US embassy cable - 05TORONTO3250

Reviving the Islamic Spirit Convention

Identifier: 05TORONTO3250
Wikileaks: View 05TORONTO3250 at
Origin: Consulate Toronto
Created: 2005-12-14 15:20:00
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

141520Z Dec 05
E.O. 12958:  N/A 
SUBJECT: Reviving the Islamic Spirit Convention 
Sensitive but Unclassified - protect accordingly. 
1.  (U) See para 8 for action request. 
2. (SBU) SUMMARY: A large convention for Islamic 
youth will take place in Toronto December 23 to 
26.  Organizers expect about 12,000 to 15,000 
people to attend - about 1,000 people will likely 
travel to Canada from the U.S.  Since the 
convention is occurring in the middle of Canada's 
federal election campaign, Prime Minister Martin 
and other political dignitaries are expected to 
put in appearances.  END SUMMARY. 
3.  (U) The Toronto-based IHYA Foundation, a not 
for profit education and advocacy initiative is 
organizing a "Reviving the Islamic Spirit 
Convention" for Islamic youth December 23 through 
26.  The convention features speakers from 
Canada, the U.K., the U.S., Mauritania, South 
Africa, Switzerland, India, Egypt, Kuwait, and 
Syria.  Additional program details are available 
4.  (SBU) Prime Minister Martin is expected to 
deliver a speech on December 23.  Federal house 
leader Tony Valeri, federal Immigration Minister 
Joe Volpe, and Ontario Attorney General Michael 
Bryant are also expected to attend.  Toronto 
Mayor David Miller, who will be vacationing in 
Greece at the time, has agreed to send a video 
message to the assembly.  The organizers said 
Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty, Conservative 
Party leader Stephen Harper, and National 
Democratic Party leader Jack Layton have been 
invited but have not yet RSVP'd. 
5.  (U) Convention organizers said they expect 
about 1,000 persons to travel from the U.S. to 
Toronto from December 22 through December 27, 
though they have not formally promoted the event 
to a U.S. audience.  They said they are aware of 
four buses (two from Michigan, one from Chicago, 
and one from New Jersey) that have been chartered 
to transport people to Toronto for the 
6.  (U) This is the fourth Islamic convention 
being organized by IHYA in Toronto.  About 3,000 
people attended the first convention, held in 
January 2003.  About 8,000 people attended the 
January 2004 convention in Toronto and about 
12,000 people attended last year's event, held in 
the Toronto Skydome in December 2004.  Organizers 
expect 12,000 to 15,000 people to attend this 
7.  (SBU) Comment: According to their website 
(, "IHYA is committed to 
fostering a Canadian Muslim identity and 
developing sustainable communities inspired and 
guided by the values of classical Islamic 
civilization."  ConGen Toronto has found the IHYA 
representatives with whom we have met to be 
progressive Muslims interested in countering 
radical Islam by offering to youth living in 
North America a vision of the religion that fits 
into western democratic states such as the U.S. 
and Canada.  Consul General and senior staff have 
been invited, and plan to attend portions of the 
8.  (SBU) Action Request: Some of the people who 
attended the convention last December ran into 
difficulty with U.S. Customs and Border 
Protection officers as they attempted to re-enter 
the U.S. after the conclusion of the convention. 
Post would be grateful if CBP officers were 
provided with background about the convention so 
that legitimate travelers do not encounter undue 

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