Chaplains in the military and police services have been in existence since the early days of those institutions. Traditionally, chaplains have been a moral compass within their organizations who assist in matters related to spiritual needs and morale building.
So why do the Toronto Police Service have a chaplain who has a moral compass that does not align with the Constitution of Canada, the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the Criminal Code or the policies of the Toronto Police Service itself?
Toronto Police chaplain Musleh Khan was officially appointed on Wednesday, October 26, 2016.
Born in Madinah, Saudi Arabia and raised Toronto, Musleh Khan graduated from the Islamic University of Madinah (Medina) where he completed a BA in Islamic Law from the faculty of Da’wah and Usool al-deen. He lectures in the Muslim community on Islamic Law, Islamic identity and marital relationships among other things. The University of Medina is well known for its severe, Wahhabist interpretation of Islam.
In a 2014 New York Times article titled Saudis Must Stop Exporting Extremism; ISIS Atrocities Started with Saudi Support for Salafi Hate, Ed Husain noted:
“The University of Medina recruits students from around the world, trains them in the bigotry of Salafism and sends them to Muslim communities in places like the Balkans, Africa, Indonesia, Bangladesh and Egypt, where these Saudi-trained hard-liners work to eradicate the local, harmonious forms of Islam.”
Chaplain Khan has been noted for his teachings in Canada. Women, he believes, must obey their husbands, and makes themselves sexually available on demand. Seen another way, this can be interpreted as condoning marital rape.
They also “must seek permission from their husbands whenever they want to leave the house because the man is the “main decision-maker of the home.”
In addition to being a chaplain, he is also part of the Toronto Police Service Muslim Consultative Committee and is/was a member of the RCMP Counter-Terrorism Committee. He is reported as being one of the youngest Imams serving at the Islamic Institute of Toronto (IIT) in Toronto Canada.
When questioned, the usual Islamist apologists, including Khan himself, made the predictable statements that his views had been taken out of context and that those unfamiliar with his meaning could misinterpret them. According to Khan, the Arabic translation for obedience really denotes “loyalty and devotion.” By contrast, a search on a variety of Arab-English dictionaries turns up the terms compliance, obedience, submission, surrender and yielding.
It is a reasonable question to ask. Why does the Toronto Police Service have an Imam from the University of Medina who teaches that women are inferior and must be housebound unless they seek permission from their husbands?
How does the Toronto Police Board allow such a person to be an Imam when their domestic violence policy states that “Women who have been victimized by violence are a Toronto Police Service Priority.” Of interest, the policy includes the line “DOMESTIC VIOLENCE includes acts used to maintain power and control over a person by creating fear and isolation. Abuse can take many forms, including physical, sexual, emotional, psychological and financial.” (Emphasis added)
The Toronto Police Service having an Islamist chaplain wear a uniform is a visible sign of endorsement for Imam Khan and his teachings. Police officers, already weary of interaction with the Muslim community, have another problem to consider when going to domestic abuse calls. This can be considered both a form of politicisation of the police service and yet another cause of depolicing.
The following questions can be raised:
- Where is the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police on this matter? Do they approve of chaplains who advocate domestic abuse based on the foreign political/religious ideology of the Islamists? Does a hiring standard exist for chaplains? Does the Canadian Police Chaplain Association have a view on such matters?
- Where is the Chief of Police of Toronto, Mark Saunders, on this issue? Does the Toronto Chief Police support those who advocate domestic abuse? Why would he have a high profile uniform wearing individual on his staff who has views like this?
- Could a Muslim male in Toronto make a claim in court that he should not be charged with domestic assault because he consulted the writings of a Toronto Police Service chaplain? Courts in Canada have already ruled that those assaulting their wives should not be jailed because a Syrian refugee did not know wife beating was not permissible.
- Why would the Toronto Police Services Board even consider allowing such an appointment to stand? The role of police services in forced suicides, honour killings, FGM and domestic abuse in general is an area already fraught with problems. By giving a high-profile uniformed position to someone who advocates domestic abuse against Muslim women, the issue of depolicing and domestic abuse become an even murkier field.