NEW YORK (JTA) – Jewish groups have joined Christian and gay advocacy groups in condemning an Islamic scholar in Canada for making anti-Jewish and anti-gay statements.
According to the Canadian Jewish News, Abdullah Hakim Quick said that Islam’s “third-holiest shrine [should be purified] from the filth of Christians and Jews,” and in a lecture commented that the Islamic position on homosexuality is that it is punishable by death.
Quick, an American who converted to Islam and received his doctorate in history from the University of Toronto, is teaching an 18-week history seminar at the school on the Islamic prophet Muhammad that is supposed to run through the end of semester. Some have called for the university to cancel the seminar.
His statements surfaced last month when the Islamic Education and Research Academy began publicizing its Calling the World Back to Allah conference in Toronto and Montreal. Quick is among the scheduled speakers.
Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center and the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs have joined Christian and gay advocacy groups in condemning the statements.
Howard English, senior vice president of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, said his organization is concerned with “the appearance on university campuses of people who consider themselves educators and have expressed views that are derogatory to identifiable groups and inconsistent with the values held by the majority of Canadians.”
Quick in a blog post said “I understand now that [the statements] did give off the wrong impression. For that, I am sorry. I have never advocated violence, vigilantism or disregard for the rule of law.”
Saleem Chagtai, a spokesman for the Islamic Education and Reserach Academy, defended Quick’s statement about homosexuality, noting that the Islamic laws on sexuality are harsh because “we see from the human experience that if we don’t have harsh deterrents against public displays of sexuality … the ramifications of a lack of morality can cause lots of problems in society.”