CHIHEB BATTIKH – An overview of the Muslim Association of Canada and the other Islamist organizations run by the alleged Montreal kidnapper
Version française ICI
The kidnapping of a 3-year old child in Montreal on December 19 was well covered by the media. On the other hand, the main suspect Chiheb Battikh’s Islamist background and his role within the Muslim Brotherhood local infrastructure have gone unreported since his arrest.
Point de Bascule presents a list of organizations run by Battikh that we have been able to identify so far.
Part 1 – The Crown prosecutor stresses that there was premeditation in the Montreal kidnapping of a child to get ransom
Part 2 – Chiheb Battikh’s role in the Muslim Association of Canada (MAC)
Chiheb Battikh was a member of MAC’s board of directors from 2000 to 2002 and a member of its executive committee in 2004-2005. When he was arrested in December 2012, he was head of MAC Education department.
Part 3 – MAC aims at progressively implementing sharia in Canada
MAC declares that its ideological origin goes back to the founding of the Muslim Brotherhood (1928) and that it strives to implement Islam as understood by its founder Hassan al-Banna (1906-1949).
Part 4 – MAC / Canadian Institute of Islamic Civilization (CIIC)
Chiheb Battikh is director of this MAC substructure in Montreal. The CIIC is a think tank where Islamist leaders with expertise in various fields develop tactics in order to adapt to the Canadian reality the strategies of Islamization decided by the Muslim Brotherhood leadership in Doha (Qatar), at the IIIT or elsewhere.
Part 5 – MAC / Springs for Knowledge
Chiheb Battikh is one of Springs for Knowledge instructors. It is a substructure of MAC Department of Education whose role is to train the next generation of Islamist leaders who will implement, in Canada, the decisions taken by the Muslim Brotherhood leadership. On its website, Springs for Knowledge indicates that it recruits its candidates mostly in high schools and universities.
Part 6 – Le Savoir School
Chiheb Battikh was a member of this Montreal Islamic high school’s board of directors in 2011-2012. The building where the school is located is owned by MAC.
Part 7 – Mississauga’s Jamat-E-Islahul Muslemin Mosque
Chiheb Battikh joined the mosque’s board of directors after he moved to Ontario. He remained on its board after moving back to Montreal in 2004.
Part 8 – Ennahda
Political party representing the Muslim Brotherhood in Tunisia. It is the main component of the current government. A Tunisian website presented Chiheb Battikh, born in Tunisia, as being close to Ennahda.
Part 9 – Chihed Battikh signed a petition addressed to President Obama with many other North American Muslim Brotherhood heavyweights
The engineer Chiheb Battikh, 51, head of the Muslim Association of Canada Education department is charged with kidnapping a 3-year old boy with intent to obtain a ransom from his rich family of Swedish origin.
On December 19, 2012, the suspect Chiheb Battikh rushed on a man who was walking in F.-X. Garneau park with his 3-year old child in Outremont, a Montreal district. After having temporarily overpowered the father, the suspect grabbed the child and ran with him. After getting back up, the father chased the suspect and intercepted him with the help of a passerby. They restrained the suspect and waited for police to arrive.
Apparently, police found all the equipment required for the kidnapping and the confinement of the child in the suspect’s vehicle (Taser gun, pepper spray, etc.).
According to the investigation conducted by the Montreal Police Service, it seems that the suspect had carefully chosen his victim.
When she talked to the media, Crown prosecutor Me Sylvie Lemieux stressed that there was premeditation:
When Chiheb Battikh was arrested for kidnapping in December 2012, MAC Springs of Knowledge’s website listed three of his functions in the MAC infrastructure:
- Head of MAC Education Department;
- Director of the Canadian Institute of Islamic Civilization (Montreal Chapter), a MAC substructure;
- Instructor of young Muslims enrolled in MAC’s Springs for Knowledge program.
MAC’s logo is clearly displayed on the Springs for Knowledge’s website homepage.
On June 20, 2011, CTV News also identified Chiheb Battikh on television and on its website as a Muslim Association of Canada’s spokesperson. At the time, CTV interviewed Battikh and Museb Nabil Abu-Thuraia about their opposition to a decision taken by a Montreal soccer federation to implement FIFA rules banning the wearing of hijab and other political, religious, personal and commercial symbols on a soccer field.
According to Montreal La Presse, Chiheb Battikh has been living in Canada for more than twenty-five years. One of his children, a singer who performs in Muslim Brotherhood’s activities, has posted his own biography on the Internet. He describes his family’s moves between Montreal and Toronto.
Upon his arrival in Canada at the end of the eighties, Chiheb Battikh settled in Montreal. He lived there approximately until 1992 before moving to Toronto and living there until 2004. That year, he came back in the Montreal area. When he was arrested, Chiheb Battikh was living in Laval, a Montreal suburb.
Reports provided by MAC to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) identify Chihab Battikh (sic) in 2000, Chihab Battiel (sic) in 2001 and Chihab Batikh (sic) in 2002 among the organization’s directors. Exceptionally in 2000, there is a postal code beside Chihab Battikh’s name in the CRA file. It is a Mississauga postal code, a Toronto suburb.
In July 2004 and in October 2005, MAC identified Chiheb Battikh on its website as the head of the Institutions Department within its Executive committee, an entity separate from the Board of directors. In 2006, MAC stopped posting the names of the members of its Executive committee.
Chiheb Battikh negotiates the purchase of a Montreal downtown building for the MAC
Around 2010-2011, MAC tried to acquire a building located at 615 Belmont in the business district of Montreal as a base for its Islamist think tank, the Canadian Institute of Islamic Civilization. This building was originally the head office of the engineering firm SNC-Lavalin.
Disagreements occurred between the owner and MAC. In a motion submitted to the Superior Court on February 15, 2012, MAC asked the tribunal to transfer the ownership of the building to its name. In section 22 of the motion, Chiheb Battikh is referred to as MAC’s representative responsible for the purchase of the building. His name is also mentioned in sections 24, 25 and 26 of the document.
On the Canadian Institute of Islamic Civilization’s website (section Building), the organization’s head office is at 615 Belmont in Montreal.
In an undated document posted on the Portail des musulmans du Grand Montréal, Mohamed Hamrani announced, on behalf of MAC, the acquisition of the building located at 615 Belmont. However, information available at the City of Montreal Property Assessment Service does not indicate that MAC owns the building on the day this article is being published (February 22, 2013).
According to documents submitted by MAC to the Canada Revenue Agency, Mohamed Hamrani was one of its directors in 2006.
MAC implements the Muslim Brotherhood program in Canada. On its own website, it states that its “modern roots can be traced to the Islamic revival of the early twentieth century, culminating in the movement of the Muslim Brotherhood ... MAC adopts and strives to implement Islam ... as understood in its contemporary context by the late Imam, Hassan Albanna (1906-1949), the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood.”
In his 50-point manifesto, Hassan al-Banna urges his supporters to abolish political parties and replace them by a single party system. He favours the modification of laws so that they conform to sharia and calls for the multiplication of associations dedicated to promoting the spirit of jihad amongst the youth.
In his essay On Jihad, al-Banna explains that "it's an obligation for us (Muslims) to fight against them (the infidels) after inviting them (to join Islam), even if they do not fight against us".
In another text (To what Do We Invite Humanity?), Hassan al-Banna refers to Adolf Hitler as a role model for Muslims looking for "success and fortune".
According to GMBDR, a website monitoring the Muslim Brotherhood around the world, MAC and Hamas (Charter – Article 2) are among the rare sections of the network openly acknowledging their links with the Brotherhood.
From 2001 to 2010, MAC transferred $296,514 to IRFAN-Canada, Hamas’ fund collector in the country. In April 2011, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) revoked IRFAN’s status after having concluded that, for the period 2005-2009 alone, it transferred $14.6 million to the terrorist organization Hamas (GMBDR – Toronto Star).
Hamas’ leaders frequently advocate for an Islamic conquest of the West (2008 – 2011 – 2012) and the terrorist organization has vowed to wage jihad against Israel until it is wiped off the map (Charter – Article 13).
In spite of its charitable status that forbids involvement in politics, MAC radicalizes the Muslim community by regularly inviting in Canada foreign Islamist leaders who promote the implementation of sharia in the country.
Tariq Ramadan is one of these speakers invited by MAC. In a 2004 interview granted to an Egyptian magazine, Tariq Ramadan enjoined Islamist leaders operating in Canada to use the flexibility of the Canadian legal framework to their advantage and introduce sharia in the country. Ramadan warned that “for the time being”, it would be preferable not to openly mention the term sharia in Canada while doing so. “The term shariah in itself is laden with negative connotations in the Western mind. There is no need to stress that”, he concluded.
In 2011 in Dallas, Tariq Ramadan enjoined his supporters to “coloniz(e) the United States of America ... with our understanding of Islam, our principles." Brian Lilley recently presented this excerpt during a SUN TV show dedicated to Justin Trudeau’s participation at the RIS 2012 Islamist convention.
In an internal memorandum that was seized by police and produced for evidentiary purposes in the 2007-2008 Holy Land Foundation trials, the Muslim Brotherhood clearly sums up its goal in North America:
The 2007-2008 Holy Land Foundation trials led to the conviction of all Muslim Brotherhood leaders charged of terrorism financing (GMBDR).
MAC controls many mosques, it manages schools, such as Dar al-Iman in Montreal and Abraar in Ottawa, it controls the main halal certification agency in Quebec, it mobilizes young Muslims through Scout activities and otherwise, it is engaged in so-called “outreach programs” with police services, political and religious leaders, etc.
A few days ago, after the announcement of a grant given to MAC by the government of Alberta, Point de Bascule published an article reminding of MAC’s links with IRFAN-Canada and WAMY-Canada, two organizations whose charitable status was revoked by the Canada Revenue Agency for having funded terrorism.
Point de Bascule (February 8, 2013): Alberta gave $250,000 to Islamists who financed HAMAS’ fund collector and invites promoters of sharia in Edmonton
In order to further its program of Islamization, MAC set up the Canadian Institute of Islamic Civilization (CIIC).
In the Contribute section of the organization’s website, donors who wish to do so are invited to contact an unidentified CIIC leader. The posted phone number is the same one that was given in 2005 by Chiheb Battikh to Industry-Canada when he registered his company Canada Best Food Investrade Inc (BN 818415879RC0001).
According to CIIC’s website, this organization was set up by MAC to determine how to best implement Islamic principles in the current reality:
Once deciphered, this message tells us that the CIIC is destined to become a headquarter where Canada-based Islamist leaders knowledgeable in law, economy, engineering, computer science and other fields will determine the most appropriate tactics to implement locally the general decisions taken by the Muslim Brotherhood leadership in Doha (Qatar), at the IIIT or elsewhere.
The CIIC’s mission in Canada is similar to that of the Centre for the study of sharia run by Tariq Ramadan and inaugurated in Doha (Qatar) in January 2012:
GMBDR (January 17, 2012): Tariq Ramadan and Youssef Qaradawi Come Together at Launch of New Qatar Center to Be Headed by Ramadan
When Islamists talk about «transforming reality», they state their intention to implement sharia principles.
In order to determine the specifics of Tariq Ramadan’s “more just and ethical world”, it is important to know that Youssef Qaradawi, the Muslim Brotherhood spiritual guide, is his mentor. In his book Radical Reform, Ramadan describes Qaradawi as a “prominent scholar” who has outlined the attitudes and the kind of behaviour that Muslims living in the West should adopt.
In recent years, Qaradawi’s “principles of ethics” have led him to advocate for the conquest of the West by Muslims, to condone female genital mutilations, to claim that Hitler was sent by Allah to punish the Jews (video), to endorse suicide bombings, to promote the killing of Muslims who leave Islam (apostates), etc.
This is what Tariq Ramadan, MAC and the Muslim Brotherhood’s “more just and ethical world” looks like.
Recently, Qaradawi even stated that, without the punishment against apostasy, “Islam wouldn't exist today”.
In his book Priorities of the Islamic movement in the coming phase (chapter 4), Qaradawi declares it legitimate to use force to implement sharia principles ("changing wrong by force whenever possible"). To justify the use of force to implement sharia leads directly to armed jihad. In a text published by IslamOnLine in 2011, MAC’s mentor reminded that offensive armed jihad is a tactic that he supports.
The coercive and violent aspect of the Islamist project is very real. However, those who reduce the Islamist threat to a terrorist threat are seriously underestimating its scope.
Stewart Bell (National Post – January 3, 2013): Islamist extremists radicalizing Canadians at ‘a large number of venues,’ secret report reveals
In December 2012, Chihab Battikh’s CIIC website displayed a message saying that the organization would be present at the RIS 2012 Islamist conference in Toronto. Justin Trudeau chose to speak there in spite of the objections. A few days before the conference, IRFAN-Canada, one of the main sponsors, withdrew from the event after its links with Hamas were exposed by Point de Bascule.
Chiheb Battikh was unable to attend RIS 2012 since he was arrested for kidnapping on December 19, 2012, two days before the opening of the conference.
Munir El-Kassem, a leader of Gaddafi’s WICS, was the main speaker at the CIIC’s inaugural fundraising event
On October 6, 2012, the Canadian Institute of Islamic Civilization (CIIC) held its inaugural fundraising event. Many Muslim Brotherhood-linked organizations took part to the event.
- It was held at and sponsored by the Brossard Islamic Community Center;
- It was advertised by MAC’s Centre communautaire Laurentien;
- It was also sponsored by MAC and the Canadian Muslim Forum.
The main speaker at the event was Munir El-Kassem. Based in London (Ontario), he played an important role in the Libyan World Islamic Call Society (WICS) as a member of one of its substructures, the World Council of Islamic Call (WCIC). WICS was established by Muammar Gaddafi in 1972 to further the Islamization of non-Muslim countries.
John Esposito explained the relationship between WICS and WCIC in his Oxford Dictionary of Islam (Google Books).
WICS’ interreligious activities have often been used to cover the financing of terrorism and the payment of bribes to politicians. In 2004, a US-based Muslim Brotherhood leader, Abdurahman Alamoudi, was found guilty in an assassination plot. He had been paid by WICS.
Hamas: Politics, Charity, and Terrorism in the Service of Jihad, Matthew Levitt, Dennis Ross, New Haven, Yale University Press, 2006, p. 187 – Google Books
WICS also used its Canadian branch to transfer money to a radical group involved in a coup in Trinidad and Tobago in 1990. WICS-Canada was also linked to a plot to bomb New York Kennedy Airport in 2007. In light of these facts, the Canada Revenue Agency stripped WICS-Canada of its charity status in 2011.
Gary Dimmock (Ottawa Citizen – May 7, 2011): WICS’ Canadian branch transferred money from Gadhafi's "Jihad fund" to bank accounts of known terrorists
Although Muammar Gaddafi was killed after Muslim Brotherhood’s spiritual guide Youssef Qaradawi issued a fatwa calling for his death, it must be stressed that the Muslim Brotherhood and Gaddafi’s regime collaborated for many years.
Some North American Islamists leaders, such as Abdurahman Alamoudi, Munir El-Kassem and Mahmoud Ayoub even had leadership positions simultaneously with the Libyan WICS and Muslim Brotherhood-linked organizations.
Point de Bascule (February 28, 2011): The Muslim Brotherhood and Gaddafi were partners not too long ago
The program Springs for Knowledge was set up by MAC to train the next generations of leaders who will steer the offensive of Islamization in Canada and implement locally the decisions taken by the Muslim Brotherhood leadership:
Besides Chiheb Battikh, four other instructors are identified on the Springs for Knowledge website:
Springs for Knowledge website was shut down shortly after Daniel Greenfield added a link towards the website in a FrontPage article about the implication of Chiheb Battikh in the program.
Daniel Greenfield (FrontPageMag.com – February 10, 2013): Director of Canadian Institute of Islamic Civilization Accused of Kidnapping 3-Year-Old Boy
Springs for Knowledge web pages as they appeared on February 10, 2013 are archived on Point de Bascule.
Le Savoir Islamic School's file at the Quebec Registry of Enterprises (NEQ 1165169500) states that Chiheb Battikh was on the school’s board from November 4, 2011 to October 31, 2012.
Chiheb (Chehab) Battikh is also listed as a contact-person on a poster advertizing a MAC Youth activity held at Le Savoir School.
Le Savoir School is located at 11950 Gouin W. in Montreal. According to information available at the City of Montreal Property Assessment Service, MAC owns the building. It bought the property on April 29, 2008 for $1,450,000. Lazhar Aissaoui signed the agreement on MAC’s behalf when he was the organization’s treasurer.
Association Le Savoir manages the school. It is considered a charitable organization by the Canada Revenue Agency since July 1, 2011 (CRA 824216220RR0001). There is no available annual report in its CRA file yet.
The school’s vice-president and treasurer, Samer Majzoub, is also the president of the Canadian Muslim Forum, an umbrella organization representing many Muslim Brotherhood-linked entities. It is active in Quebec. Point de Bascule published its profile before the 2012 Quebec provincial election.
2001 – A Saudi organization that was financing al-Qaeda transferred funds to another Muslim school in Montreal (Dar al-Iman) run by Samer Majzoub
While Samer Majzoub was on the board of directors of another Muslim school in Montreal (Dar al-Iman), it received $21,890 from WAMY-Canada, the branch of a Saudi organization involved in the radicalization of young Muslims around the world.
The Canada Revenue Agency’s files indicate that, the same year, WAMY-Canada funded the Benevolence International Foundation (BIF), an organization linked with al-Qaeda. On February 11, 2012, the CRA revoked WAMY’s charitable status in light these facts.
GMBDR (March 7, 2012): Canada Revokes WAMY Charitable Status
Point de Bascule: File World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY)
2003 – Samer Majzoub organized Islamist Yvonne Ridley’s visit in Montreal
A CNW press release identifies Samer Majzoub as the spokesman of MAC and three other Muslim Brotherhood-linked organizations that invited Yvonne Ridley in Canada in 2003.
Barbara Kay wrote an article about Yvonne Ridley’s positions when she visited Canada on another occasion in 2007:
Barbara Kay (The Suburban – October 8, 2008): Yvonne Ridley guest speaker for Islamists in Canada
Chiheb Battikh joined the mosque’s board of directors after he moved to Ontario. He remained on its board after moving back to Montreal in 2004.
This mosque has a charitable status. According to data available on the Canada Revenue Agency’s website, Chiheb Battikh was a director of the mosque from 1997 to 2004 and its treasurer from 2004 to 2011. Data for 2012 are not available.
In 2005, while Battikh was treasurer of the Jamat-E-Islahul Muslemin mosque, the CRA report indicates a transfer of $877,393 to the Muslim Association of Canada.
The Tunis Tribune website paid some attention to the Chiheb Battikh affair since he was born in Tunisia. In an undated article that was published after Battikh’s arrest, the Tunisian website presented him as being close to Ennahda, the Muslim Brotherhood organization in that country. It did not provide any details however. Ennahda is the main component of the current Tunisian government.
At the beginning of Barack Obama’s presidency, Chiheb Battikh joined many other Muslim Brotherhood heavyweights and signed a petition asking him to break ties with authoritarian regimes in the Middle East. Since then, many of the targeted leaders were forced out of power by the so-called “Arab spring”. Subsequent events demonstrated that the Muslim Brotherhood’s coming to power in Egypt, in Tunisia and elsewhere did not improve the situation of human rights in these countries.
However, these Muslim Brotherhood supporters do not take a stand against the current human rights abuses in Egypt or the arrest of journalists in Turkey as they support these regimes.
Besides Chiheb Battikh, who signed the petition on behalf of MAC, there were many other Muslim Brotherhood leaders and fellow travellers among the signatories:
University of Toronto
Point de Bascule
Point de Bascule
Point de Bascule: File Chiheb BATTIKH
Point de Bascule: File Muslim Association of Canada