A street preacher gets promoted to “Muslim Cleric”

A street preacher gets promoted to “Muslim Cleric”

by Sheila Musaji


The Toronto Sun published two articles on this non-story.  The first, with the headline Muslim cleric’s letter to the Sun about preventing sex assault and a photo of Muslim women in full niqab.

They then publish an email sent to them by a “street cleric” named Al-Haashim Kamena Atangana who gives his supposedly “Islamic” solution to the problem of Canadian women being assaulted.  He thinks that the problem is that Canada gives women too much freedom, and that the solution is that Canada should “introduce laws that would make it illegal for women to dress provocatively in the streets.”

The second article is titled Muslim street cleric wants to protect Canadian women from sex assault by forcing them to cover up  by Terry Davidson.

Who is this “Muslim Cleric” whose lunatic email deserves to be given this attention?  Here is how he identifies himself in his email:  “Just to introduce myself I am a Muslim born in Montréal, Quebec 33 years ago. I was born in a Christian Family and I have decided to embrace Islam in 1998. I do allot [sic] of Islamic Outreach Programs downtown (yonge and Dundas). I am from African Carribean Ethnicity.”  Davidson notes about him that “Atangana is connected with a group called Muslim Support Network and is one of a number of street-corner clerics commonly seen at the Yonge and Dundas Sts.  ...  The website Atangana provided for his group, Muslimsupport.net, is sparsely populated but contains links to other sites ...”

Basically, someone who likes to harrass passerby on the streets with his lunatic fringe version of calling people to Islam, and who has a website calling himself a “group” has been given a platform to have these ridiculous views aired as if they represent Islam or Muslims.

The “story” is also being picked up by the Islamophobia echo chamber.  You can see the Sun News television news story here.

This is irresponsible on the part of the Toronto Sun, and only feeds into existing widespread negative public perceptions about Islam and Muslims. 


UPDATE

The Toronto Sun just published another article about this by Farzana Hassan Many Islamist men don’t understand imperative of consent which although written by a Muslim woman doesn’t do a much better job of avoiding stereotyping.

And, Robert Spencer, the self-proclaimed acclaimed scholar of Islam (a title earned in the same way as the street preacher earned the title of “cleric”) weighs in with his effort at spreading this non-story as widely as possible.  Spencer says In Islam, the responsibility for men to control themselves sexually lies entirely with women; hence Atagana’s recommendation. His recommendation also points up the contradiction within the multiculturalist ethos: if Canadian authorities do what he says, they will restrict women’s rights and adopt Sharia assumptions. If they give his recommendation its due regard, which is none at all, they’ll be “Islamophobic.”

Actually, if they ignore this lunatic they will not be “Islamophobic” but simply reasonable.  I’m curious as to why an acclaimed scholar of Islam would find this man worthy of note.


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