“Allah protect us from the fitna [sedition] of these people; Allah protect us from the evil agenda of these people; Allah destroy them from within themselves, and do not allow them to raise their heads in destroying Islam.”
Two days ago we posted the story of Toronto Imam Said Regeah of the Huraira Centre, in which he delivered a hateful, 35 minute speech to a full, 800 male congregation. The speech was nothing more than a diatribe, an attack, on those who have called for a ban on the burqa and niquab in Canada complete with derogatory language leveled against Jews and Christians, a damnation of the infidels, and a call upon Allah to destroy the enemies of Islam.
The National Post attempted to reach Regeah several times for comment before publication of the article but was unsuccessful. But now, from his ” little corner of the beautiful city of Toronto where he contemplates the course of his life” the Imam responds. Notice the attempt to whitewash his remarks as benign ‘ operational definitions” and the invitation to ‘share’ faith.
“May God’s peace and blessings be upon us all” he concludes.
(Addition by Eeyore)
I have taken a 10 minute excerpt of his diatribe for those without the patience to listen to the whole ‘sermon’ where he attacks the Jews, the secularists, and of course foams with indignation that in Canada, infidels do not avert their gaze when a muslim passes. I think that’s my favorite part.
Imam Said Rageah responds
Oct 23rd, 2009 –5 Dhul Qa’dah, 1430
Dear Congregants and Visitors of Other Faiths,
Recently, there was a news article describing my sermon and my practice of Islam as one that seeks to incite hatred. Usually, seeking to answer agenda-driven critics would only serve to distract me from my work of proclaiming the Shahadah, applying what it means in my personal life and also attempting to teach others in a practical and appropriate manner in an environment where practicing Islam can sometimes be portrayed unfairly as a threat.
In my little corner of our beautiful city of Toronto, I sometimes sit back and contemplate the course of my life. I live in a multicultural melting pot with a personal reality that is unique and diverse in many ways. For example, my father-in-law and mother-in-law are Christians, with whom I have a very respectful and loving relationship. When I talk with them, I reflect and ponder on the nature of the lives of my children and their development. Our unique Canadian montage will allow them to live in a society, where in spite of the circumstances of their birth or their heritage, they will find their own footing in the Canadian mosaic. They will carve out their own Islamic identity, an identity that will be free from persecution and enslavement of thought.
As stated in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Canada is founded upon principles that recognize the supremacy of God and the rule of law. And among the fundamental principles which are the cornerstones of this society are the right to free speech, free thought, free expression and the ability to practice one’s own religious beliefs, all within reasonable, justifiable limits. I share and promote these values as they are also Islamic values.
I will be delivering a sermon today that will touch upon these issues and the recent controversies. What can be explored in 30 minutes cannot be easily compressed into a one-page statement, but let me try:
1. The expression “kuffar” is based on an operational definition, of what people do to hide something, like the truth about God (“Allah” in Arabic). In Arabic/Islamic terminology, it does not categorically refer to Christians and Jews, nor does it exclude Muslims.
2. Muslims are closer in belief and practice to observant Christians and Jews than they are to each other and Muslims respect each people as having received Revelation from the same God, and are correctly referred to as “People of the Book”.
3. Men and women in Islam are required to act and dress modestly. There are a range of interpretations, including hijab and niqab for women. The choice whether to veil, and the type of veil, should be entirely for each individual Muslim woman to make of her own free will.
4. Politics are shaped by public opinion and public opinion is shaped by the media. Rather than leaving ignorance to fill the vacuum, Muslims must fully engage in Canadian society with wisdom and the best of speech, to foster mutual respect and understanding and shape an even better country.
I invite you all to learn and share more about your faith and yourselves.
May God’s Peace and Blessings Be Upon Us All