Textbook for Jewish Children in Toronto Promotes Hate?

While I have nothing against the Jewish community of Toronto and have worked side by side with Jewish colleagues at work, recent events pertaining to the East End Madrassah have caused me to create a post that further illustrates the double standards and bullying nature of the Zionist groups as well as the media. I hate to generalize here by using the term “Jews”, as this was clearly a campaign launched by specific groups within the Jewish community, but it should definitely provide an understanding of how it feels when “Muslims” get blamed for acts committed by certain groups within our community. The Center for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) has so far gotten away with its well orchestrated fear-mongering campaign where it claimed that calling the Jews of Medina (1400 years ago) ‘treacherous’ and ‘crafty’ was a case of antisemitism thus implying that the East End Madrassah (that has had a positive track-record of 40 years) was a breeding ground for hate mongers and Jew haters. While this point can’t be any more farther away from the truth and sufficient responses were given, the media and other relevant associates even decided to take it a step further and tie the Madrassah’s relationship with Iran and its government.

Fortunately, some individuals were able to find material that is being taught to Jewish children in Toronto that would easily fall in the category of instilling Islamophobia and lead us to conclude that Jewish schools in Toronto are also a breeding ground for hate mongers. This information (and the upcoming scans) was not initially discovered by me, however I did take the opportunity to further determine where such material was being taught. Here are a few scans of some of the passages being taught in schools, including the Joe Dwek Ohr Haemet Sephardic School on 7026 Bathurst Street.

The book being referenced here is titled, 2000 Years of Jewish History: From the Destruction of the Second Bais Hamikdash Until the Twentieth Century. A preview of this book can also be read on Google Books, published by Feldheim Publishers and is being used in the aforementioned school’s grade 7 & 8 classes (the complete 2011-2012 book list can be read here which references this book – PDF file).

The Greater Toronto co-chair of the CIJA termed the assertion of Jews wanting to kill Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) a “horrific conspiracy theory” and “blood libel.” What is ironic however, is that the same story (albeit from a different perspective) is being taught to Jewish children in Toronto on what appears to be page 43 of this book.

The text says the following:

On one occasion, after a Jewish leader had been tortured and executed, his sister tried to avenge his death by poisoning Mohammed’s food. While the poison did not kill him, Mohammed suffered from its effects until the end of his life, four years later.

So clearly, the Jews are admitting that they did try to kill the Prophet (whatever the reason be) – so why was it an issue if Muslims were teaching their kids the same information? Surely you didn’t expect us to narrate the complete historical incident from a Jewish perspective did you? Would you be willing to narrate the complete historical incident from a Muslim perspective? But wait, there is more:

Like Paul of Tarsus, inflamed by Jewish rejection, Mohammed turned into a rabid Jew-hater.

After reading that, it surely doesn’t sound like I would want to hate Mohammed and subsequently all Muslims at all! I kid. While words like “treacherous” and “crafty” are good enough to imply that a school which has been running for 40 years is built on the foundations of antisemitism, terms like rabid Jew-hater are totally fine to use against an individual who is considered a Prophet by thousands of Canadian citizens. If that isn’t enough, on page 45 the book takes a swipe at the Shi’ites as follow:

. . .the Shi’ites, who were rabid fanatics, rebelled and formed their own sect. Those Jews living under their rule in Iran and Yemen were called “unclean,” to the point where Jews were forbidden to venture outdoors in the rain, lest a drop of water that had touched a Jew would also touch a Muslim and render him unclean as well.

Funny how present day opponents of Shi’ism state that the Shi’ite sect is in fact a Jewish conspiracy and here we have a Jewish history book trying to teach kids that the Shi’as (that make up anywhere between 10-20% of the Muslim population) were rabid fanatics. First of all, can someone care to enlighten me as to when the Shi’as ruled over Yemen and Iran while Mua’wiyah was in power? The Shi’as were suffering far more than the Jews during the Umayyad regime. Secondly, the whole passage does a horrible job at clarifying which type of Shi’a sect this was (Zaidi, Ismaili, Ithna Ashari?) and during which century was this persecution against the Jews taking place where they were even forbidden to go outdoors in the rain. It makes it sound like it was during the Umayyad dynasty, when the Shi’as were not a ruling force at all.

And finally:

. . . While the savage beginnings of Mohammed’s sweeping massacres were often reflected by anti-Jewish legislation and vicious attacks against Jewish life and property, . . .

Does anyone smell all the hypocrisy here?

9 thoughts on “Textbook for Jewish Children in Toronto Promotes Hate?

  • In my humble opinion, Zionist Lobby in Canada were looking to pin-down a scandal on Shia Community because of our cultural & religious ties with Iran. Furthermore, lets not forget that lately Molana Rizvi has been very vocal about Palestine and our duty to protest against the injustice by participating in Al Quds Rally for starters. However, after the Islamic Revolution of Iran and their terrible defeat in 2006 war, Zionists knew very well that the existence of Shiaism is the GREATEST threat to their existence. I will conclude with the excerpt from Sayed Nasrallah speech which he gave before the starting of the 2006 war :

    “You don’t know today whom you’re fighting. You are fighting
    the children of Muhammad, of Ali, of Al-Hasan, of Al-Husayn, of the
    Prophet’s family, the Prophet’s Companions.”

  • Jazak Allah! May Allah (SWT) bless you for this wonderful posts. We will not allow the Zionists to make Canadian Muslims second grade citizens.

  • This textbook is teaching hatred towards Muslims and their Prophet. This is completely opposite of what Canada stands for and our Canadian values. Canadians Jewish young impressionable minds are being taught that Muslims are “rabid haters”.

    We will not stand for this as a country which teaches love and prosperity and tolerance between all cultures and community. I can see the double standards and I agree with the Muslims. If they are a focus of criticism then this also is worth a police investigation towards hate crime.

  • Toronto Islamic Sunday School Conforms to Accusations
    Omar Qayum

    “Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth.” – John F. Kennedy

    The East End Madrassah (EEM), a Shi’ite Islamic Sunday school in Toronto, Canada, is under high scrutiny due to accusations of an anti-Semitic, violent and sexist curriculum. At the request of a Jewish organization, the York Region Police’s Hate Crimes Unit is currently conducting an investigation. Unfortunately this has not stopped politicians, the media and the public from jumping on the condemnation bandwagon. What happened to due process and innocent until proven guilty?

    Due to overwhelming pressure, the EEM rushed to “unreservedly apologize to the Jewish community for the unintentional offence that the item has caused.” Under the circumstances it would only be fair to examine the following “anti-Semitic” passages, taken from an EEM course textbook, in order to verify the strength of the accusations:

    1. “End of Jewish Plots and Treacheries: Ever since the Prophet’s entry into Madina, the treacherous Jews had vehemently opposed him and his Islamic call, evoking memories of their hostility to the previous Prophet, Jesus Christ, half a millennium ago. The crafty Jews entered into an alliance with the polytheist Quraish in a bid to stamp out Islam. They conspired to kill Prophet Muhammad despite the fact that he was lenient towards them and had treated them kindly, hoping to convince them of Islam’s truth. But eventually as Jewish plots and aggressions increased, he had no choice other than to take up arms against them, in order to protect Islam and the Muslims. At the battle of Khaiber which is famous for Imam Ali’s heroic exploits, the Prophet defeated them ending Jewish intrigues and conspiracies in Arabia.”

    The arguments for anti-Semitism can be broken down as follows:

    This is a condemnation of all Jews.
    The passage clearly describes a specific group of Jews living during a specific time and place. Viewing this as a blanket condemnation of all Jews is simply absurd. Do we not critique the Axis powers as “the Germans,” “the Italians” and “the Japanese” without their descendants taking offence? Also, like ancient Judea, 7th century Medina too was a tribal society where a violation of the tribal code by even one belligerent member, if left unpunished by his tribe, rendered the entire tribe guilty of that violation. So when Jewish tribal leaders conspired against Medina, they knew the repercussions they were brining upon their entire tribe—a concept not foreign to the Old Testament. This tribal policy is similar, however anachronistic, to George Bush’s 2001 State of the Union address where he infamously said: “Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists,” to which he received a prolonged thunderous applause and a standing ovation.

    This kind of Jewish history should not be taught.
    According to early Muslim historians, the Jewish tribes of Medina plotted to kill the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and eventually reneged on a treaty—a serious offence in any tribal society. Is history to be rewritten or rejected because it offends others? If the accounts recorded by early Muslim historians are to be rejected, then so too are Jewish claims of bondage in Egypt, the Exodus and the promise of a Holy Land; all of which rely exclusively on ancient Jewish sources.

    Furthermore, if some in the Jewish community want Muslim schools to “sanitize” their history, then principle demands that they begin by removing all content in their schools, taken from the Tanakh and the Talmud, that are viewed as genocidal, racist, sexist and/or homophobic in nature.

    The words used to describe the Jews of Medina are hateful.
    When language is poorly used it can convey ambiguity and/or offence. The definition of “treacherous” according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary is: “characterized by or manifesting treachery.” In other words, there is a difference between calling someone inherently treacherous and treacherous due to an act of treachery. The former would be considered hate speech, not the latter. When the Jewish tribes of Medina broke the treaty, they committed an act of treachery, and hence could be called “treacherous.” This logic can be applied to all the controversial words used in the passage. With an ongoing police investigation examining intent, the EEM is blameworthy for using ambiguous language, if anything.

    It is also worth noting that Jews have historically found sanctuary in Muslim lands—in Islamic Spain, the Ottoman Empire or more recently during the Holocaust—when they were being persecuted and/or killed. Why would Muslims do this if they “hated” Jews?

    Children will think all Jews are evil.
    If that is the case, a serious revision of our History curriculum is in order. Children must not learn about the Holocaust, South African Apartheid, American slavery and racial segregation or the genocide of American Natives, lest they view all people of European descent as inherently evil. Furthermore, publicly funded Catholic schools must not teach that homosexuality is a sin as this offends all homosexuals. Rather than censor our children from historical facts and controversial views, we should teach them how to think and reason critically. After all, isn’t this the foundation upon which true freedom of speech can flourish?

    2. “Islam is a dynamic, comprehensive school that aims at the rectification of the social and economic systems of the world in a special manner. Unlike the beliefs of the ancient Romans, the Jews, and the Nazis, Islam is not restricted to a certain community of a certain race, but is for all human beings…”

    Jonathan Kay of the National Post said the text “doesn’t ‘equate’ Judaism with Nazism,” but merely states that they are “restricted to a certain community or a certain race …” He further states that “the point is accurate from a purely technical perspective.” While the comparison may seem distasteful to some, it is certainly not criminal. Ironically, many Jewish Islamophobes regularly compare Islamic ideology to Fascism, Communism and Nazism. Also, if anti-Semitism was truly the EEM’s agenda, why then is the 160 page textbook not littered with clear evidences? Again, this is a matter for our legal system to decide, not propaganda.

    3. “Islam has allowed boys to engage in sports for one specific reason and that is to always keep them healthy and strong. But why should a Muslim be healthy and strong? Firstly, it is necessary to take care of the body because it is a gift from Allah. Secondly, so that you may physically be ready for jihad whenever the time comes for it.”

    Words like “Shariah,” “madrassah” and “jihad” are routinely being used today to spread Islamophobia in the West. In Islam, jihad can be offensive or defensive. If the EEM is producing “young jihadists,” then why have none of their students committed violent attacks against Canada in 40 years? If valuing self-defence is a crime, then all Canadians in possession of legal handguns or having participated in martial arts stand condemned as well. Are Muslims not entitled to defend their lives, families, wealth and country like every other Canadian? Do we not want citizens who are physically fit to defend its nation’s borders against threats foreign and domestic? Yet again, if jihad was meant in a criminal sense, the investigation will show this.

    Ironically, it seems that America, Europe and Israel are currently engaged in “bad jihad” with Muslim countries—not the other way around. Moreover, the Jewish Defence League’s (JDL) “Core Ideology” states “that it is not unJewish for Jews to defend themselves–even physically if need be.” The JDL is at the forefront of spreading Islamophobia and is a known terrorist group to the FBI, yet they are freely allowed to open chapters in Canada; Hamas on the other hand is banned.

    4. “No doubt any wise, humanitarian person accepts such a combat and admires it [jihad] because there is no other way to achieve the sacred ends of the Prophets.”

    Not surprisingly, the above sentence was taken out of context. The conveniently omitted sentence that appears directly before is: “It goes without saying that such struggles are necessary and that no Prophet could avoid combating those who intend to bring ruin on human societies and cause corruptions and social decay.” Since when did “combating those who intend to bring ruin on human societies and cause corruptions and social decay” become evil? Do we not go to war for the very same reasons? Why move the goalposts when Muslims teach the same principles? Don’t Jews accept and admire Old Testament Prophets like Moses, Joshua and David (peace be upon them all) for leading their followers into combat?

    5. “It also suggested that girls limit their involvement in physical exercise and sports, and instead ‘involve themselves in the activities and hobbies, which will be helpful for them in the future as wives and mothers.’”

    I could not verify the above quote, but how is it forbidding girls from engaging in physical exercise and sports? When did encouraging girls to be good wives and mothers become socially unacceptable? As I write this, will we not be honouring our mothers and/or wives today on Mother’s Day? However, in modern day society where a woman’s worth and freedom is determined by how much she can earn and how little she can wear, it come as no surprise. The sad reality is that when Muslim women try to compete in sports in the West they are often banned from participating; FIFA only recently uplifted their hijab ban. It seems like Muslims are damned if they do, damned if they don’t.

    My intent is not to defend the EEM, but to ask readers to withhold judgement until our legal system runs its course. However, I do not respect the EEM’s rushed apology as it branded them guilty in the court of public opinion. If this was truly an “unintentional offence,” they had a moral duty to stand their ground and confront their accusers. Avi Benlolo, president of the Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies said: “They need to reach out to us and to other groups to convince us that this was not meant and they will take any step to change it.” Who do Benlolo and his organization think they are? Canadians are only accountable to the law, not some organisation. If the law finds the EEM innocent, they don’t need to “convince” anybody. If the EEM is found innocent, they should seriously consider legal action against anybody who would harass or slander them regarding this matter thereafter.

    Finally, I appeal to the Muslim community in the West to stand their ground against biased media outlets, politicians and special interest groups. We are not third-rate citizens and must confront those who try to defame us; failure to do so will only embolden them. There is much to be learnt from the Jewish community and other well-organized honourable minority groups. They are contributing members of society and effective at lobbying their causes on various platforms. When will the Muslim community awake from its slumber? Today the reservation is with our religious texts and beliefs; tomorrow it may be with our very existence.

    Omar Qayum is a volunteer at the North American Muslim Foundation (NAMF).

  • These CIJA should keep their Zionist Settler mentality in Israel and not spread it in our beloved country where various communities live in peace and harmony. It is unbelieveable that the “Center for Israel…” and organization with a name of a foreign country in their name is allowed to spread hatred in Canada

  • Everyone knows the Zionist agenda, they are always looking at issue to marginalised Muslim community, I am more shocked on Hudak and Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty on their comments, EEM text had extract of the Jewish history, and no one can change history.

  • I fully agree with Mike, Omar Qayum and Mark who have commented to the above article. There are always good people in the society who will speak against injustices. There are many others in the Jewish community as well who clearly feel that targetting the EEM was bullyism and unjust. But I also feel that unless Muslims are united to demand full justice and organize themselves to take a united stand at the time of elections, things will not change.

    Also, there are two other injustices committed in the wake of the EEM episode.

    One is that the EEM is now barred from using the school until the matter is resolved. Why bar them? Have they been proved guilty? The blog above proves otherwise and shows that what is taught in Jewish schools can clearly be considered as hate.One would think the right thing for the authorities to do is to bar all Jewish schools as well that are “considered hate-mongering” and bring all these schools together to amicably discuss and come to a clear agreement between them the correct pedagogy to teach history. The fact is that history can not be changed; but to teach it to spread hatred against Muslims or other groups is totally unfair!

    The second is what the Jewish Tribune has done in its recent “Jewish Tribune”. It targets Muslims in one of its news item as anti-Canadian. The heading of the story reads “Anti-Canadian Muslim Website Exposed” To consider Canadian Muslims “Anti-Canadian” is gross injustice coming from the Jewish Tribune who are well aware, one would think, that such a heading was inappropriate, especially in light of what is also taught in the Jewish schools against Muslims.

  • Now time has come Ulama and wise men’s committee in conjunction with group of lawyers should study the matter and pursue it further legally, religiously and forcefully. The Jewish Schools teaching such Islamophobic materials will be investigated in the hate crime investigation. We also hope that Dalton McGuinty and other politicians who were quick to condemn the Madrassah text will not apply double standards and will issue similar statements against Islamophobia being propagated in the society. The Canadian Muslims are patriotic citizens who have lived as equal citizens in peace and harmony with other communities. We will not allow organizations that represent foreign interests and agendas to create a climate of fear, intimidation and bullying that exists in the country they represent.

  • Frankly, I was surprised by the speed in which an East End Madrassa, the Islamic Shia Ithna-Asheri Jamaat of Thornhill “unreservedly apologized” to members of the Jewish Community for what is characterized by the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) “to be an affront to our values of tolerance and multiculturalism”. Jewish groups expressed shock at the curriculum on the Madrassa’s website that called ancient Jews “treacherous” and “crafty” and accused them of “conspiring to kill the Prophet Muhammad”.
    It appears that the Madrassa beat a hasty retreat because of the pressure it felt, or perhaps being a minority Sect (Shia) within Islam often associated with Iran’s Shia, it would prefer to apologize and forget the whole event, rather than allowing itself to be the subject of ongoing scrutiny. Whatever its reasons, the Madrassah conceded the sections cited by the Jewish groups “should never have been a part of their curriculum.” My question is why should not this be a part of their curriculum or the curriculum of any other madrassa operating in Canada?
    My question is why should not this be a part of their curriculum or the curriculum of any other madrassa operating in Canada? In my opinion, this is just another knee-jerk attempt by Jewish Groups to paint Islam in an unfavorable light and promote Islamophobia in North America without thinking through the facts.
    Permit me to shed some light on the issue. The part of Islamic studies that deals with this portion of the curriculum would be the Seerah. There are historical stories of the life of the Prophet Muhammad from his birth to the time of his death and it chronicles his life struggles in Mecca and Medina as he combated different forces, mainly Arabs and some Jewish tribes in order to establish the religion of Islam. The Jewish tribes mentioned in the Seerah are an important, but a small part of the equation. Most of the Prophet’s struggle was against his own people, the Arabs. Any Muslim will testify to Jews being mentioned in the Quran, the holy book of muslims. For example, we are told that the Jews were the chosen people of God, but were punished and exiled because of their numerous transgressions as well as killing of prophets. Islamic traditions point to stories of Jews in Medina, Arabia trying to poison the prophet Muhammad as well as fanning the seeds of hatred between disparate groups that were formerly allied, in order to destroy Islam during its infancy. Eventually, because of their breaking a treaty they were exiled from the Arabian Peninsula. These are facts that can be viewed any time and are part of public texts available to Muslims and others in every part of the world.
    Muslim are not teaching their kids hatred of Jews, but simply historical facts that unfolded in the time when Islam was founded, more that 1400 years ago. In our mind there are irrefutable facts and we will never change or sanitize Islamic text to suit anyone’s purpose. How is possible that historical antecedents that unfolded 1400 years ago and taught as Islamic studies can warrant being examined by the police or the provincial authorities is beyond me. This leads us down the slippery slope of who next will be accused of hate crime. In my estimation there is plenty of blame to go around. Christians routinely accuse Jews of killing Christ and this was part of church doctrine for many years. Do we go around looking for churches that subscribe to these beliefs as part of our vendetta to sanities religious and /or historical text in order to appease a fickle group of people. Who knows what is being taught about Muslims and Christian at Talmudic schools along Bathurst Avenue. Should we investigate what is being said about the “goyim”?
    Should we disavow the fact that slavery existed and that predominantly “white people” of Europe demonized, captured and transported millions to work on the plantations of many parts of the world. Must we turn a blind eye to the mass genocide of millions of North and South American indigenous natives who died at the hands the conquistadores and settlers from Europe. It is one thing to ban Mark Twain “Huckberry Finn” for the libraries and school, but to go after one’s religious history “seerah”, is another thing.
    These are simply historical facts that occurred in the past, but whose legacy and attendant repercussions cannot be measured in our modern society. To suggest that this promotes hatred of Jews is simply ludicrous. Singling out historical Islamic literature is disingenuous and inherently against our rights to practice our religious as we see fit.
    R. Khan

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