Toronto Islamic School Apologizes After Being Accused of Promoting Hatred of Jews

Curriculum at East End Madrassah found teaching boys to exercise so they are ‘ready for jihad,’ refers to ‘crafty’ and ‘treacherous’ Jews and Jewish ‘plots,’ and contrasts Islam with ‘the Jews and the Nazis.’

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A Toronto Islamic school being investigated following a complaint that it is teaching its students that Jews are "treacherous" and comparing them to Nazis has apologized to the Jewish community.

The curriculum at the East End Madrassah, a Sunday school for Muslim children that rents space from a public school, taught boys to exercise so they are "ready for jihad," refers to "crafty" and "treacherous" Jews and Jewish "plots," and contrasts Islam with "the Jews and the Nazis."

Pakistani boys read verses of the Quran during their daily madrassa, or Islamic school, April 30, 2012.Credit: AP

By early this week, the school had removed from its website the controversial portion of its curriculum. Later the same day, its website went offline.

The complaint was launched by Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Centre for Holocaust Studies in Toronto.

The school on Tuesday reportedly apologized to the Jewish community and pledged to revise its teaching materials after a careful review.

“We unreservedly apologize to the Jewish community for the unintentional offense that the item has caused,” the school said in a statement. “Our team of scholars has already undertaken to review all texts and material being used in the curriculum to ensure that our teachings are conveying the right message.”

Canada's Criminal Code makes it unlawful to publicly and "willfully" promote hatred against any identifiable group.

The Toronto District School Board, from which the madrassah rents space, said it is cooperating with police and noted it has the authority to revoke agreements with any associated school if it is found to be promoting hatred.

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