Mosque Apologizes For Web Material
TORONTO — A Toronto mosque apologized to Canadian Jewish Congress for offensive postings on its website.
The Khalid Bin Al-Walid Mosque on Nov. 14 e-mailed Canadian Jewish Congress to “apologize without reservation to the CJC and the Jewish community at large for any and all comments that they have found offensive on our website, which we never intended in the first place.”
Teachings on the site, khalidmosque.com, refer to non-Muslim westerners as “wicked,” “corrupt”” and “our clear enemies.” To a query on whether Muslim women may wear high-heeled shoes, it says, “That is not permissible. It involves resembling the Disbelieving Women or the wicked women. It has its origin among the Jewish women.”
The e-mail to the CJC, which was signed by Said Omar, acting chair of the mosque’s board, added that “all of the writings to which offence has been taken have been or will be removed from our site immediately.”
Len Rudner, CJC’s Ontario region director, said a meeting is planned with mosque officials. He said it was important to meet with mosque representatives “to understand how this material got onto their site in the first place.”
Rudner noted that a past posting on the site referred to “Zionist influence” that is “morally, religiously and ethnically destroying society after society.”
Seeds of Hate?
TORONTO — B’nai Brith Canada wants a Brooklyn-based company to stop distributing sunflower seeds in a package depicting what B’nai Brith calls a “negative, age-old stereotypical image of a hook-nosed Jew.” B’nai Brith said it has received two complaints about the seeds – one from Ontario and one from Quebec – but that AHT International refused to stop distributing them or provide it with a list of Canadian retailers that sell them. The package shows a bearded, kippah-clad man with hands clasped and grinning devilishly. AHT’s manager, Michael Tkach, told The CJN that the seeds, which have “Shalom from Israel” written in Cyrillic letters on the package, are aimed at Russian buyers, 80 per cent of whom are Jewish. He said the type of seeds are known as “Israeli seeds,” hence the package design. Tkach said the AHT-designed image “was meant to be a funny picture. It wasn’t meant to be a racial slur,” adding that AHT is a Jewish firm. He said he’s received no other complaints and has no plans to change the design if the company ships more seeds.
La Senza Head Dies
MONTREAL — Laurence Lewin, the president and co-founder of the La Senza lingerie chain who appeared as a judge on CBC TV’s Dragon’s Den in 2006, died Nov. 12 after battling lung cancer. He was 64. The U.K.-born Lewin co-founded La Senza in 1990.