Toronto – September 17th 2014
The Muslim Students’ Association (MSA) of Ryerson University has invited Abdur Raheem Green, under investigation by the UK Charities Commission, to conduct a seminar at the Student Campus Centre on September 18, 2014.
Just as Ex-Muslims of North America (EXMNA) stands by Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s right to speak while condemning some of her statements, we stand by Green’s right to speak despite his extremist positions. We hope to raise awareness about the inflammatory views which Green espouses and that attendees use this occasion to critically examine and challenge his views.
Green is the Chairman and Founder of Islamic Education and Research Academy (iERA), which has been barred from at least one campus in the UK due to violating their policy regarding forced segregation amongst the audience.
A report was released earlier this year by the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain (CEMB), documenting iERA staff and speakers condoning Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), the stoning and beheading of apostates (ex-Muslims) and adulterers, advocating the death penalty for LGBTQ peoples, and using violence as means for controlling women.
It is on this sad note that our community-based organization steps in to provide safe-spaces for those who’ve had to endure the alienation, ostracization and abuse from our Muslim families and communities. Hardline Muslim preachers like Green and organizations like iERA create an atmosphere of intolerance in Muslim communities – for issues like gender identity, sexuality, and lack of belief. It is the bigoted attitudes and views that he promotes that cause so many of us to live our lives in secrecy and seclusion.
We wish that the intolerant views of iERA would end there. iERA is also under investigation by the UK’s Charity Commission due to the promotion of anti-Semitism, which includes the invited speaker and founder of iERA, Green, who was recorded as saying that a Jewish individual be removed from his presence “so his stench doesn’t disturb us”.
Green also stated that the historical tax on non-Muslims called ‘jizya’ was “to make the Jew and the Christian know that they are inferior and subjugated to Islam”.
He has stated that no Muslim should express disagreement with any other Muslims, including disagreeing with terrorist groups like the Taliban:
It is “an act of kufr to help the kuffar against the Muslims but even brothers and sisters by a word, even by a word. Even by some statement that you can make. For example, slandering and attacking the Muslims unjustly, such as you find many Muslims have done this about the Taliban. Slandering them and attacking them and reviling them based upon news that has come from the disbelieving media, helping the kuffar against the Muslims.”
“Even though there’s so many non-Muslims that we have to give dawah to…these are people, they are sick, and they are misguided you know, they need our help. This is how we should look at it I think.”
We believe extremist views like Green’s further feed into the anti-Muslim bigotry that we at EXMNA have vowed to stand against.
In order to have a balanced dialogue, we encourage the MSAs at Canadian post-secondary institutions to also invite speakers who advocate for progressive values, such as Irshad Manji, Soraya Chemaly, Fatema Mernissi or Karima Benoune as well as those who represent marginalized communities.