FIRST READING: Canadian-headed Muslim group condemns Oct. 7 attacks, bans members from rallies

The Global Imams Council, which has a Montrealer as its president, condemned the ‘genocidal antisemitism’ of Hamas

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An international Muslim group with a Canadian as its current president has issued a full-throated condemnation of Hamas’ Oct. 7 attacks against Israel, and barred members from attending the myriad of pro-Hamas rallies breaking out in cities across the West.

In addition to condemning Hamas’s “genocidal antisemitism and annihilationist ideology,” the statement “condemns the extremist and violent rhetoric displayed at rallies taking place in Europe, Canada, USA, Australia and elsewhere, where flags of designated terrorist organizations are being raised and accompanied by genocidal chants against the Jewish people.”

The three-page public statement was published Oct. 9 by the Global Imams Council, an anti-extremist Muslim non-profit formed in 2014 to oppose ISIS, the terrorist entity that at the time was in control of large swaths of Iraq and Syria.

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The group says it represents roughly 800 mosques and Islamic centres around the world, and since 2020 its president has been a Canadian, Imam Shaikh Saleh Seboweh, the founder of the Iranian Islamic Center of Montreal.

The group’s vice-president is Australia’s Mohammad Tawhidi, the self-styled “Imam of Peace” who is oft cited as a voice of moderate Islam, particularly among Western conservative circles. A 2017 profile by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation referred to Tawhidi as “the fake sheikh” due to his having no official association with any Australian mosques or prayer centres. Regardless, he has been frequently photographed with Canadian Conservative MPs and Senators as a representative for moderate Islam.

“You don’t have to share our beliefs, but one important way of countering Islamist terrorists is by amplifying ours,” wrote Tawhidi in a social media post promoting the GIC’s anti-Hamas statement.

The statement went on to explicitly ban its membership from any public support for Hamas, or from participating in rallies celebrating the Oct. 7 attacks.

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Within hours of the first details emerging of the Oct. 7 attacks, celebratory rallies were organized in Canada’s major cities by a group calling itself the Palestinian Youth Movement. Although framed in most media reports as “pro-Palestinian” rallies, they were explicitly organized to rejoice over what was dubbed an act of “resistance.”

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An Oct. 9 rally at Toronto’s Nathan Phillips Square, for instance, had materials which openly praised the “heroic resistance in Gaza” and even the taking of “Zionist hostages.”

“Any member of any GIC congregation found participating in protests/processions/marches supportive of Hamas or its allies – in any way, shape or form – will be publicly condemned and banned from entering any GIC venue,” wrote the GIC. The group added that anybody expressing pro-Hamas sentiments within a GIC venue would be “removed in coordination with local law enforcement.”

The Global Imams Council has frequently issued statements backing Israel and condemning anti-Semitism. Last April, the group wrote that it was “delighted” by news that Canada would be looking to criminalize Holocaust denial.

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The GIC statement on the Oct. 7 attacks stands in stark contrast to the Muslim Association of Canada or the National Council of Canadian Muslims, the usual spokespeople for the Canadian Muslim community.

An NCCM statement issued on Oct. 8 made no reference whatsoever to the Hamas-orchestrated attacks that had intentionally targeted civilians across southern Israel. The group referenced only “Israeli attacks on Gaza,” and accused the Jewish state of “war crimes.”

A companion statement by the Muslim Association of Canada chastised any criticism of the string of celebratory rallies that broke out in Canadian cities following news of the attacks.

“We … condemn attempts to criticise Canadian Muslims for supporting Palestinian human rights. Such attempts are condescending, divisive, unacceptable, and hypocritical,” they wrote.


An NDP convention over the weekend featured delegates voting to withdraw support for the Trudeau government unless the Liberals could commit to “a universal, comprehensive and entirely public pharmacare program.” The convention also featured a miniature rally praising the Oct. 7 attacks as an act of “resistance.” But it was one of the convention’s procedural aspects also got attention online. A video posted by The Counter Signal shows a moderator at the convention informing delegates that they would be upholding “enforced gender parity” in regards to questioning. Anyone who wasn’t a straight while male was issued a piece of yellow cardstock indicating that they were from an “equity-seeking group” and thus had priority in terms of speaking.

Tiferet Lapidot
Tiferet Lapidot has been confirmed as the sixth Canadian killed by the Oct. 7 attacks in Israel. Lapidot, who just turned 23, was among the nearly 300 people killed at the Supernova music festival after it was surrounded and indiscriminately fired on by Hamas terrorists.

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Originally posted 2023-10-18 15:10:55.