The case of Imam Zijad Delic

by Aaron Wherry

Word came Friday night that Defence Minister Peter MacKay had revoked the invitation of Imam Zijad Delic to speak at forum hosted by the Department of National Defence. On Sunday, Jack Layton criticized MacKay’s decision.

Imam Delic, who spoke at a forum hosted by the Foreign Affairs department in 2008, is the executive director of the Canadian Islamic Congress, which Immigration Minister Jason Kenney has criticized on account of remarks made by its former president. (The Congress and this magazine have some history as well, a matter Imam Delic seems to have commented on.)

Imam Delic’s official biography is here. He has been cited variously in the pages of the Ottawa Citizen—see here, here, here, here and here. The Citizen also has video of an interview with him here. He has additionally penned letters calling for the return of Omar Khadr and lamenting the government’s lack of outreach to the Muslim community. More of his own writing is available here and here. You can also go through back issues of the CIC’s Friday Magazine if you so desire.

In 2007, he appeared at a news conference in Ottawa on the occasion of Islamic History Month, alongside Liberal Senator Mobina Jaffer and Conservative Senator Hugh Segal. That same year, he addressed the Catholic bishops of Canada. Last year, he appeared at a news conference with NDP MP Brian Masse, Liberal MP Rob Oliphant and Bloc MP Francine Lalonde.

Make of all that what you will.




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