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Toronto Police to Investigate Nation of Islam Chapter Head

July 7, 1998
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

A Nation of Islam activist has become the focus of a police probe just weeks after the American-based group opened its first Canadian mosque here.

Don Muhammad, head of the black Muslim group’s Toronto chapter, reportedly made verbal attacks against both gays and Jews in a recent article in Now, a weekly entertainment publication. Muhammad allegedly accused the gay community of “threatening to wipe out the black community” and he claimed that Jews “have long been involved in financing wars of nations in order to enrich themselves.”

He also allegedly made remarks questioning how many Jews died in the Holocaust.

Toronto police launched an investigation into the incident.

“The reported comments of Mr. Muhammad are of concern to us,” said Robert Shirlow, acting staff inspector of the police’s Hate Crimes Unit.

The investigation was launched after police received a complaint from the Canadian Jewish Congress. “Spouting hatred of others is unacceptable,” said Keith Landy, chairman of the Ontario branch of the CJC. “We won’t tolerate it as a community, and we don’t believe Canadians should tolerate it.”

Moshe Ronen, the national president of CJC, called upon church leaders across Canada to reject the anti-Semitic and hateful rhetoric of the Nation of Islam. In his letter to these leaders, Ronen wrote, “We hope that your faith community will reject the anti-integrationist separatism which the NOI has embarked on. This approach tears down bridges of understanding and tolerance that we together have so carefully built.”

Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan has spoken twice in Toronto in the last two years. On both occasions he attracted audiences numbering more than 10,000.

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