Huron University College needs to stand firm and accept funding to establish a new chair in Islamic studies.
Some people have criticized the college for accepting money from two organizations with alleged ties and/or views sympathetic to Islamic terrorists, the Muslim Association of Canada (MAC) and the International Institute for Islamic Thought (IIT).
But one has to give college officials the benefit of the doubt that they have done their due diligence before accepting the $2-million donation.
Clearly, college officials viewed the alleged links with skepticism.
More importantly, the college can always change its mind if the alleged links, which seem somewhat tenuous, are found to be stronger or more direct than originally thought.
Finally, neither organization will be in a position of power to influence who is awarded the chair or what courses and content are offered.
Providing the public, especially our young people, with an opportunity to learn about and understand the Muslim faith is critical if this world is to ever find peace.
The Islamic extremists who've followed the path of jihad and used violence and terror to back their cause have driven an enormous wedge between Islam and the rest of the world, a chasm so wide and so deep it's easy to understand why so many innocent Muslim people feel unfairly victimized and why so many non-Muslims feel so threatened, even though the number of extremists is miniscule.
Society needs to do everything it can to nurture understanding and foster solidarity against such evil, which is precisely what these murderous extremists represent.
Our Muslim youth need an opportunity to hear points of view in a legitimate, secular, academic setting outside the mosque. And our non-Muslim youth need information to help them understand the Muslim faith so they can form healthy opinions to guide them through their lives and identify, reject and confront prejudice and extremism.
Some suggest it is morally wrong to accept money from the MAC and the IIT, considering the various links and sympathies toward terrorism.
One might also argue it's far more dangerous to allow the chasm to remain, rather than try to build bridges of understanding.