TORONTO – Canada’s leading council of imams has issued advisory to Imams to promote integration and unity in their Friday sermon and the religious services, after recent controversy on a sermon given by a visiting imam in Montreal.
“The Canadian Council of Imams (CCI) hereby reminds all congregation leaders and imams, at all facilities of worship, whether permanent or temporary, to uphold the integrity of our faith and responsibility in sermons and supplications,” said the Canadian Council of Imams (CCI) in a statement on Tuesday, April 11.
“Our sermons (khutbahs) and supplications (duas) are an integral part of the Muslim’s spiritual experience.”
The council urged imams to convey the true nature of Islam in their sermons.
“The message, content and delivery of all sermons and supplications must entail the true nature of Islam, which is a message of peace and respect, as per Islamic guidelines,” the statement added.
The advisory followed a recent controversy surrounding a Montreal mosque, Dar Al-Arqam Mosque, regarding a sermon given by a visiting Jordanian scholar.
Following the problem, the president of the Muslim Council of Montreal, Salam Elmenyawi, asked the mosque to apologize.
“Sermons and supplications should not be a platform for discriminatory remarks or hate speech, nor for the sharing of political/partisanship views,” added the Imams’ council.
“Sermons and supplications should promote respect, tolerance and harmony.”
“All Imams and speakers including guests and teachers, should adhere to this protocol. We advise management boards of Islamic centers to have a written code of conduct for all presenters, speakers and imams to read and sign prior to delivery on stage or podium.”
Canada’s Muslims make up 3.2 percent of the national population, representing the second largest religious group after Christianity, and is one of the fastest growing segments of the Canadian population.