Quebec libraries leery of Islamic group’s books blaming feminism for societal ills

Ancient book considered '… a treasure that is of global significance.'

Several libraries in Quebec say they have received a package of books from an Islamic group in Saudi Arabia, including one that condemns the freedoms of Western women as the cause of infidelity and the neglect of children.

Two librarians tell the Journal de Montreal that they received the books free from a group identified on the mailing label as the Muslim World League/World Wide Association for Introducing Islam, which is based in Mecca, according to a Facebook page for the group.

The shipment contains several books in English and Arabic, including a copy of the Qur’an and a book entitled “Women’s Rights: A historical perspective” by Dr. Abdallah H. Al-Kahtany.

“The main objective of these champions of free women and other supporters of feminism was to give women more freedom to engage in illicit sex, to work outside the home with men, and promote dating in [inappropriate] clothing before marriage,” the newspaper quotes the books.

"The empowerment of women by extreme feminists and liberalism, in contrast, caused more calamities and added more suffering in a world that should be controlled by men.”

One book says infidelity and “unchaste practices” become the norm in societies that “perceive morality, virginity and chastity as radical, outdated or wrong.”

“The movement for the emancipation of women in the Muslim world can only lead to the same catastrophe that has already occurred elsewhere,” it says.

A U.S.-based database of library books says the women’s rights book was published privately in 2009 by the Islamic Educational Centre in Saudia Arabia.

“As discussed in this book, the miserable state of millions of oppressed women all over the world, including the West, reveals the hypocrisy of many women’s rights organizations towards their real issue,” the database says.

Paule Riopel at the St. Adolphe D’Howard told the Journal de Montreal that when he saw the packaging and the “propaganda” inside, he wanted to return to sender. It will not be put on library shelves, he says.

An email request for comment from the Muslim World League in Canada, based in Mississauga, received no immediate response.

The president of the Public Library Association says individual libraries will have to decide what to do with the books.