NEWS

Collège de Rosemont severs ties with Adil Charkaoui group

04/16/2015 11:53 EDT | Updated 06/28/2015 08:59 EDT
Montreal's Collège de Rosemont says it will no longer rent space for karate courses to the Centre communautaire de l'est de Montréal, an Islamic centre run by Adil Charkaoui.

College director Stéphane Godbout said Thursday morning that the college was unable to come to an agreement with Charkaoui that would allow him to continue while respecting the college's code of conduct.

Godbout said the college was specifically concerned by links on the centre's Facebook page it characterized as "violent, radical" material.

Charkaoui also rents space at Collège de Maisonneuve as École des compagnons, a school for Arabic and Qu'ran studies.

Charkoui responded on Thursday by saying he would issue a news release later in the day. He also commented briefly on his Facebook page.

"The director of Collège de Rosemont is taking advantage of the arrest of a student from [Collège] de Maisonneuve (who is not even charged)  to publicly air our failed discussions regarding the Compagnons karate and kickboxing courses in their school," he wrote.

Courses suspended

In February, both colleges suspended Charkaoui's space-rental contract over concerns about some of the links on his group's Facebook page.

A month later Collège de Maisonneuve reached an agreement with Charkaoui's École des compagnons allowing courses to continue, with observers in the classroom to ensure the college's code of conduct was being respected.

Godbout said Collège de Rosemont tried to reach a similar agreement with Charkaoui, but was unsuccessful.

He said Charkaoui's group agreed to respect the college's code of conduct, but only while it was using the college's facilities.

Godbout said that's not good enough.

"The links that were put on the internet that we had a problem with, that was done outside the college, but we wanted them to respect communication norms that are respectful and ethical," said Godbout.

No connection to arrests

Godbout said there was no connection between today's decision and the arrest yesterday of 18 year-old Jamali El-Mahdi.

El-Mahdi had previously supported Charkaoui on his personal Facebook page.

RCMP requested Wednesday that El-Mahdi and another teenager, Sabrine Djaermane, sign peace bonds because they had reason to believe they might commit a terrorism offence.

Both El-Mahdi and Djaermane are enrolled at Collège de Maisonneuve.

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