are MUSLIMS FIRST, and then anything else”

    That, in a nutshell, is the problem with any religion.

  22. Kev
    Posted November 11, 2012 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

    Its not that long ago that practically all Western countries inculcated the concept of God, King/Queen/Emperor or whatever and Country. It was not easy to object and millions died in Imperialist wars and of famine and disease. That’s also a form of fundamentalist mindset that I am not entirely sure that we have really moved on from. I suppose Islam is still stuck in that particular groove. If you allow Christian schools to promote their own line of thinking, I would say you have to allow other denominational schools to do the same. I am an atheist from an Southern Irish Catholic background having had an upbringing in England and currently living in Belfast. You can perhaps imagine what I think of the troubles caused by the, to me, pointless shades of meaning between Catholic and Protestant Christianity. Frankly Islam does not seem worse. (Not that I am saying that it is good either)

  23. Marella
    Posted November 11, 2012 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

    This sort of state sponsored indoctrination is not just happening in Canada. Britain is full of it and we have it in Australia as well. It is a disgrace.

  24. Posted November 11, 2012 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

    The proposed rationale for viewing the hijab as liberating is some scary Orwellian shit.

    • Git
      Posted November 11, 2012 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

      Precisely. Supporting the right for a Women to wear a Hijab is like supporting the right for a Slave to wear chains.

      • Diane G.
        Posted November 12, 2012 at 2:46 am | Permalink

        *Like*

  25. Brygida Berse
    Posted November 11, 2012 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

    Precisely. Supporting the right for a Women to wear a Hijab is like supporting the right for a Slave to wear chains.

    You are not very far off:

    http://www.yale.edu/glc/archive/1057.htm

    The two arguments sound eerily similar. It’s all for the good of the woman/slave.

  26. marcusa1971
    Posted November 11, 2012 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

    What else can we expect from a religion founded by a child rapist?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aisha

    • Posted November 11, 2012 at 11:03 pm | Permalink

      That is not very relevant, is it? For what it is worth, the current official state religion of a major western power was founded by an inveterate murderer, who especially liked to practice his hobby on his wives.

      • Timothy Hughbanks
        Posted November 12, 2012 at 7:03 am | Permalink

        You guys are shaking my faith that religion is the source of absolute morality. I’m so conflicted now.

    • randomguy
      Posted November 12, 2012 at 3:56 am | Permalink

      And that’s the problem with this kind of topic; you frequently get people who either prefer to discuss Israel or people who want to make comments of this sort. At least it reminds us that neither “the west” nor “the muslim world” will let go of prejudices, beliefs in exceptionalism and the like, in the near future.

  27. Martin Rolfe
    Posted November 11, 2012 at 11:14 pm | Permalink

    Am I mistaken or does that PDF contain a depiction of the prophet on page 2? It’s a view of his back; but it seems to me that some Muslims don’t take kindly to any depiction of the prophet. Funny that. I guess word hasn’t gotten out yet.

  28. Pray Hard
    Posted November 12, 2012 at 7:35 am | Permalink

    Well, based on some comments, it seems that anti-Semitism and Islamopandering are alive and well even here. I find it sad and quite astounding that anyone who considers themselves to be even remotely secular would make excuses for Islam by default equivocation.

    Muslims … Because acid can’t throw itself on little school girls.

    • Posted November 12, 2012 at 9:32 am | Permalink

      “Muslims … Because acid can’t throw itself on little school girls.”

      I think that kind of selective generalization is a very good example of the malady you seem to be so concerned about. Why is it “anti-Semitism” to decry ultra-conservative Israeli Jews (as the host of this weblog, if I recall correctly, has done quite often) who throw mud and excreta at “indecently dressed” school girls? And why is it “Islamopandering” to point out that there are large chunks of Muslims (like the Sufis) who, far from engaging in acid throwing behavior, try their best to denounce the more extremist sects?

  29. Marvol
    Posted November 12, 2012 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    What’s with the “s.a.w.” and “s.w.t.”? Never seen that before.

    Also a thought that sprang to my mind, a good exercise for those who use the phrase “militant secularism/humanism/atheism” is to find but one instance in secular/humanist/atheist writing that compares to this stuff.

    How can anyone consider islam benevolent and the “religion of piece” while humanists are described as “militant” in the light of this drivel (and countless more examples)?

    • Posted November 12, 2012 at 11:38 pm | Permalink

      Religion of pieces. …as in pieces hacked off for this or that infraction.

  30. M.L.
    Posted November 14, 2012 at 12:50 am | Permalink

    these text I think is nothing compare to what they teach iranian children in school, brainwashing starts at the age of 6 and it continues like forever!
    it is kinda ironic, because considering all the effort they make to do this, most of the children turn out to be normal when they grow up (most of the time!). although it might be because iranian childern live in iran, and they see the signs and results of all these “religious beliefs” so it changes their point of view from what they were brainwashed for to the reality.
    these kinda books in canada, is even worst, who can easily show the kids what lies they are feeding them?!

  31. Aiesha
    Posted November 27, 2012 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

    Terrible. Honestly, its terrible that a lot of schools are getting away with quite a bit of brainwashing these days.


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