U of T prof takes the stand in defense of accused terrorist

Law prof says messages glorifying jihad do not advocate violence against Canadians


A leading expert in Islam and University of Toronto professor says texts glorifying jihad seized from the home of one of the so-called Toronto 18 do not advocate violence against Canadians.

Mohammad Fadel, a law professor at U of T, is the final defence witness at the sentencing hearing for 22-year-old Saad Khalid.

Khalid has pleaded guilty to taking part in a domestic terror plot that involved plans to detonate bombs at a number of high-profile targets over three days.

Fadel told a Brampton, Ont., court today the five documents found on Khalid’s laptop and on a memory card in his bedroom are simply moral arguments, not legal decrees that must be followed.

Even the most “incendiary” text, one that singles out the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan, only calls for Muslims to donate money to the Taliban and pray for victory.

It’s expected final submissions at the sentencing hearing will begin Friday.

– The Canadian Press


U of T prof takes the stand in defense of accused terrorist

  1. Hello? Donating money to the Taliban – a terrorist organization – is illegal…Fadel knows all too well that those who support the jihad – with money, food, weapons, logistics, housing, etc. are regarded almost as highly as the jihadists and that ALL able-bodied & mentally stable Muslims are required to either wage jihad or support the jihadists!!!!!

  2. Rhetoric aside, not every reference to jihad can or should be taken as a reference to terrorism. “Jihad” is simply the Islamic word for crusade. Just think about how many contexts “crusade” can appear in. Certainly it can be used in a sort of Middle Ages context, where it refers to invading your country and burning down your cities (a common Christian goal at that time, let’s not forget) but it can also be used in far less militant contexts.

    We often use “crusade” to simply refer to the vigorous pursuit of some goal. Muslims are no less entitled to their word. When that word refers to some actual terrorist plot (as, frankly, crusade once did) then fine, deal with it as terrorism. But use of the word alone can’t become evidence of terrorism. If it does, it really is just an excuse to go after an entire religion, based simply on the language that they use.

  3. It doesn’t even necessarily mean crusade. Jihad is the word for “struggle.” Though it can be a reference to crusade or holy war, it can be a reference to struggling to live life as directed by the Qu’ran.

  4. Well, I’ll take that more recent comment as a reaffirmation of my point, but I don’t mind the correction on the more subtle translation of Jihad. Language is tricky, after all, and it is very often contextual. It’s unfortunate that one word has become so polarizing. Let’s remember that even the Nazi swastika had perfectly innocent usages before it was co-opted by the Nazi party.