POLITICS

Adil Charkaoui's community school resumes as junior college lifts suspension

03/19/2015 11:46 EDT | Updated 05/19/2015 05:59 EDT
MONTREAL - A man once accused by Ottawa of being a terrorist says he'll be able to resume using class space at a Montreal junior college to operate his community school.

In late February, College de Maisonneuve and a second Montreal institution suspended leases granted to Adil Charkaoui to operate weekend Arabic classes out of their buildings.

The suspension came amid reports one of six Quebec youths who fled to Turkey and may have joined jihadist groups in the Middle East had briefly attended courses at Charkaoui's institution.

Charkaoui denied any wrongdoing.

On Thursday, junior college officials said they will allow the resumption of classes, but they have reserved the right to have an observer present to ensure the school's code of conduct is respected without any hateful discourse or incitement to violence.

Spokeswoman Brigitte Desjardins said she was disappointed Charkaoui took to social media Wednesday night to announce the resumption of classes without telling the college whether he'd agreed to the new provision.

Desjardins said the college was considering measures to identify and combat indoctrination of students by radical elements.

Some of the six students who fled in mid-January frequented the school.

College de Rosemont also suspended its contract with Charkaoui and said Thursday the matter is still under review.

Charkaoui, a Moroccan-born Montreal educator, lived under tight restrictions for several years after Ottawa accused him of being a terrorist. He was never charged.

After the Federal Court lifted the restrictions in 2009, Charkaoui sued Ottawa. He has since become a Canadian citizen.

About 125 students attend the classes, which offer instruction in Arabic, the Qur'an and sports, Charkaoui said.

The students are mostly between the ages of four and 12, and the professors are volunteers, he added.