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Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center Praises York Region Police for Placing Thornhill Jaffari Center & Toronto East End Madrassah on Notice & Noting Leaders are Responsible for Antisemitic Content

"Unlike the beliefs of the ancient Romans, the Jews, and the Nazis, Islam is not restricted to a certain community of certain race, but is for all human beings and aims at human prosperity and salvation."

TORONTO, ONTARIO -- (Marketwire) -- 11/08/12 -- Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies (FSWC) - the organization which lodged the complaint with police in May 2012, is pleased to learn the Islamic Shia Ithna Asheri Jamaat of Toronto (ISIJ) - tied to the Jaffari Center in Thornhill, Ontario, and the Toronto East End Madrassah have been put on notice by the York Region Police (YRP) that the antisemitic hate contained in their school curriculum is not acceptable, and reassured by a YRP report suggesting Canadians must examine our level of tolerance for allowing such offensive ideology,- that is in conflict with our country's core values, to be taught to our children.

Although criminal charges are not being laid in this instance, the YRP Report (http://www.friendsofsimonwiesenthalcenter.com/downloads/news_110812.pdf) makes it clear that further promotion of antisemitic material, resulting in a cumulative effect of hate propaganda, may lead to a different outcome:

"Repetition can remove ambiguity and ultimately tip the scale into the criminal."

- p.5, YRP East End Madrassah Hate Propaganda Investigation

"The antisemitic hate contained in the curriculum of Toronto's East End Madrassah was blatant; it is frightening to learn that this revolting content, including a topic on "The End of Jewish Plots and Treacheries," is being taught to young children; their minds are being poisoned and I cannot imagine how these youngsters will one day become grown ups capable of functioning as tolerant and respectful adults in a multicultural society," explained Avi Benlolo, President and CEO of FSWC. "Although criminal charges are not being laid in this case, I think it is incumbent upon the Toronto District School Board, and indeed all Boards of Education who lease their property to private schools, to investigate the content being taught on their premises to ensure an incident of this nature does not happen again."

The YRP report, which details discrepancies in witness testimony regarding who wrote and vetted the curriculum content, ultimately found the school principal, Masuma Jessa and Imam Syed Mohammed Rizvi, spiritual leader of the ISIJ, responsible for including the antisemitic content in the educational syllabus. The two textbooks containing the antisemitic passages include one published by the Al Balagh Foundation in Iran, while the book which likens "the Jews and the Nazis" was published by the Mostazafan Foundation of New York, which the U.S. alleges was a front organization for the Iranian government. FSWC remains tremendously concerned about the creeping influence of the Iranian government in Canadian society and, in particular, its ongoing promotion of anti-Jewish hate.

Of particular interest in the report is the attempt by the Canadian Council of Imams to portray their teachings as simple historic review:

"In historical texts, reports of various events usually describe actions of governance and battles. The language that is used narrates how battles were won and how objectives were achieved by the victories which mention the ways, devious they may be in the description. Whether it is treachery, cunningness or defection by bribes, all are found in many of our history books of the past."

- p.18, YRP East End Madrassah Hate Propaganda Investigation

"What I don't understand is where the odious comparison of Jews to Nazis fits into the history books of these organizations," says Mr. Benlolo. "If they are truly relying on ancient texts, what is the justification for referencing Nazism other than as a form of Holocaust revisionism?"

While disappointed that criminal charges were not laid, FSWC believes the YRP conducted a thoughtful and thorough investigation. We have been assured the Force will remain vigilant and agree with its assertion that "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" (p. 24) is a conversation in which all Canadians who care about the values and future of this country need to participate.

Media Contact
Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies
Stacey Starkman
Communications Manager
416.864.9735 x 32 (office) or 416.524.3287 (cell)
[email protected]

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