YouTube screenshot of a sermon by imam Sheikh Shaban Sherif Mady, given at the Killarney Community League Hall. The hall has ended its rental agreement with Mady after B’nai Brith filed a complaint claiming Mady’s Arabic language sermons contained anti-Semitic remarks.
An Edmonton community league will no longer rent its hall to an imam who a Jewish organization alleges used the space to make anti-Semitic remarks.Sheikh Shaban Sherif Mady is accused of making anti-Semitic statements during sermons at the Killarney Community League Hall, which B’nai Brith said he rented for Friday prayers prior to the league terminating their agreement at the end of July.B’nai Brith learned of YouTubevideos featuring Mady from an anonymous Arabic-speaking community member. The organization says it confirmed with a translator the tipster’s account of the videos, posted earlier this year.“It’s very disturbing to us to have anyone disseminating harmful and hostile views like this,” said B’nai Brith spokesman Aidan Fishman. “But it’s especially disturbing when it’s a religious leader acting in a religious capacity.”However, Mady’s son said in a phone call that critics are misinterpreting the videos and that his father does not promote hatred.In one March video, Mady allegedly says “international Zionism” is behind terrorism, including ISIS and the recent attacks on mosques in New Zealand. Another video uploaded in June shows Mady behind a lectern, allegedly saying “Jews do not like Islam or the Muslims.”B’nai Brith claims Mady has a history of making similar comments on social media, and made a complaint to Edmonton police. A city police spokesman confirmed they are investigating.Mady’s son said a similar issue arose several years ago and that his father’s words are being misinterpreted.“In Islam, we don’t promote hate,” Mady’s son said. “Jews, Christians, all our books are pretty similar overall. There’s no hate from us. We don’t hate Jews, we don’t hate Christians. At the end of the day we’re all brothers and sisters.”The Alberta Muslim Public Affairs Council (AMPAC), an anti-racism non-profit, said it is looking into the issue and conducting its own translation.“From our standpoint, any forms of hate or discrimination or hate speech, irrelevant of (whether) they’re Islamophobic or anti-Semitic, are definitely not condoned,” said AMPAC president Faisal Khan Suri.“I’ve reached out and had some really good chats with B’nai Brith as well, we’re all in agreement that this has nothing to do with the Muslim community, or the Jewish community for that matter,” he said. “It’s about an individual.”He added that the imam is “not in any mainstream.”In a statement, the Edmonton Federation of Community Leagues confirmed Killarney has stopped renting its space to Mady and that the videos were filmed in the email@example.com/jonnywakefield