Sunday, June 04, 2006
imam Aly Hindy's previous job
Last August, the Ottawa Sun ran a lenghty article on controversial Scarborough Ontario imam Aly Hindy.
The full article is available here.
Most startling was the revelation concerning what type of work the peaceful imam performed before devoting his life to allah. Previously we could find him...
.... [devoting] the better part of his professional life designing safety measures to protect vulnerable nuclear facilities in Ontario as well as the U.S.
The paradox -- that a man who many see as a security threat has worked in such sensitive areas -- is not lost on the imam. He still works as an engineering consultant part-time. He works at the mosque on Fridays and Sundays.
"I spent 21 years working to improve our nuclear facilities at Pickering, Bruce and Darlington. When I was designing buildings to make the society safer, people who are now saying I should be deported were probably in their diapers. I am a Canadian. My family is Canadian. My children and grandchildren are Canadian. We are part of this society. We are not going anywhere.
"I'm branded because I am helping those guys on security certificates."
Aly Hindy came to Canada in 1975 with a degree in engineering from Cairo's Ain Shams University. He prayed five times a day like other ordinary Muslims, but was not deeply religious. He was clean-shaven back then.
He enrolled at the University of Western Ontario and by 1979, four years after his arrival, completed both his masters and doctorate degrees in structural engineering. For two years, he worked with a company called Stone and Webster, helping design safer nuclear plants in the U.S. In 1981, he joined Ontario Hydro, which later became Ontario Power Generation.
For 21 years, until he took a buyout in 2002, he was a safety expert, designing ways to protect the province's hydro-electric dams and nuclear plants. He was part of a specialized team of about four to six experts whose task included thinking up extreme scenarios such as explosions, tornados or plane crashes in which a nuclear plant could be attacked or be incapacitated. It was the team's job to come up with design solutions that would prevent radioactive material from leaking and endangering people.
Mr. Hindy's lack of formal training is no impediment to being an imam. Islam has no formal process of ordaining imams and there are many examples of people who studied outside the formal structures, but became respected scholars.
Obviously, the imam has to possess some knowledge of Islamic jurisprudence in order to answer questions properly and adjudicate matters correctly. But in the end, it all comes down to community acceptance.
"If he gains recognition from the people he is serving as learned and religious-oriented, he can be imam," says the Ottawa Mosque's imam Gamal Solaiman.
While at first Mr. Hindy's affirmation of being a run-of-the-mill canadian may raise some eyebrows, the following list of beliefs suggests he has all too much in common with many anti-american Canadians I have had the misfortune of meeting..:
Mr. Hindy left Egypt for Canada 30 years ago and went on to enjoy a successful career here as an engineer. Only late in life did he re-make himself into a spiritual leader or imam -- an imam who says that the 9/11 attacks could not have been carried out without the collaboration of U.S. security services; who refused to join 120 other Canadian imams in condemning the London transit bombings; and who denies that Muslims carried out the London bombings or that the attack was committed in the name of Islam.
"After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the West had to have a new enemy. And Islam became the enemy," he said.
Posted by Charles Henry at 11:44 AM