PART 1 – Hussein Hamdani, the leader of the Muslim delegation
PART 2 – A major success for Hussein Hamdani: CSIS reduced the threat that we are facing to “Al-Qaeda’s ideology” and stopped referring to Islamic concepts to explain it
PART 3 – The threat that we are facing includes the non-violent subversion of our institutions from within in order to gradually implement Islamic principles in Canada
PART 4 – Advocating the caliphate and the dominance of Islamic principles are early signs of Islamist radicalization
PART 5 – Naseer Syed, the lawyer of Hamas’s fund collector IRFAN, provided the details of the meeting with Minister Toews
PART 6 – The other members of the delegation that met with Minister Toews.
On June 8, 2012, a delegation of Muslim activists met with Public Safety Minister Vic Toews. Later that month, Naseer Syed identified the participants and presented what was discussed at the meeting on his website MuslimLegal.ca. In his summary, Syed mentioned that a report of the meeting was provided to him directly by the leader of the delegation, Hussein Hamdani. Since this meeting took place, Vic Toews has retired from his federal seat and was replaced as Minister of Public Safety by Steven Blainey.
Hamdani made three main points in his presentation: he tried to discourage the Minister and other Canadian security officials from using Islamic concepts in order to explain the current Islamist threat, he asked for money on behalf of so-called “moderate Muslims” on the pretense of challenging the Islamists who are radicalizing the Muslim community and he proposed to schedule more meetings in the future between the Minister and “a Muslim community working group” (i.e. assuredly another Muslim Brotherhood front group).
Hussein Hamdani was the leader of the Muslim delegation that met with Minister Toews. He is a Hamilton lawyer and a member of the Cross-Cultural Roundtable on Security (CCRS). He was appointed to the CCRS in 2005 by then Minister of Public Safety Anne McLellan. According to its mandate, the Roundtable on Security “provides advice and perspectives to the Minister of Public Safety and the Minister of Justice, concerning matters of national security.” In 2006, the Globe and Mail revealed that Hamdani’s advising role led him to accompany the Public Safety Minister and CSIS Director in a mission abroad.
A review of Hamdani’s past activities would not only reveal his prolonged association with the Muslim Brotherhood infrastructure in Canada, it would also demonstrate how deficient is the vetting process for those who are chosen to advise the Minister responsible for ensuring the security of Canadians against terrorist attacks and the Islamist threat in general.
On many occasions in the past, Hussein Hamdani showed his “moderate Muslim” credentials to Canada’s security officials while associating himself with Islamist organizations, and even terror-funding organizations, at the same time.
In 2006, after the arrest of the Toronto 18, Hussein Hamdani asked then newly appointed Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day to fund “moderate and moderating voices” within the Muslim community in order to compete with radical influences. Hamdani said: “These [moderate] voices exist, but the community doesn’t have the money to bring them forward. Petro-dollars are hard to compete with.”
Hussein Hamdani’s opposition to the petro-dollar financing of the Islamist radicalization was just a smokescreen. In 2003, Hamdani relied on the sponsorship of an organization abundantly funded by petro-dollars, the Saudi World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY), to launch the Reviving the Islamic Spirit conventions. Year after year, these conventions feature promoters of armed jihad such as Siraj Wahhaj and others radical speakers. In 2012, the Canada Revenue Agency revoked WAMY-Canada’s charitable status because it had funded Al-Qaeda in the past.
In 2003, the first opening speech of all RIS conventions was given by the Saudi Grand Mufti Abdul-Aziz ibn Abdullah Aal ash-Shaikh, the main religious leader of Saudi Arabia and the personification of petro-dollar-funded Saudi Wahhabism. In 2012, CBN reported that the same Saudi Grand Mufti called for all churches to be demolished in the Arabian Peninsula. This area comprises Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, and the United Arab Emirates.
Point de Bascule (December 12, 2013): Reviving the Islamic Spirit – In 2003, the launch of the RIS conventions in Toronto was sponsored by an organization tied to Al-Qaida
On December 18, 2007, in a message disclosed by WikiLeaks, the US consul in Toronto notified the US Department of Homeland Security that Hussein Hamdani’s Ihya Foundation was organizing its 6th Reviving the Islamic Spirit convention that year. In December 2004, on their way back home, many Muslim travelers were stopped at the US border and interrogated after telling customs agents that they had attended the convention in Toronto. Some of these individuals later sued the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, alleging that they had been the targets of ethnic and religious profiling. After losing in the District Court in 2005, the plaintiffs appealed the decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals. They lost again in 2007.
In their decision, the judges declared that the U.S. Bureau of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) was justified to suspect that some individuals attending the RIS convention could be linked with terrorist organizations:
CBP had “reason to believe that certain individuals who were associated with terrorist organizations or activities and might pose a danger to the United States, or who were associated with organizations that provide financial support to terrorists, would be in attendance at the 2004 RIS conference.” CBP also had reason to believe that the 2004 RIS Conference “would serve as a possible meeting point for terrorists” to “coordinate operations, and raise funds intended for terrorist activities,” as well as “exchange ideas and documents,” including “travel or identification documents such as passports or driver’s licenses.” (Tabbaa v. Chertoff, 509 F. 3d 89 – Court of Appeals, 2nd Circuit 2007)
After WAMY, other terror-funding organizations, such as IRFAN-Canada, Hamas’s main fund collector in the country, sponsored the RIS conventions. IRFAN was listed as a gold sponsor in 2009 and as a diamond sponsor of the convention in 2012. IRFAN’s charitable status had already been revoked by the Canada Revenue Agency for funding Hamas when the RIS organizers solicited its sponsorship for 2012. In April 2014, IRFAN-Canada was added to Canada’s list of outlawed terrorist groups
In his official profile published when he joined the Cross-Cultural Roundtable on Security in 2005 and on his current profile (September 2014) posted on the Public Safety Canada’s website, Hussein Hamdani is presented as the Halton Islamic Association’s Public Relations Officer and a Director on the Board of the Hamdani Foundation in St. Catharines.
Both organizations have contributed to Hamas’s fund collector, IRFAN-Canada, while Hamdani was associated with them.
MONEY TRANSFERS TO IRFAN-CANADA BY ORGANIZATIONS IN WHICH HUSSEIN HAMDANI IS INVOLVED
Halton Islamic Association 2005 ($1,500) 2006 ($3,000) 2007 ($4,500) 2008 ($2,520) 2009 ($14,625)
Hamdani Foundation 2005 ($1,500)
Already in 2004, as an Opposition MP in Ottawa, Stockwell Day accused IRFAN of raising funds for the terrorist organization Hamas. In 2006, Day’s warning got more exposure when he was sued by IRFAN for defamation. In 2007, IRFAN was identified as a part of Hamas’s global financing mechanism in the Holy Land Foundation trial in the U.S (subsection VIII).
Hussein Hamdani also collaborated with the Muslim Association of Canada (MAC) AFTER it had endorsed Hamas publicly in 2004. The MAC’s endorsement came more than one year after Hamas had been added to a list of outlawed terrorist organizations by Public Safety Canada, the very department advised by Hamdani on security matters. In spite this endorsement, the Hamdani family foundation transferred $11,000 to the MAC in 2005. From 2001 to 2010, the MAC itself transferred $296,514 to Hamas’s fund collector.
In 2009, after Hussein Hamdani became the Settlement and Integration Services Organization Board Chair, this publicly funded organization joined with the pro-Hamas MAC and other Islamist organizations to sponsor a conference in Hamilton.
As an advisor to the Canadian government on security matters, Hussein Hamdani had the prime responsibility to avoid putting himself in a conflict of interest involving terrorist organizations and terror-funding organizations. He failed to do so.
In his June 2012 PowerPoint presentation, aside from requesting more money to fund Islamist organizations and asking for more meetings with the Minister of Public Safety, Hussein Hamdani’s main point was to bring the Minister and others involved in protecting Canadians to stop using Islamic concepts when they define and explain the current Islamist threat.
In the past, then CSIS Director Richard Fadden identified the greatest threat to Canada as “terrorism and primarily the terrorist threat from Sunni Islamist extremism.” On the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, Prime Minister Harper had gone along the same lines when he described the most important threat to Canada as “Islamicism.” Hamdani’s objective was to put an end to these specific descriptions.
In slide 12 of his PowerPoint presentation, Hamdani condemned Prime Minister Harper for his ‘Islamicism’ remark and suggested that Canada rather adopts the Obama administration’s approach in the matter and starts describing the threat as “Al-Qaeda’s ideology.”
Hussein Hamdani and other Islamists involved in “outreach”/influence operations with Canadian security agencies were very successful. On February 3, 2014, Michel Coulombe, who succeeded Richard Fadden as Director of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) in October 2013, confirmed to the Senate Committee on National Security and Defence that his agency had stopped referring to Islamic concepts to describe the threat that we are facing.
Asked on February 3, 2014 by Senator Daniel Lang, the Chair of the Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence, to explain why CSIS had stopped using the word “’jihad’ and its derivations” and evoking the “Islamist threat” to describe what we are facing, CSIS Director did not give any reasons but acknowledged the change. CSIS Director Coulombe said that “[W]e prefer to talk about terrorism inspired by al Qaeda ideology. That’s what we’re talking about.”
Hoping to better understand what led CSIS to abandon its former definition of the threat, Senator Lang asked CSIS Director “[to] table for us the list of individuals and organizations with whom your organization [CSIS] has been relying on for outreach.”
It appears that Senator Lang established a direct link between the Islamist organizations with whom CSIS has been involved in outreach activities and CSIS’s decision to redefine the threat that we are facing. Senator Lang’s perceptiveness is to be welcomed.
Describing the threat that we are facing as “Al-Qaeda’s ideology” conveys the message that the main threat, the unique threat in fact, that we are facing, is a violent one. But it’s not.
The threat that we are facing includes the non-violent subversion of our institutions from within in order to gradually implement Islamic principles in Canada. In these circumstances, Islamists present in government circles are not there to reduce the violent threat but to use it as leverage to get more compliance to Islamic law.
CSIS’s decision to refrain from referring to Islamic concepts in order to describe the Islamist threat is the direct result of an influence operation done under the pretense of “outreach” and “bridge-building” activities. The production by the RCMP of the text Words Make Worlds that misrepresents the concept of jihad, as understood by violent and non-violent Islamists who threaten us, is also the result of a similar operation.
Expressions such as “Islamic extremism” or “jihadism,” rather than “Al-Qaeda’s ideology,” are necessary to describe the current threat because they can designate both the violent and non-violent aspects of the Islamist offensive. In a December 1986 article written for Islamic Horizons (“Jihad is imperative to Muslims”), Mohammad Fadel explained the relationship between the “jihad of the tongue” (non-violent jihad like outreach activities with police) and the “jihad of the sword.”
Hamas and Osama Bin Laden, usually identified with armed jihad, have acknowledged the importance of the “jihad of the tongue.” Hamas highlights its importance in the article 30 of its charter: “Jihad is not limited to wielding arms and fighting the enemies face to face, for eloquent speech, persuasive writing, effective books, support and help – when [they are] performed with the sincere intention that Allah’s banner will reign supreme – all constitute jihad for the sake of Allah.” Bin Laden made the same point in his Messages to the World (p. 202).
Various leaders and entities of the North American Muslim Brotherhood infrastructure have clearly mentioned the non-violent, seditious aspect of their plan in the past. One of the best known formulations of this plan was presented in a 1991 internal Muslim Brotherhood memorandum. This document was produced for evidentiary purposes in the 2008 Holy Land Foundation trial that led to the conviction of all those who were accused of terrorism financing.
Point 4.4 of the 1991 memorandum The Ikhwan (Muslim Brotherhood) must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and “sabotaging” its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and God’s religion is made victorious over all other religions.
In the early 2000s, Muslim Brotherhood leader Jamal Badawi explained that Muslims should accept to become judges and civil servants in non-Muslim societies and take advantage of their influential positions in order to stop applying current legal provisions that are incompatible with sharia.
In 2004, in an interview given to an Egyptian periodical, Tariq Ramadan criticized Muslim leaders operating in Canada for having openly promoted sharia and Islamic tribunals. Ramadan stressed that they had shown a “lack of creativity” by openly revealing their ultimate goal. As Ramadan noted, the term sharia “is laden with negative connotations in the Western mind”. It would therefore be better not to talk openly about it “for the time being,” he added. Instead, Ramadan suggested taking advantage of the current Canadian legal framework (“one of the most open in the world”) in order to discreetly apply sharia principles one at a time. In a lecture that he gave at the Islamic Association of Greater Detroit in 2013, Tariq Ramadan defined jihad as “the way we [Muslims] apply sharia.” His formula has the advantage of taking into account both facets of jihad, the violent and the non-violent one.
In 2011, Tariq Ramadan openly called for the colonization of the U.S. in front of supporters gathered in Dallas.
Their exclusive focus on the violent Islamist threat has led many Canadian security officials to neglect the relationship between the early, pre-violent stages of Islamist radicalization, and its more advanced stages.
In his recent letter to the Globe and Mail, CSIS Director Coulombe wrote that “CSIS liaises with many cultural communities, and I can say without doubt that the extremist narrative of the West being at war with Islam is rejected by the vast majority of Muslims in Canada.”
What Director Coulombe seems to imply is that, in order to be considered a threat, an Islamist has to express the idea that the West is at war with Islam. Some Islamists, like Osama Bin Laden in his Messages to the World, have effectively evoked this idea, but most Islamists are satisfied to express their quest for the caliphate or the dominance of Islam without needing to invoke some fictitious attack on Islam by the West.
In the four examples mentioned above (memorandum, Badawi and the Muslim judges, Tariq Ramadan suggesting to discreetly apply sharia rules and Tariq Ramadan calling for a Muslim colonization of the U.S.), there was no mention of Islam being attacked by the West. Since when have Badawi, Ramadan and the others been waiting for a pretext to tell their supporters that they should Islamize the society they are living in?
In fact, Islamists are not trying to Islamize the Western societies they are living in because they are under attack, but because they were welcomed.
In the fifties and sixties, Muslim Brotherhood supporters were severely repressed in Egypt. When they first left Egypt for a refuge in Europe, and later in North America, they thought that their stay would be temporary. After realizing that the openness of Western societies would make them easy targets for an Islamist penetration, they progressively changed their mind and decided to settle. Why get killed in Egypt to promote sharia when you can be subsidized in Canada to do so?
The “extremist narrative” shared by all Islamists is not the idea that the West is at war with Islam but the project to conquer or colonize Western societies in order to gradually change their laws so that they become more compliant with Islamic law, with sharia.
CSIS Director Coulombe assured us that the extremist narrative is rejected by the vast majority of Muslims in Canada. Very good. Is Mr. Coulombe willing to go on record and state that a majority of Muslim institutions operating in Canada are not involved in the project of making Canada progressively more compliant with Islamic law?
How many schools, Islamic centres, mosques, Muslim student associations, sport clubs, etc. can be linked to the Muslim Association of Canada (MAC) alone, the main Muslim Brotherhood organization in the country? On their own website, the MAC acknowledged its allegiance to Hassan Al-Banna, the founder of the Brotherhood, the man who referred to Hitler as an inspiration for Muslims looking for “success and fortune,” the man who stated that “It is obligatory on us [Muslims] to begin fighting against non-Muslims even if they do not fight against us.”
Jonathan Halevi just translated a sermon given by Imam Ahmed Abdul Kader Qandeel (aka Ahmed Kandil) at the MAC’s main mosque in Montreal. Quandeel said that apostates have to be executed or jailed to death by the authorities of an Islamic State.
On March 21, 2014, Chiheb Battikh, the head of MAC Education Department, was sentenced to six years in jail for a kidnapping for ransom in Montreal. What does it tell us about the principles being taught to young Muslims in institutions that were supervised by Battikh?
As for the justification of coercion to enforce sharia principles, it was provided by Youssef Qaradawi, the Muslim Brotherhood spiritual guide, in his classic Priorities of the Islamic movement in the coming phase. Qaradawi stressed that one of the “political principles brought to this earth by Islam” is “changing wrong by force whenever possible.” The book Priorities is based on a speech given by Qaradawi in Algeria in 1990. For Qaradawi and the Muslim Brotherhood, “wrong” means whatever is contrary to their doctrine. In these circumstances, the only limit to their use of force will come from the opposition of those upon whom they try to impose their rules, and not from a moral aversion to force and violence.
The “jihad of the tongue” waged by Islamists with their outreach activities has led a growing number of security officials to neglect the analysis of important aspects of the threat that we are facing. Instead of trying to explain the interrelations between violent and non-violent Islamists, security officials are often presenting them as adversaries. They present Islamists who do not actively promote violence at a given time as our allies against those who do instead of explaining that they share the same goal and are often funded by the same people.
Naseer Syed, the man who presented the details of the meeting between the Muslim delegation and Minister Toews, is a partner in the KSM Law firm in Scarborough (Toronto). This law firm was founded by Faisal Kutty, a former Vice-President and legal counsel of the Islamist lobby National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM). One NCCM representative, Maryam Dadabhoy, was part of the Muslim delegation that met with Minister Toews in June 2012. At the time of the meeting, the NCCM was still operating under its original name CAIR-CAN.
On the KSM Law firm website and on his website MuslimLegal.ca, Naseer Syed identifies himself as Naseer (Irfan) Syed, likely in order to differentiate himself from other persons with the same name. However, his official middle name starts with the letter A and not I, as indicated in his profile at the Ontario Bar Association and on his diploma.
Naseer Syed is a past Chair of the Canadian Muslim Lawyers Association (CMLA). On December 14, 2001, as the Chair of the Association, Naseer Syed was invited by CTV to comment about the then-recently released tapes in which Osama Bin Laden acknowledged his involvement in the 9/11 attacks. Another guest on the show was Hadeel Al-Shalchi, then from the Muslim Students Association at the University of Ottawa. A few years later, Al-Shalchi joined CAIR-CAN as Communication spokesperson, then CBC Radio and Associated Press. The transcript of the CTV interview is available on The Investigative Project on Terrorism.
As CMLA Chair, Naseer Syed wrote an article for The Globe and Mail in 2004 (“Who speaks for Muslims in Canada?”) and he presented a joint press release with CAIR-CAN / NCCM and the Canadian Arab Federation the following year.
The current CMLA president, Yusra Siddiquee, was part of the Muslim delegation that met with Minister Toews in June 2012.
In 2007, Naseer Syed founded the Tessellate Institute with Katherine Bullock and Sheema Khan. According to its current mission statement, the Tessellate Institute “aims to be an intellectual platform through which Muslim and non-Muslim voices can combat Islamophobia, highlight positive Muslim contributions to Canadian society, and enhance the public debate on issues related to being Muslim in contemporary Canada.”
According to information available on the Canada Revenue Agency’s website, the Tessellate Institute (TTI) received $1,800 from the Olive Tree Foundation in 2012. In previous years, the Olive Tree Foundation transferred money to IRFAN-Canada, the main fund collector of Hamas in the country, ($8,000 in 2007 and $11,613 in 2009) and to the Reviving the Islamic Spirit (RIS) convention ($250 in 2009). Both TTI and RIS do not have a charity status with the CRA.
LocalWiki Toronto provides more information about Naseer Syed.
On many occasions in the past, Naseer Syed was identified as the lawyer of IRFAN-Canada, the main fund collector of Hamas in the country.
On January 12, 2006, the press reported that Naseer Syed was representing IRFAN in a $12 million defamation suit against Stockwell Day and the Canadian Coalition for Democracies (CCD) after Day and the Coalition accused IRFAN of raising funds for Hamas. Day and the CCD were proven right a few years later, of course.
On September 25, 2008, Naseer Syed represented IRFAN-Canada in Court to counter a motion by one of the defendants in the defamation suit.
On April 15, 2010, Naseer Syed issued a press release on behalf of IRFAN after the organization’s charitable status was suspended by the Canada Revenue Agency for its deficient financial record management.
In May 2010, financial auditors mandated by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) went to visit IRFAN’s office in Mississauga. Naseer Syed was present and the CRA presented (p.7/27) the visit of its auditors as follows:
While Mr. Abdel-Majid and Mr. Naseer Syed, the IRFAN-Canada legal advisor who was present throughout our May 2010 audit visit to the organization’s Mississauga office, agreed to allow the CRA to copy and review electronic files from Mr. Abdel-Majid’s computer, Mr. Syed insisted on first screening all files and e-mails to ensure that they did not contain any solicitor-client or otherwise privileged documents. Our auditors were not given the opportunity to determine the original number of records contained on Mr. Abdel-Majid’s computer, but following Mr. Syed’s review the CRA discovered that all document files, with the exception of photographs, had been removed under a claim of privilege. Further, the only e-mail records that remained were internal communications sent from other IRFAN-Canada offices. There are instances where it would appear that communication records have been omitted, leaving us without information needed for audit purposes.[…] We find it difficult to accept that the entire content of Mr. Abdel-Majid’s computer, with the exception of approximately 300 photographs and e-mails received from IRFAN-Canada offices, would be subject to a valid claim of either solicitor-client or litigation privileged information within the limits described in the CRA’s publication entitled “Acquiring Information from Taxpayers, Registrants and Third Parties”.
Given all of these circumstances, it is the CRA’s view that IRFAN-Canada has not met its requirement to allow proper inspection, audit, and examination of its books and records.
On July 12, 2010, as reported in Hansard, Liberal Senator Mobina Jaffer informed her colleagues that Nasser Syed’s testimony to the Standing Senate Committee on National Finance had to be cancelled at the last minute due to lack of time. On this occasion, Senator Jaffer described Naseer Syed as “a lawyer from Toronto who specializes in the field of money laundering” (sic). Naseer Syed had been invited to comment on the portion of Bill C-9 dealing with money laundering and the financing of terrorism.
In April 2011, IRFAN’s charitable status was revoked by the Canada Revenue Agency after it concluded that IRFAN had transferred $14.6 million to the terrorist organization Hamas for the 2005-2009 period alone. One of the issues at stake before the revocation of IRFAN’s status was the nature of its relationship with the Povrel Jerusalem Fund for Human Services (JFHS). Naseer Syed told the Toronto Star that IRFAN “was formed independently of the Povrel Jerusalem Fund by different people.” The CRA stated in a letter (p. A-17/19) that “it remains our view that IRFAN-Canada and JFHS joined operations, at least in part, to overcome the CRA’s refusal to grant JFHS registration by arranging for its activities to be assumed by IRFAN-Canada.”
The CRA had refused to grant charitable status to JFHS after it established (p. 8) that it was linked to the Holy Land Foundation, a key fund collector for Hamas in the U.S. The Holy Land Foundation was at the heart of the largest successfully prosecuted terrorism financing trial in U.S. history. In 2008, it led to the conviction of all the organization’s leaders charged with terrorism financing of Hamas. In the case United States of America vs. Holy Land Foundation, the subsection VIII of Attachment A mentions the “Jerusalem Fund, aka IRFAN” in a list of “individuals/entities that are and/or were part of the Global Hamas financing mechanism.”
In December 2012, Naseer Syed told the media that IRFAN had been “unfairly criticized” after its sponsorship of the Islamist RIS convention was highlighted by Point de Bascule and the news picked up by mainstream media.
In July 2013, Naseer Syed was in the news again after the CIBC gave notice that it intended to stop providing banking services to IRFAN.
In April 2014, IRFAN was added to Canada’s list of outlawed terrorist groups.
In recent years, Hamas leaders have frequently advocated the Islamic conquest of the West (2008 – 2011 – 2012). On July 16, 2013, Hamas even threatened to launch terrorist attacks in countries where Israel’s embassies are located. Canada is among the potential targets, of course.
Maryam Dadabhoy was CAIR-CAN representative in the delegation that met with Minister Toews. According to CAIR-CAN 2009-2010 Annual Review (p. 8), before starting to work with CAIR in Canada in 2004, Dadabhoy was with CAIR in Los Angeles.
On July 6, 2013, CAIR-CAN changed its name to the National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM). The organization is currently involved in a defamation suit against Prime Minister Harper. The NCCM sued the Prime Minister after his spokesman described the NCCM as having “documented ties” with the terrorist organization Hamas. Point de Bascule has produced many articles explaining how the NCCM is linked to Hamas (endorsement by its leaders, call to give money to its fund collector, a U.S. “parent organization” whose links with the terrorist organization have been acknowledged by U.S. tribunals, etc.)
The NCCM is an integral component of the North American Muslim Brotherhood infrastructure. While current NCCM director Khadija Haffajee was on the editorial board of Islamic Horizons, this magazine presented Hassan Al-Banna, the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, as “a True Guide.” An article in the March-April 1999 edition endorsed by Haffajee explained Al-Banna’s proposal to get rid of all political parties and replace them with a one-party state.
In his essay To what Do We Invite Humanity?, Hassan al-Banna also referred to Adolf Hitler as a role model for Muslims looking for “success and fortune.”
When Maryam Dadabhoy met with Minister Toews in 2012, Jamal Badawi was the most influential member on CAIR-CAN’s Board of directors at that time. He sat on CAIR-CAN’s Board at least from 2001 to 2013. In 2004, while Badawi was simultaneously on CAIR-CAN’s Board and on the Muslim Association of Canada’s Board, MAC issued a press release openly supporting Hamas. This endorsement came more than one year after the Canadian government, Liberal back then, had added Hamas to its list of outlawed terrorist organizations. In 2009, in a Halifax mosque, Badawi praised those who die in terrorist suicide operations as martyrs.
A 1991 internal Muslim Brotherhood memorandum (point 20) established that Jamal Badawi is a leader of the North American Muslim Brotherhood infrastructure. Badawi’s name also appeared in a 1992 Muslim Brotherhood leadership phonebook. Both documents were produced for evidentiary purposes in the 2008 Holy Land Foundation trial that led to the conviction of all those who were accused of terrorism financing.
During an interview whose date is not specified but that was first archived by Web Archive in 2002, Badawi incited Muslim judges and civil servants not to apply current legal provisions that are opposed to sharia.
In 2004, the NCCM Executive Director presented Jamal Badawi to a Canadian Senate Committee as “perhaps one of the best North American Islamic scholars, if not the premier.”
Ibrahim Danial was identified as a lawyer by Naseer Syed. In 2007, CAIR-CAN’s Annual Review (p. 19) mentioned that Danial “ha[d] been providing guidance and direction to CAIR-CAN since 2001.”
Zaid Al-Rawni was the official Islamic Relief Canada representative in the delegation that met with Minister Toews. In June 2013, The Spectator (Hamilton) identified him as the director of communications and fund relief of the organization. Islamic Relief Canada is the local branch of UK-based Islamic Relief Worldwide (IRW). According to a 2011 University of Copenhagen paper (also MoneyJihad), IRW is the largest Muslim NGO in the world. When the 2011 report was published, IRW had fundraising offices, or partners, in 13 countries and offices in 26 countries.
Although UK-based Hany El-Banna, the founding President of IRW left the organization in 2008 to get involved in other Islamic charities, he is still listed as the President of the Canadian branch in the most recent financial report (2012) available on the Canada Revenue Agency’s website.
According to this 2012 financial report, the most senior executive of the Islamic Relief’s Canadian branch actually living in Canada is its Vice-President El-Tantawy Attia. In 2011, the National Post presented Attia as a leader of the Toronto “downtown mosque,” where both Masjid Toronto and the Muslim Association of Canada (MAC) are located. MAC is the main Muslim Brotherhood organization in Canada. At the time, Attia told the National Post that he preaches “middle of the road Islam,” before adding that “Here, we follow the teachings of the Muslim Brotherhood.”
During the short-lived Muslim Brotherhood government in Egypt, Essam El-Haddad, the president of the UK-based Islamic Relief Worldwide’s Board of Directors was appointed by Egyptian President Morsi as his assistant responsible for foreign relations and international cooperation.
In June 2014, Israel banned Islamic Relief from operating in the West Bank due to its ties with Hamas. In its charter (article 2), Hamas describes itself as a branch of the Muslim Brotherhood. In 2012, the Swiss bank UBS closed Islamic Relief’s account and blocked its donations for fear of being involved in the financing of terrorist activities.
On its British, Irish and Canadian websites, Islamic Relief lists eight categories of beneficiaries for the zakat (charity) that it collects. It openly mentions funding Muslims involved in jihad (“Those struggling in the path of Allah”). Besides jihadists, this charity mostly funds different groups of needy people and the zakat collectors themselves.
The eight categories of zakat beneficiaries listed by Islamic Relief match those mentioned in the manual of sharia Umdat al-Salik (Reliance of the Traveller). The English translation of this manual was endorsed by the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT), the main Muslim Brotherhood think-tank in North America. Other Muslim Brotherhood leaders, such as Tariq Ramadan and Mohammad Fadel have also endorsed the book.
Section h8.17 of the Umdat al-Salik manual specifies that “those struggling in the path of Allah” who may receive Muslim charity are those who are “engaged in Islamic military operations for whom no salary has been allotted in the army roster (O: but who are volunteers for jihad without remuneration). They are given enough to suffice them for the operation, even if affluent; of weapons, mounts, clothing, and expenses (O: for the duration of the journey, round trip, and the time they spend there, even if prolonged. Though nothing has been mentioned here of the expense involved in supporting such people’s families during this period, it seems clear that they should also be given it).”
In his recent letter to the Globe and Mail, CSIS Director Coulombe wrote that “Even if a Canadian extremist does not immediately return, he or she is still a Canadian problem. No country can become an unwitting exporter of terrorism without suffering damage to its international image and relations.” Exporting terrorism is not limited to exporting terrorists. It also includes exporting tax deductible funds to terrorist organizations abroad via Canadian organizations benefiting of a charitable status with the Canada Revenue Agency.
In spite of all the warning signs, Canada still lets Islamic Relief operate freely and even rewards it with millions of dollars, as it was the case in 2012. In these circumstances, does Canada still fall in the category of the “unwitting exporters of terrorism” alluded to by CSIS Director Coulombe in his letter to the Globe and Mail?
Islamic Relief does not limit itself at funding armed jihad. It is also involved in the radicalization of Muslims in Canada and in the other Western countries where it operates. Over the years, Islamic Relief has sponsored many events featuring radical speakers, such as the Reviving the Islamic Spirit conventions in Canada.
In 2010, Indian Islamist Zakir Naik was invited to address the Islamic Relief-sponsored Journey of Faith conference in Toronto. A few days before the event, the National Post reproduced passages from his texts and speeches in which he states that “every Muslim should be a terrorist,” that Jews are “our staunchest enemy” and that “if [Osama bin Laden] is fighting the enemies of Islam, I am for him.”
At the same time, the Toronto Star reminded its readers that Zakir Naik has videos promoting the killing of homosexuals and apostates of Islam and others explaining the rules that a man must follow when he beats his wife.
Although none of the eight categories of zakat specifically refers to funding those involved in propaganda, the Muslim Brotherhood spiritual guide Youssef Qaradawi has justified the use of zakat to fund them in the past. By following key principles of interpretation of sharia, Qaradawi essentially equates physical violent jihad (“jihad of the sword”) with ideological jihad (“jihad of the tongue”) and concludes that zakat can be spent on both.
Sallah Hamdani was identified as a representative of the North American Spiritual Revival (NASR) in the description of the delegation provided by Naseer Syed.
Sallah and Hussein Hamdani, the leader of the Muslim delegation that met with Minister Toews in 2012, were featured in a Toronto Star article on July 28, 2002 (p. A4) and presented as brothers.
Hussein Hamdani introduces himself as NASR’s founding Chair in his LinkedIN profile. However, various editions of The Spectator / Hamilton (April 14, 2007, July 26, 2008 and August 12, 2010) and of the Toronto Star (July 6, 2013) have identified him as the organization’s Vice-Chair in the past.
According to its About page, NASR has four core objectives. Three of these objectives concern Muslims: Education, Spiritual Development and Cultural Programs. The fourth one (Community Outreach) concerns non-Muslims. It is defined as follows: “To network and build bridges with organizations on issues of community building and social justice”. Contacts with police and security agencies fall in this category.
In Islamist parlance, “bridge building” and “outreach” are code words for infiltration. Muslim Brotherhood ideologue Sayyid Qutb has provided a clear explanation of the Islamist “bridge building” in his essay Milestones. Qutb stressed that “bridge building” is not a process leading to exchanges between Muslims and non-Muslims but a one-way process bringing non-Muslims to Islam, a way for Muslims to gain influence in non-Muslim circles.
From Chapter 10 in Qutb’s book: “The chasm between Islam and Jahiliyyah [non-Muslim world] is great, and a bridge is not to be built across it so that the people on the two sides may mix with each other, but only so that the people of Jahiliyyah may come over to Islam.”
In his book Auspices of the ultimate victory of Islam, Muslim Brotherhood spiritual guide Youssef Qaradawi credits Sayyid Qutb for being one of five Islamist heavyweights (with Hassan al-Banna, Syed Maududi and others) responsible for the revival of Islam in the 20th century.
Aside from his role with NASR, Sallah Hamdani works with Islamic Relief Canada. On July 4, 2012, one month after meeting with Minister Toews, WeeklyPressPakistan presented him as Islamic Relief Canada’s CEO when his organization signed a $3 million agreement with the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). In 2010, the Toronto Star identified Sallah Hamdani as Islamic Relief’s Executive Director.
Yusra Siddiquee is President of the Canadian Muslim Lawyers Association (CMLA) and sits with Hussein Hamdani at the Cross-Cultural Roundtable on Security (CCRS) that advises the Minister of Public Safety on security matters.
In 2005, the CMLA joined with CAIR-CAN (represented by Riad Saloojee) and the Canadian Arab Federation (represented by Omar Alghabra) to oppose the Anti-terrorist Act in front of a subcommittee of the House of Commons.
OMAR SHABBIR KHAN
Omar Shabbir Khan is a lawyer specialized in immigration and refugee law. In 2005, he expressed his support for the adoption of sharia law as an alternative way to settle family disputes rather than traditional family courts. He claimed that “Ruling against Shariah is masked discrimination” and argued that those criticizing sharia law for its treatment of women had better review Canada’s own historical treatment of women, which he called “graceless.”
Although University of Toronto Professor Mohammad Fadel was not directly involved in the June 2012 meeting with Minister Toews, Naseer Syed referred to him in his report of the event because he considers that his writings are useful to explain Islamic concepts, such as jihad and taqiyya, to non-Muslims. Fadel is close to the Muslim Brotherhood and he enjoys a high level of credibility among local Islamists.
In a text dealing in part with sharia in family matters, here is how Prof. Fadel suggested to determine whether wife beating constitutes an exercise of “lawful discipline” by the husband or not: “[Note 26] Where the spouses disagree whether the husband exercised lawful discipline or committed abuse, the wife is presumed to be truthful unless the husband is well-known for piety.”
On one hand, Prof. Fadel does not challenge this notion that a husband could have the right “to discipline” his wife and, on the other, the rule that he brings forward opens wide the door of corruption given that a man can demonstrate his piety by giving generously to Muslim religious authorities who will later decide on his case.
FIRDAUS WALELE and SARA KHAN
Both were identified as lawyers by Naseer Syed. An older page and a current page on the Simpson Wigle Law firm’s website where Hussein Hamdani is partner in Hamilton present two lawyers with the same names as associates of the firm.