Adil Charkaoui says he is the victim of a smear campaign.
“I am really disgusted by the dirty campaign of some mass media,” the Moroccan-born teacher of Arabic and the Quran tells Al Jazeera English via Facebook.
He could be right.
Over the past six months, especially since seven young people left Quebec last winter reportedly to join ISIL, Canadian reporters have been linking his name, his past, and his Centre Communautaire Islamique de l’Est de Montreal to the “radicalisation” of Muslim youth.
Last month, when another 10 boys and girls on their way to Turkey were “pre-emptively” arrested at Montreal’s Trudeau International Airport, Charkaoui was in the headlines again.
That’s because, so far this year, 11 of 19 young Quebecers who have left or tried to leave – ostensibly for Syria – attended College de Maisonneuve, where Charkaoui leases space for his classes…