Punishment includes Islam indoctrination
Canadian to resume hate-crimes sentence under Muslim direction
By Art Moore
© 2011 WND
An Ontario man convicted of promoting hatred against Muslims says his community-service sentence has included indoctrination into Islam.
After losing an appeal to Canada's Supreme Court on Oct. 17, Mark Harding must resume his sentence of two years probation and 340 hours of community service under the direction of Mohammad Ashraf, general secretary of the Islamic Society of North America in Mississauga, Ont.
Harding, 47, said he had one session under Ashraf in 1998 before an appeal process stayed the sentence.
Ashraf, according to Harding, said that instead of licking stamps and stuffing envelopes, "it would be better if you learned about Islam."
The cleric made it clear, Harding recalled in an interview with WorldNetDaily, that during the sessions nothing negative could be said about Islam or its prophet, Muhammad.
"He said he was my supervisor, and if I didn't follow what he said, he would send me back to jail," recounted Harding, who had been prevented from speaking publicly about his case under a gag order.
Harding was convicted in 1998 on federal hate-crimes charges stemming from a June 1997 incident in which he distributed pamphlets outside a public high school, Weston Collegiate Institute in Toronto. Harding – who said that until that point he spent most of his time evangelizing Muslims – was protesting the school's policy of setting aside a room for Muslim students to pray during school hours.