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The BC Muslim Association Aghast At Hack Job CBC Article


(Vancouver – December 7, 2020)

The BC Muslim Association today expresses its deep concern over a poorly written and misleading article about the BCMA and a past Imam with criminal convictions who worked at the BCMA.

The article, entitled, “Surrey imam who misrepresented himself to immigration officials jailed for sexual assault” by Ms. Belle Puri, specifically states that, “His story shows the lengths he went to in misleading immigration officials to stay in Canada and the lack of intervention provided by the BC Muslim Association, which described his criminal case as a ‘personal matter.’”

“We want to be clear: Ms. Puri’s article demonstrates a lack of journalistic ethics and integrity” said Tariq Tayyab, BCMA spokesperson, “In fact, when reached out for comment, BCMA provided Ms. Puri a full statement which Ms. Puri neglected to fully duplicate or provide to the public for context. The reality is that BCMA was simply never made aware of the Imam’s criminal history – and when we had initially done a criminal background check, we had no flags. If we had known, we would of course have taken strict action as we have a zero-tolerance policy for such heinous acts.”

The statement, which Ms. Puri neglected to reproduce, is here:

The BCMA takes the safety of its congregants seriously. Further, the BCMA cares deeply about all those who enter the doors of its institutions and has a zero-tolerance policy for any form of harassment or violence in accordance with provincial and federal legislation, including as it relates to off-duty conduct. 

In accordance with our policies and procedures, the BCMA runs criminal background checks on all applicants. This was done for the individual related to your query - at the time, the individual did not have a criminal record.

At no time was BCMA made aware of the serious allegations and criminal charges brought against the individual referred to in your inquiry while the individual was employed at BCMA. Any assertion to the contrary is false and defamatory.

As the individual is no longer an employee, we cannot comment any further in regards to your inquiry.

The BCMA further invites any victim of domestic violence or assault, of any faith or nationality, to reach out, with confidentiality assured, to 604.270.2522. We are here to support our communities.

The BC Muslim Association