Liberal Party of Canada leader Justin Trudeau
Credits: REUTERS/Chris Wattie
In the interests of accuracy, full transcriptions are available here.
OTTAWA - Justin Trudeau is being accused of "intellectual dishonesty" for his visiting a Montreal-area mosque that American government sources say has been an Al-Qaeda recruitment centre.
The Al Sunnah Al-Nabawiah mosque sits in Trudeau's Quebec riding.
The Liberal leader reluctantly acknowledged last weekend he'd attended the Al-Sunnah Al-Nabawiah mosque, which follows the strict Wahhabist interpretation of Islam (codified and practiced in Saudi Arabia) then cast doubt on the veracity of the American government's designation.
"I think I've probably been to every single different mosque in my riding," he said. "I know a number of people who have been listed by the U.S. government on a no-fly list and we in Canada have our own determinations for those sorts of things because the U.S. is known to make mistakes from time to time; are there any other questions?"
Pakistan-born Tarek Fatah, founder of the Muslim Canadian Congress, found Trudeau's response "outrageous."
"(This) mosque he mentions with pride is in his own words a Wahhabi mosque, the role model for ISIS, Hamas, Al-Qaeda and the Taliban," he told QMI Agency.
Fatah said Trudeau's pandering to this extremist group wasn't helpful.
He added that the Liberal leader would have been better off "denouncing jihad, Sharia and Jew-hatred that is the staple lecture at these mosque sermons."
"For him to pretend this is about meeting with people with whom he disagrees is intellectual dishonesty and playing ethnic politics to the advantage of those who seek Canada's destruction along with the rest of European civilization, secularism, gender equality and individual liberty."
The Prime Minister's Office accused Trudeau of "trolling for votes among religious extremists in our own communities."
"First, Justin Trudeau refused to condemn the horrific bombing of the Boston Marathon - instead he tried to rationalize the actions of evil individuals," spokesman Stephen Lecce told QMI Agency. "It's clear that Justin Trudeau cannot be trusted to keep Canadians safe."