Middle East studies in the News
Montreal College Suspends Arabic School After Links to Radical Islam Found
by Hugo Joncas
A Montreal college has suspended its contract with a school that teaches Arabic and the Qur'an after links to radical materials were found on its website.
Rosemont College was renting space to the El Forkane school, run by Mohamed Ridha Rahmaoui.
An investigation by TVA, QMI Agency's sister TV station, found links on the school's website to sites promoting radical Islam ideology, including Salafism, one of the more fundamental strains of the faith.
While Rahmaoui, who also runs a kindergarten under the El Forkane name, insisted that he is in favour of secular education, that's contradicted by one Arabic-language sermon that was linked to on his school's website.
"Beware of the enemies of Islam; they will always want trouble, they set traps, the largest of which is their schools," it read.
Within minutes of a phone call from TVA to Rahmaoui asking about the 155 links, they were removed from the school's site.
"Sometimes we download these documents and they're thousands of pages," he said. "Sometimes it gets by us. But if I see there are Salafist ideas, I take them down. I'm not that kind of school."
Linking to publications is "a blunder," according to Mohamed Ourya, a professor at the School of Applied Politics at the University of Sherbrooke.
"They're rejecting the values of secular education, while at the same time, the kids are taking their classes in a public school building," he said.
According to Rosemont's CEO Stephane Godbout, the college had been advised by the Canadian Human Right's Commission that it had little choice but to rent space to El Forkane.
"As we provide premises in return for rent, we can't discriminate based on religious activity," he said.Note: Articles listed under "Middle East studies in the News" provide information on current developments concerning Middle East studies on North American campuses. These reports do not necessarily reflect the views of Campus Watch and do not necessarily correspond to Campus Watch's critique.
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