CEGEPs react after students reportedly join ISIS

March 2, 2015

Montreal CEGEPs Collège de Maisonneuve and Collège de Rosemont have suspended their contracts with École des compagnons, an Islamic and Qu'Ran studies school that rented classroom space from the institutions. The move comes after officials at Maisonneuve discovered a video being circulated that was said to be "promoting values that are different from ours." “We believe we have a good reason to suspend our relationship with the École des compagnons,” said Maisonneuve spokesperson Brigitte Desjardins. “When people rent our facilities, we don’t ask them if they plan on spreading hate messages.” The suspensions of the contracts were announced as news broke that 6 young Quebecers had left Canada for Syria to join ISIS; CBC and the Globe and Mail have reported that 4 of the 6 were students at Maisonneuve as recently as last fall. Maisonneuve sent out messages to students, staff, and faculty asking them to help prevent other students from falling under the influence of radicalism. Rosemont Executive Director Stéphanie Godbout stated that "measures have already been initiated by the college to minimize this social phenomenon which has negative impacts and is dangerous for our youth." CBC | Globe and Mail | Toronto Star

Postscript: March 19, 2015

Adil Charkaoui will once again be allowed to teach courses on Arabic and the Qur’an at Montreal’s Collège de Masionneuve. Charkaoui’s contract to rent classrooms from the CEGEP had been suspended after officials discovered a video that they said was “promoting values that are different from ours” and one of his students reportedly left Canada to join ISIS. There is currently no proof that Charkaoui has committed any wrongdoing; however, Masionneuve officials have launched an investigation to determine if he was promoting “inappropriate values.” They also said that they will reserve the right to place an observer in Charkaoui’s classes. CBC