Imam Hamza Chaoui is responding for the first time since Montreal city officials announced he will not be given an operating permit to open an Islamic Community Centre called the Ashabeb Centre.

On Saturday, Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre, alongside Mercier-Hochelaga-Maisonneuve Mayor Réal Ménard, announced they would not grant an operational permit to the community centre, saying it was an issue of public safety.

"I categorically refute allegations of Mayors Ménard and Coderre," writes Chaoui on his Facebook page.

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