Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Internal Conflicts within the Toronto Muslim Community

I've been to Masjid Qurtaba in person, and I heard about the cancelled debate from Bartimaeus, but I didn't know this story would find its way into the National Post. Interesting cover story on the internal conflicts between conservatives and secular/liberal Muslims in Toronto.

HT: Prof. Tony Costa

More than 600 people showed up at the North American Muslim Foundation on a recent Saturday to hear a debate over secular liberalism in Islam.

It would have been something of a face off. The prospective debaters, Tarek Fatah, author and self-described secular Muslim, and Sheharyar Shaikh, president of NAMF and a conservative imam at Masjid Qurtabah, are known polemicists who have not shied away from very public disagreements in the past.

In fact, the event only came about after an open challenge to Mr. Fatah was published late last year by Mr. Shaikh, who called on the controversial author to publicly defend his moderate views, which have been called unIslamic by some in the Canadian Muslim community. Mr. Shaikh-- who has openly defended polygamy and opposed secular education for Muslims -- is among them.

When it was announced shortly after 6 p.m. that the debate was cancelled after Mr. Fatah declined to participate at the last minute, more than 600 people were disappointed.

Read more about it here:

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