Canadian Defence Minister Bans Imam from Appearance at Islamic History Month Event

News Agencies – October 2, 2010

An Ottawa imam who calls himself a bridge builder between Muslims and other Canadians has been barred by the Canadian government from speaking at a Defence Department event on the grounds that his organization has promoted “extremist views.” Zijad Delic, national executive director of the Canadian Islamic Congress, was scheduled to participate in a National Defence headquarters ceremony recognizing Islamic History Month. But Defence Minister Peter MacKay has cancelled the imam’s planned appearance. His office issued a statement saying the Canadian Islamic Congress has a record of fomenting hatred and has no place at an event honouring Muslim contributions to this country.
Mr. Delic has previously been cited for efforts to help Muslims integrate into Canadian society. He was one of 13 Canadians included in a 2009 book, The 500 Most Influential Muslims in the World, penned by Islamic studies scholars at Georgetown University. One of the book’s editors called Mr. Delic “a scholar who writes about how Muslims can integrate into Canadian society.” Mr. MacKay’s office cited incendiary comments that were made in 2004 by a then-president of the Canadian Islamic Congress as the reason for its decision. “The Canadian Islamic Congress has declared that Israelis over the age of 18 are legitimate targets of suicide bombers,” Mr. MacKay’s spokesman Jay Paxton said.
Sohail Raza, president of the Muslim Canadian Congress, said he is happy MacKay cancelled the speech by Imam Zijad Delic.

Canadian Muslims mobilize on Haitian relief effort

The International Muslim Organization of Toronto is one Muslim organization that has mobilized to help the people of Haiti following a 7.0-magnitude earthquake. “Almost all masajids and centers participated in this project,” said Dr. Zijad Delic, National Executive Director of the Canadian Islamic Congress, one of the participating groups.

The Ottawa Citizen Profiles Zijad Delic

The Ottawa Citizen profiles Dr. Zijad Delic, who immigrated to Canada in 1995 from Bosnia and received his PhD from Simon Fraser University ten years later. Delic is currently an imam at British Columbia’s largest Sunni Mosque as well as an administrator at the B.C. Muslim school. He is coordinating “Islamic History Month Canada,” proclaimed by the Canadian federal government in the month of October.