Canadian Imam beaten and arrested in Saudi Arabia

News Agencies – October 30, 2011

Usama Al-Atar, an imam from Edmonton, was beaten and arrested by religious police in Saudi Arabia while on a pilgrimage. His friends in Canada are disturbed by the incident and worried for his safety. The Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada is aware of the arrest.

Al-Atar is a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Alberta where he researches solar cells and nanotechnology. Murphy said Al-Atar makes the hajj pilgrimage every year and hasn’t had problems on any of his six previous visits.

Saudi-trained Canadian Imam preaches against music

The National Post – February 15, 2011
A Saudi-trained Canadian, Bilal Philips is among a small group of lecturers who preach against most forms of music — a controversial prohibition that surfaced in Manitoba recently, where a dozen Muslim families want to pull their children from music class.
While Mr. Philips argues that Islam does not prohibit all music, he says it only allows adult male singers and “folk songs with acceptable content sung by males or females under the age of puberty accompanied by a hand drum.” In his book, Contemporary Issues, he also says adult women are forbidden from singing “in order to keep the sensual atmosphere of the society at a minimum. Men are much more easily aroused than females as has been thoroughly documented by the clinical studies of Masters and Johnson.”
But the Islamic Institute of Toronto says on its website that many scholars disagree with that interpretation, and consider music permissible as long as it does not contain “sensual, pagan or unethical themes” or subliminal messages. The debate over the permissibility of music in Islam has stirred controversy in Winnipeg, where several families who recently immigrated to Canada have told the Louis Riel School Division they want their children excused from compulsory music class, as well as co-ed physical education.

Judge Rejects CSIS case of Child Pornography against Canadian Imam

The Globe and Mail – October 6, 2010

Child-pornography charges have been dropped against a Canadian Muslim preacher, with a judge ruling that “threats and intimidation” by the CSIS (Canadian Security Intelligence Service) agents railroaded the man into handing over evidence. In 2007, Brampton’s Ayad Mejid had had enough of a long-standing CSIS investigation. Targeted as a suspected supporter of terrorism, he lent his laptop to authorities to try to prove his innocence. CSIS agents who searched the laptop without a warrant passed it to Toronto Police detectives, who in turn arrested Mr. Mejid. Police alleged that they found child-pornography images inside.
On October 6th,, on the eve of a long-delayed trial, a court ruled that any Crown evidence against Mr. Mejid was moot. Faulting CSIS for being beyond aggressive, Superior Court Justice Jane Kelly tossed the case. CSIS agents began zeroing in on Mr. Mejid in 2003, amid suspicions he had a hand in starting an Internet outfit known as the Global Islamic Media Forum. GIMF attracts Islamists whose posts can glorify terrorism – not a crime in Canada.