An Islamic school in Toronto, which has been under police investigation for its school texts that draw comparisons between Judaism and Nazism and encourage jihad, has lost its license to use Toronto District School Board property.
The Toronto District School Board (TDSB) suspended a permit issued to the Islamic Shia Study Centre, which operated the East End Madrassah out of a Toronto high school, the National Post reported.
“The Islamic Shia Study Centre will not be able to permit TDSB property until the police investigation is complete and they are able to demonstrate that they comply with board policies and procedures,” said Ryan Bird, a TDSB spokesman.
“Pending the outcome of the police investigation, we are willing to meet with the permit holder to discuss TDSB policies and procedures. As soon as we became aware of this complaint, we started to review the permit and the information that was available,” Bird said.
The school’s curriculum, which it had posted on its website, referred to “crafty,” “treacherous” Jews and contrasted Islam with “the Jews and the Nazis.” The passages were from two books published by Iranian foundations.
The texts also defended violent jihad and advised boys to keep fit so they would be ready for jihad, when the time comes.
“We are pleased to note the TDSB has taken action in response to the alarming antisemitic hate taught to Muslim schoolchildren at Toronto’s East End Madrassah,” said Avi Benlolo, President and CEO of Friends of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre.
“We hope the school board will now go one step further and put a plan in place to ensure no group is ever targeted as the Jewish community has been, and that ancient hatreds are never again endorsed and encouraged in Toronto classrooms,” added Benlolo.
The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, which had complained to the school board, called the suspension “an excellent first step” but said it wants the ban made permanent.
“Given the presence of antisemitic passages in the curriculum, and the dubious activism of its religious leadership, it is clear that the madrassah has disqualified itself as a partner with the School Board on any level,” it said in a statement. “We are hopeful that the board comes to this conclusion in due course and that the madrassah is not welcomed back into our public schools.”