Controversial lecturer comes to Ryerson

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By Shirley Lin

A radical scholar who previously praised suicide bombers held a seminar at Ryerson in late July. Despite his contentious beliefs, students still attended.

Azzam Tamimi was a special guest for the seminar entitled From Caliphs to Kings: The Fall and Rise of Muslim Ummah, hosted by the Al-Fauz Islamic Institute of Thought in the Student Campus Centre (SCC) from July 24-27.

“It didn’t bother me at all,” says Shagufta Sharif, a thirdyear biology student at Ryerson. “I didn’t find anything controversial during his lectures.”

Tamimi, director of the Islamic Institute of Thought in London, U.K., had said in media interviews that the Sept. 11 attacks brought joy to the Arab world, praised suicide bombers and supported Hamas.

Ryerson Students’ Union president, Jermaine Bagnall said the RSU wasn’t responsible for the booking. “That is something that’s not run through us, it’s somebody booking through the student centre which is separate from the Ryerson Students’ Union.”

Throughout the year, independent organizations can book space at the SCC for conferences or events.


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