CJC Responds to Anti-Islam Remarks

Published: March 18th 2010
in News » Local

CJC President Mark Freiman Speaks
Pic: YouTube

CJC National President Mark Freiman rejected Dr. Wafa Sultan’s attack on Islam, in a statement made recently at the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamat centre in Mississauga. 


The response came at the heels of remarks made by Dr. Wafa Sultan last week during a debate at Shaare Shomayim Synagogue. Dr. Sultan stated her belief that modern Islam is a myth, as the religion is radical by nature, and therefore incapable of diplomacy.


Also present at the debate was American academic, writer, founder, and director of the Middle East Forum, Daniel Pipes, as well as Avi Benlolo, CEO of the Simon Wiesenthal Center. Neither sided with Sultan on this matter, instead making the distinction between moderate and radical Muslims: “Islam is not the enemy. Radical Islam, totalitarian Islam is the problem. It's important to isolate them from the other Muslims.”


Sultan stated that “You can’t be a true Canadian and be a true Muslim at the same time,” as well as asserting her belief that violence is inherent to Islam.


Bernie Farber, CEO of the Canadian Jewish Congress (CJC), commented on Mr. Freiman’s response at the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamat: “We can only respond in terms of what we’ve seen and heard, and we wanted to join both Daniel Pipes and Avi Benlolo in being very clear that to suggest that there is no moderation in Islam is just inappropriate.”


Farber added that to suggest that one faith is made up of extremists only is hugely unfair, and is essentially a form of stereotyping.


The conference was sponsored by the Ahmadiyya Muslim community, an international sect of Islam that rejects violence and terrorism in every form. Ahmadiyya Muslims do not believe in “jihad by the sword,” but rather “jihad by the pen.” This implies that Islam is, in fact, capable of resolving issues with diplomacy, despite Sultan’s remarks.


Farber noted that hundreds attended the Ahmadiyya Muslim interfaith conference where Freiman responded to Sultan’s remarks. “We only heard from the leadership of the [Ahmadiyya] community expressions of welcoming and love for Canada, of understanding and of the need to be a good Canadian citizen,” said Farber.


“If those are extremist statements, then it’s extremist to be an ordinary Canadian citizen. So it was important for Mark Freiman to put on the record, as National President of the CJC, his strong support of the position taken by Daniel Pipes and Avi Benlolo, as well as speaking on behalf of Canadian Jews.”

Related articles: (Mark Freiman, CJC, Bernie Farber, Daniel Pipes, Avi Benlolo, Wafa Sultan)

Share with friends Print this page Read later Recommend 5 times