Press Releases

CAIR-CAN: Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Centre Asked to Condemn Islamophobic Comments

 

(OTTAWA, CANADA – 9/12/2004) – The Canadian Council on American-Islamic
Relations (CAIR-CAN) today called on the Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center
(FSWC) to publicly condemn recent Islamophobic comments made by an invited
keynote speaker at a conference sponsored by the group and held at the
University of Toronto.

At the FSWC event, Bruce Tefft, a former official with the CIA and
counter-terrorism and intelligence advisor to the New York Police
Department, reportedly stated:

“Islamic terrorism is based on Islam as revealed through the Qu’ran.”

“To pretend that Islam has nothing to do with Sept. 11 is to willfully
ignore the obvious and to forever misinterpret events.”

“There is no difference between Islam and Islamic fundamentalism, which is
a totalitarian construct.”

For the press release on the event, see:
http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/November2004/15/c3271.html
For media coverage, see:
http://www.cjnews.com/viewarticle.asp?id=5056

In a statement issued today, CAIR-CAN wrote:

“Mr. Tefft’s comments were hateful, Islamophobic and have no place within a
civilized Canadian discourse. Characterizing Islam as synonymous with
terrorism can only lead to the demonization and marginalization of Canadian
Muslims.

“It is appalling that Mr. Tefft made such statements in a public forum
organized by an organization that prides itself on ‘fostering tolerance and
understanding’ and has as its goals the fighting of ‘bigotry, racial
hatred, and ethnic intolerance.’

“We are calling on the Friends of the Simon Wiesenthal Center to
immediately condemn Mr. Tefft’s statements and to issue an apology to
Canadian Muslims.

“We would also hope that both the University of Toronto and fellow speakers
and panelists repudiate Mr. Tefft’s comments in the strongest possible terms.”

Recently, the United Nations held a conference to deal with Islamaphobia
entitled “Confronting Islamophobia: Education for Tolerance and Understanding.”

– END –

CONTACT: CAIR-CAN, Abdurahman Salman at 613-254-9704; Cell: 613-795-2012

CAIR-CAN
Council on American-Islamic Relations CANADA
P.O. Box 13219, Ottawa, ONT, K2K 1X4
Tel: 1-866-524-0004
Fax: 613-254-9810
URL: www.caircan.ca

 

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