POLITICS

Montreal junior college ends contract with Islamic teacher to use school space

04/16/2015 01:56 EDT | Updated 06/30/2015 11:59 EDT
MONTREAL - A controversial Islamic educator who was once considered a terror suspect by Ottawa has had his ties with a Montreal college severed because he allegedly refused to abide by its code of conduct outside school property.

College de Rosemont announced Thursday it had ended its contract with Adil Charkaoui, who had been running kickboxing and karate classes in a rented space in the school since 2010.

The institution and another junior college, College de Maisonneuve, suspended their contracts with Charkaoui in February amid reports one of six Quebec youths who fled to Turkey and may have joined jihadist groups in the Middle East had briefly attended classes organized by Charkaoui at College de Maisonneuve.

The schools also claimed the website associated with Charkaoui's Islamic centre linked to external sites promoting violence and radicalism, which went against their code of conduct.

College de Maisonneuve allowed the resumption of Charkaoui's Arabic lessons in March but said it reserved the right to have an observer present in the classroom.

Stephane Godbout, head of College de Rosemont, said Charkaoui agreed to remove the controversial links on his website but allegedly refused to respect the school's code of conduct when not on school property.

Charkaoui's position was not good enough for the school, Godbout said.

"If someone expressed violent views outside the college, I can't then pretend that I did not hear them and then let them hold events in the school," Godbout said in an interview.

"College de Rosemont cannot be associated with (those views), directly or indirectly."

Charkaoui reacted by saying the decision to end his contract was "unfounded, defamatory and discriminatory."

"(The karate club) reiterated its desire to respect the rules of the school when using its facilities, but refused the new clause that the school's code had to be respected outside of school property," he said.

The new clause "contravenes the Canadian and Quebec charters of rights and freedoms," he added.

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