Islamic Education and Research Academy (IERA) “conference” CANCELLED @ the Sheraton, Toronto – H/T and thanks!! to “Blazing Cat Fur”

 

“Blazing Cat Fur” puts everything in perspective > Click Here

Muslim conference booted from hotel” – Daniel Dale Urban Affairs Reporter, The Toronto Star  – Published On Thu Oct 13 2011

 The Sheraton Centre hotel will not host a Muslim religious conference that was to feature speakers who have expressed anti-gay and anti-Semitic views.

The Star informed a Sheraton convention services manager about the speakers on Wednesday. On Thursday, after the Star published an article on the conference, a hotel spokesperson said it had been “cancelled due to the organization’s failure to satisfy a contractual requirement.”

The conference, which had been scheduled for Oct. 23, was organized by the Islamic Education and Research Academy (IERA), a British organization seeking to establish a Canadian presence. The IERA’s local public relations officer could not be reached Thursday evening.

Jewish and gay organizations had criticized the IERA for inviting four speakers who had disparaged gays, Jews and Christians. Gay activists in Britain denounced a hotel chain in January for hosting a London IERA event involving several of the same speakers.

On Wednesday, the public relations officer for the conference referred questions to an IERA official who did not respond to a request for comment.

A Sheraton convention services employee said Wednesday: “We book things and sometimes we don’t know exactly what they are.”

Howard English, senior vice-president of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, said Wednesday that he was “very concerned” about both conference and the IERA’s attempt to establish itself in Canada. He called the speakers’ views “reprehensible.”

“The people that are being tolerated, featured and promoted by this organization are expressing views that, if promoted in Canada, can only serve to divide people rather than uniting people,” he said.

PRESS RELEASE: iERA Canada responds to baseless accusations of homophobia and anti-semitism.

http://us1.campaign-archive1.com/?u=ebb500c4922ec74a0f5b35a48&id=270d2db213
iERA Canada responds to baseless accusations of homophobia and anti-semitism.13th October 2011

On the 12th October 2011, an article appeared in The Toronto Star, accusing the Islamic Education and Research Academy (iERA) of hosting speakers who have expressed homophobic hatred and incitement to violence as well as anti-semitic views.  Similar views have been aired on broadcast media, such as The Arena show anchored by Michael Coren.  iERA unequivocally rejects these accusations as being false and misleading. Similar allegations were made in the run up to another international conference hosted by iERA in January 2011 entitled Changing the World Through Dawah. At this conference, which took place in London, United Kingdom, iERA clearly demonstrated the baseless nature of the accusations and the conference, which was held at the Hotel Ibis (part of the international Accor chain of hotels) passed without incident.

iERA wishes to make it abundantly clear as part of its goal to educate the world about the religion of Islam that we encourage positive civic engagement through dialogue and action. iERA and its international team of speakers, staff and volunteers have never called for violence or hatred towards members of the Jewish or Homosexual communities. These accusations are antithetical to our work in thought and deed. iERA has been working very hard to empower the Muslim community to engage with people of all persuasions in a peaceful manner and to serve humanity.

The aim of the upcoming conference, far from promoting hatred, will focus on getting Muslims to pro-actively engage with the wider society by sharing the true essence of the Islamic faith in both word and deed. This is what the Quran teaches. This message is simply to believe in and worship God and through this, work to improve the welfare of all Canadian citizens regardless of race, colour, culture or creed. The message that iERA aims to deliver is not unique. Muslim communities, in Canada and elsewhere are already contributing immensely to the social welfare of our society, and that is through remaining loyal to the basic tenets and values of their faith. This is the very theme of our conferences.

Most, if not all major religions forbid homosexuality and Islam is no different. To give the issue further context, Islamic ethics forbid any sexual activity outside of marriage. This very point has been discussed by iERA’s speakers with respect to criminal law in an Islamic state.

iERA urges all members of society, especially Muslims to be model citizens and therefore should obey the law of the land. We believe Muslims need to do more to reach out to their Jewish neighbours with whom they share so much in terms of tradition.

The Qur’an, the book of the Muslims contains many stories and information about the biblical prophets, as it is a core part of the Islamic faith to believe that they received revelation from One, All Powerful God, known in Arabic as Allah. Therefore, Muslims believe all the prophets came with one, universal message, with the final messenger being Muhammad, peace be upon him. This universal message was for human beings to voluntarily surrender their will to the Perfect Divine will of God; this submission is known in Arabic as Islam. Therefore, Islam considers all believers of this one, universal message to be as those who submit to God, i.e. Muslims.

iERA is an organisation dedicated to conducting research and educating humanity about Islam.We welcome open and frank discussion on these key issues, and would like to extend an open invitation to all our detractors from the Jewish Defence League and LGBT activists to come and meet us to find out what we really believe as opposed to using innuendo to stifle debate. As part of this, iERA would also offer them gift boxes which contain accurate and authentic information on the Islamic faith. These are made free of charge to members of the general public as well as media or lobby groups. For further information on how to obtain these or to attend the conference, please email us at info@iera.ca.

END

Notes to the Editors

  1. iERA stands for the Islamic Education and Research Academy

  2. iERA is committed to presenting Islam to the wider society, see http://www.iera.org

  3. To contact our media team please email media@iera.org.uk.

  4. iERA is a registered charity in the United Kingdom – #1134566

  5. iERA is a registered Non Profit Organisation in Canada.

  6. Follow this upcoming conference on Facebook –
    Search ‘iERA’ and on Twitter – @iERAcanada

2 Responses to Islamic Education and Research Academy (IERA) “conference” CANCELLED @ the Sheraton, Toronto – H/T and thanks!! to “Blazing Cat Fur”

  1. Shobhna Kapoor says:

    There is one feminist, Phyllis Chesler, who has been speaking out against Islam for decades. http://www.phyllis-chesler.com

    • Barzel_18 says:

      Thank you for this information. Here is one article I found most interesting.

      How my eyes were opened to the barbarity of Islam

      Is it racist to condemn fanaticism?

      — Phyllis Chesler

      ………Once I was held captive in Kabul.

      I was the bride of a charming, seductive and Westernised Afghan Muslim whom I met at an American college. The purdah I experienced was relatively posh but the sequestered all-female life was not my cup of chai — nor was the male hostility to veiled, partly veiled and unveiled women in public.

      When we landed in Kabul, an airport official smoothly confiscated my US passport. “Don’t worry, it’s just a formality,” my husband assured me. I never saw that passport again. I later learnt that this was routinely done to foreign wives — perhaps to make it impossible for them to leave. Overnight, my husband became a stranger. The man with whom I had discussed Camus, Dostoevsky, Tennessee Williams and the Italian cinema became a stranger. He treated me the same way his father and elder brother treated their wives: distantly, with a hint of disdain and embarrassment.

      In our two years together, my future husband had never once mentioned that his father had three wives and 21 children. Nor did he tell me that I would be expected to live as if I had been reared as an Afghan woman. I was supposed to lead a largely indoor life among women, to go out only with a male escort and to spend my days waiting for my husband to return or visiting female relatives, or having new (and very fashionable) clothes made.

      I saw how polygamous, arranged marriages and child brides led to chronic female suffering and to rivalry between co-wives and half-brothers; how the subordination and sequestration of women led to a profound estrangement between the sexes — one that led to wife-beating, marital rape and to a rampant but hotly denied male “prison”-like homosexuality and pederasty; how frustrated, neglected and uneducated women tormented their daughter-in-laws and female servants; how women were not allowed to pray in mosques or visit male doctors (their husbands described the symptoms in their absence).

      Individual Afghans were enchantingly courteous — but the Afghanistan I knew was a bastion of illiteracy, poverty, treachery and preventable diseases. It was also a police state, a feudal monarchy and a theocracy, rank with fear and paranoia. Afghanistan had never been colonised. My relatives said: “Not even the British could occupy us.” Thus I was forced to conclude that Afghan barbarism was of their own making and could not be attributed to Western imperialism.

      Long before the rise of the Taleban, I learnt not to romanticise Third World countries or to confuse their hideous tyrants with liberators. I also learnt that sexual and religious apartheid in Muslim countries is indigenous and not the result of Western crimes — and that such “colourful tribal customs” are absolutely, not relatively, evil. Long before al-Qaeda beheaded Daniel Pearl in Pakistan and Nicholas Berg in Iraq, I understood that it was dangerous for a Westerner, especially a woman, to live in a Muslim country. In retrospect, I believe my so-called Western feminism was forged in that most beautiful and treacherous of Eastern countries.

      Nevertheless, Western intellectual-ideologues, including feminists, have demonised me as a reactionary and racist “Islamophobe” for arguing that Islam, not Israel, is the largest practitioner of both sexual and religious apartheid in the world and that if Westerners do not stand up to this apartheid, morally, economically and militarily, we will not only have the blood of innocents on our hands; we will also be overrun by Sharia in the West. I have been heckled, menaced, never-invited, or disinvited for such heretical ideas — and for denouncing the epidemic of Muslim-on-Muslim violence for which tiny Israel is routinely, unbelievably scapegoated.

      However, my views have found favour with the bravest and most enlightened people alive. Leading secular Muslim and ex-Muslim dissidents — from Egypt, Bangladesh, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Pakistan, Syria and exiles from Europe and North America — assembled for the landmark Islamic Summit Conference in Florida and invited me to chair the opening panel on Monday.

      According to the chair of the meeting, Ibn Warraq: “What we need now is an age of enlightenment in the Islamic world. Without critical examination of Islam, it will remain dogmatic, fanatical and intolerant and will continue to stifle thought, human rights, individuality, originality and truth.”

      The conference issued a declaration calling for such a new “Enlightenment”. The declaration views “Islamophobia” as a false allegation, sees a “noble future for Islam as a personal faith, not a political doctrine” and “demands the release of Islam from its captivity to the ambitions of power-hungry men”.

      Now is the time for Western intellectuals who claim to be antiracists and committed to human rights to stand with these dissidents. To do so requires that we adopt a universal standard of human rights and abandon our loyalty to multicultural relativism, which justifies, even romanticises, indigenous Islamist barbarism, totalitarian terrorism and the persecution of women, religious minorities, homosexuals and intellectuals. Our abject refusal to judge between civilisation and barbarism, and between enlightened rationalism and theocratic fundamentalism, endangers and condemns the victims of Islamic tyranny.

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