Toronto mosque’s congregation torn over article praising Libya’s Gadhafi

Toronto Star – June 3, 2011

Haroon Salamat, chairman of the Toronto and Region Islamic Centre, used a North York mosque’s congregation’s newsletter to condemn NATO and Western efforts to defend Libyans from longtime dictator Moammar Gadhafi. Some worshippers are upset because the centre was built by money provided by the Libyan government. Salamat told the Toronto Star, he wrote the opinion piece because he wanted to provide an alternative to what is in the mainstream media. He added that even though the centre has received funds from Libya for 20 years, it is not a mouthpiece for the regime.

The mosque, commonly referred to as TARIC Islamic Center, has received money from the World Islamic Call Society, funded by the Libyan government to spread Islam.

In 1991, it was given $1.5 million to build the centre, which is located on the northeast corner of Highways 400 and 401. Since then, it has received up to $20,000 each year for some of its programs.