An Islamic school that has been renting space at a Toronto public school to allegedly teach its students to hate Jews should have its permit revoked until a police investigation is finished, says Ontario’s PC education critic.
Tory MPP Rob Milligan said Wednesday that the East End Madrassah (EEM) should lose its permit to rent from the Toronto District School Board until a York Regional police investigation into a lesson allegedly containing hate language is wrapped up.
The Islamic school rents teaching space on Sundays at David and Mary Thompson collegiate in the city’s east end,
Police received a complaint last Thursday after it was found that the EEM’s curriculum — which was until recently available online — contained a lesson that referred to Jews as “treacherous” and “crafty,” compared them to Nazis and claimed they had once plotted to kill the Prophet Muhammad.
“I think their permit should probably be (revoked) until it is deemed ... that it wasn’t negligent or the preaching of hate,” said Milligan. “The TDSB has a responsibility to make sure this type of activity does not occur in our education system.”
While the EEM continues to hold a permit to rent space at the school, a TDSB spokesman said the school board’s rental applications state that a permit can be revoked if the renter is found to be breaking the law.
He added the TDSB would “take appropriate action pending the conclusion of the investigation.”
Milligan said regardless of how the investigation turns out, the TDSB needs to better scrutinize organizations when entering rental agreements.
Milligan added the TDSB should make sure the groups it rents to are “following the guidelines.”
There have been calls for the EEM to open its doors to members of the Jewish community and the Ministry of Education to oversee the revamping of its curriculum.
As for the TDSB, few answers were forthcoming on Wednesday. David Smith, the trustee for David and Mary Thompson C.I., did not return requests for an interview.
Of the seven school trustees called by the Toronto Sun, only Howard Kaplan returned messages.
While reluctant to wade directly into the EEM controversy, the trustee expressed concern over hate propaganda possibly being disseminated on TDSB property.
“It is under investigation, and it would be inappropriate for me to comment on it,” said Kaplan. “If (the investigation) shows that inappropriate activities have been going on, of course their permit should be revoked."