Pro-Sharia law group banned by Mohawk College
School officials say they were misled on the group's intentions
A private group that gave a pro-Sharia law and pro-Islamic caliphate lecture at Mohawk College in November is now banned from the school, say the college's officials.
The Nov. 28 engagement entitled "The Truth Behind the Syrian Refugee Crisis" was held in a lecture space in one of the school's residences. The lecture, which was recorded on video and posted online, argues for building an Islamic caliphate and that Sharia law is "the best system that exists on earth."
The school, however, was told by the lecture's organizer that they would be talking about the refugee crisis, said Mohawk's director of communications Jay Robb.
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The 40-minute lecture was led by Mazin Abdul-Adhim, who is not a student and does not have any affiliation with Mohawk, said Robb. Because the lecture was a private booking, the school does not know how many people attended the lecture, and only found out about the event this week through complaints and the media.
Since the organizers misrepresented what the lecture would be about, they violated one of the school's policies and will be banned from booking any future speaking engagements, said Robb. The school also had concerns with the lecture's content, he said.
"It was bumping up against hate speech," he said.
When Mohawk books out rooms for private lecturers, the school typically asks what organization the booker is with and then does more research into that group, said Robb. The school, however, did not look into the booker's affiliations and allowed the speaker to book the room under the guise that the lecture would be solely about the refugee crisis.
"Clearly that wasn't the case," said Robb.
While the lecture does touch on the refugee crisis, it centres around forming a central government unifying all Muslim countries. Abdul-Adhim's speech tells audiences that the current conflict in Iraq and Syria is an attempt to stop Muslims from forming a caliphate.
Abdul-Adhim lives in London, according to his Facebook page. The page indicates he's been a lecturer at several speaking engagements in the province and Michigan.
His YouTube page, where the video of his lecture is posted, has close to 50 videos of him explaining Islamic ideals and principles.
CBC News has yet to hear back from Abdul-Adhim on the banning.