Oakville; – On Sunday, October 7, 2018 the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) Canada held its annual Carry the Light Convention which featured numerous prominent speakers from around the world. The convention, which begins with the singing of the national anthem, is followed by speeches on various topics ranging from political engagement and participation, addressing domestic violence, serving humanity and countering Islamophobia.
During the convention, individuals who have been described as far-right provocateurs, who promote conspiracy theories and with documented sympathies to white supremacists attempted to gain access to the event. While the event was advertised as being open to all interested participants, an explicit disclaimer was also posted online and at prominent places around the event which stated that the organizers reserved the right to refuse entry to any individual(s) which includes those who spread hatred against others.
Unfortunately, during a confrontation captured on video, a person not authorized to speak on behalf of ICNA Canada told these individuals that the event was for Muslims only. This was incorrect.
The conference was and will always remain open to all who seek to learn. However, we firmly believe that our ability to maintain an open and safe environment for all our convention attendees would have been compromised by the presence of individuals who have a history of promoting hate and disrupting events.
ICNA Canada remains committed to openness and transparency, and we stand by our decision to refuse entry to these individuals whose history of attempting to sow discord, division and hatred between Canadians is well known as these actions go against the very foundations of our organization.
No further comment on this incident will be made.
Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) Canada