Translation of the La Presse title: “A guide to help schools with Islamophobia”
La Presse (Montreal) recently announced the launch of a guide on Islamophobia / Archive.Today by the National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM) for Canadian schools without providing any information regarding the NCCM’s Islamist background. The Winnipeg Free Press and the Calgary Herald (August 27 paper edition, p.C10) made the same announcement in the same manner. This article aims to correct this situation. The Islamic Social Services Association and the Canadian Human Rights Commission partnered with the NCCM to produce the guide and the Canadian Red Cross provided funding. See the last page of the guide for the other credits.
On August 24, La Presse (Montreal) published a text announcing the launch of a guide on Islamophobia for Canadian schools by the National Council of Canadian Muslims, the Canadian Human Rights Commission and the Winnipeg-based Islamic Social Services Association. However, the text nowhere mentions the links that exist between the National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM, formerly CAIR-CAN or CAIR-Canada) and radical Islam since its incorporation in 2000 and even before as CAIR-Montreal. This lack of information deserves to be corrected and that is what we intend to do with this article.
In May 2014, the Quebec Press Council upheld a complaint against a journalist from Le Devoir for incomplete information because she mentioned the political position of a young Muslim woman without indicating her affiliation with the Collectif 1ndépendance that invited Islamist preachers to Montreal the year before:
Quebec Press Council majority decision: [Translation by Point de Bascule] The journalist lacked rigour by omitting to explain how the young women who were interviewed had been chosen, and by omitting to mention the role played by Ms. [Hajar] Jerroumi in her community and her affiliation with the Collectif 1ndépendance. Furthermore, this information would have shed an important light on the positions of these young Muslim women. Otherwise, there was a risk that they could be confounded with regular students.
If it was legitimate to expect that a journalist from Le Devoir would mention the involvement of an Islamist activist in the organisation of an event featuring preachers who advocate that when a man shakes the hand of a woman “it’s already fornication and adultery,” as reported by Fabrice de Pierrebourg in La Presse at the time, it is certainly no less indispensable to tell readers that, in the past, the NCCM endorsed scholars such as Siraj Wahhaj who advocated the conversion to Islam of youth who felt excluded, and eventually arming them with Uzi submachine guns so that they could wage jihad in U.S. streets.
The concept of Islamophobia itself is a fighting tool used by Islamists with the aim of preventing the criticism of their totalitarian program. The terrorist attacks that took place in Belgium in March 2016 have led some mainstream media in that country to reconsider the organizations screaming ‘Islamophobia’ as soon as commentators criticize one trend or another of Islam.
A recent report by the Belgian French-language public broadcaster, the RTBF, explained how Islamists, and those close to the Muslim Brotherhood infrastructure in particular, use the accusation of Islamophobia to advance their cause. In this TV report, sociologist Gilles Kepel stressed that “Islamophobia is a weapon being used against non-Muslims who criticize Islam. It is also being used against those Muslims who have a wrong interpretation of Islam, in other words an interpretation they disagree with.”
What the notion of “phobia” implies is that those who are accused of “Islamophobia” have an “irrational fear” of some trend or aspect of Islam.
In December 2012, the NCCM (then called CAIR-CAN, CAIR-Canada) accused Point de Bascule of Islamophobia after we criticized Justin Trudeau (then a Liberal leadership contender) for having agreed to address the RIS Islamist convention scheduled to take place later that month in Toronto. Point de Bascule condemned Mr. Trudeau’s decision because the event was being sponsored by IRFAN-Canada whose charitable status had been revoked by the Canada Revenue Agency the year before. IRFAN had lost its status for having transferred many millions of dollars to the terrorist organization Hamas. The very same day our text was published in English, the NCCM retorted that Point de Bascule had an “Islamophobic bias.” If the denunciation of an outfit whose charitable status has been revoked for funding terrorism is not acceptable to the NCCM, nothing short of a complete servility toward Islamists will pass the NCCM test as neither “hateful” nor “Islamophobic.”
On December 15, 2012, five days after the initial Point de Bascule article about IRFAN and Justin Trudeau was published and the news picked up by the National Post and other mainstream media, IRFAN withdrew its sponsorship of the event. After only a few days, what the NCCM had presented as an irrational fear, a phobia, an Islamophobia proved to be a meaningful threat. In 2014, IRFAN-Canada itself was added to Canada’s list of outlawed terrorist groups.
The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is the NCCM / CAIR-CAN’s parent organization (see ‘parent organization’ p.14). In 2009, the FBI “severed its liaison relationship” with the CAIR after evidence presented in the Holy Land Foundation terrorism trial demonstrated a relationship between the CAIR and the terrorist organization Hamas. In 2009, Judge Solis also ruled that “The [U.S.] Government has produced ample evidence to establish the associations of CAIR…with Hamas.” (United States of America v. Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development / pp.14-15 of 20).
In Canada in 2014, the RCMP headquarters in Ottawa directed its Manitoba division to dissociate from another NCCM guide that endorsed several Muslim radicals, including Imam Siraj Wahhaj who had advocated converting youth to Islam before inciting them to wage armed jihad in U.S. streets.
Many other positions taken by the NCCM since its beginnings in Montreal in 1996 and its incorporation in 2000 deserved to be mentioned in the La Presse article publicizing the NCCM Islamophobia guide. We have mentioned some of these positions in the following chronology.
Those who would like to know more about the content itself of the Islamophobia guide produced by the NCCM and its partners will read with interest an analysis by Lise Ravary that was published by the Journal de Montréal on August 30 and another one by Barbara Kay in the National Post on September 14.
Highlights of the National Council of Canadian Muslims / CAIR-CAN history
1994 – Washington-based CAIR was founded by three leaders of the Islamic Association of Palestine (IAP), an organization representing Hamas in the United States at that time. One of CAIR’s founders, Nihad Awad, is still in the leadership of the organization today in 2016 as its Executive Director. The article 2 of the Hamas Charter describes the terrorist organization as “one of the wings of the Muslim Brotherhood” in Gaza. The IAP is entity #22 in a list of organizations identified in a 1991 Muslim Brotherhood internal memorandum as being associated with the Brotherhood in the U.S. This memorandum was seized by police and produced for evidentiary purposes in a terrorism trial that led to the convictions of all leaders accused of terrorism financing in 2008.
In this memorandum, the goal pursued by the IAP and the other organizations belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood network in North America is described in no uncertain terms:
Point 4.4 The process of settlement is a “Civilization-Jihadist Process” with all the word means. 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… It is a Muslim’s destiny to perform Jihad and work wherever he is and wherever he lands until the final hour comes.
SPRING 1997 – The 2005 NCCM / CAIR-CAN Annual Review presented the beginnings of the organization in Canada as follows:
[Page 3] In 1996, a group of concerned Canadian Muslims started an informal network in Canada to work with the Washington-based CAIR, an organization well known among Canadian Muslims since 1994. In the spring of 1997, CAIR-Montreal was formed, and was soon after replaced by CAIR-Ottawa. In 2000, CAIR-CAN was incorporated as a Canadian organization speaking out for Canada’s Muslim population.
Point de Bascule (February 12, 2014): Clarification on the CAIR-CAN / NCCM foundation date
AUGUST 5, 1997 – One of the few CAIR-Montreal’s known activities is the submission of a complaint to the Quebec Press Council against La Presse (Montreal) for an article that was published in November 1996. The decision of the Council only mentions the name of the complainant: Sheema Khan. That’s a news bulletin published by the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) in the fall of 1997 that indicated the involvement of CAIR-Montreal in the complaint against La Presse.
The La Presse article was a book review by journalist Martine Turenne entitled The veil beyond all rationality. The first sentence of the La Presse review reads as follows: “Islamic fundamentalism, a far-reaching ideology in all the Arab world, resembles Nazism: blind faith, exaggerated fervour and complete loyalty are on the agenda.”
Sheema Khan complained that “Ms. Turenne associates a portion of the Quebec population with Nazis,” but the Press Council rather accepted La Presse vice president and deputy editor Claude Masson’s explanation that “the only reference to Nazism at the beginning of the article pertained to Islamism which is the political version of Islam.” At the end, the Press Council did not blame journalist Martine Turenne for her book review nor the newspaper for the title chosen for the article.
However, in Washington, CAIR-Montreal’s parent organization published a statement claiming that the Press Council had ruled in its favor. CAIR tried to capitalize on the fact that the Press Council expressed a reservation about the photo that was chosen for the article.
To put in perspective Sheema Khan’s indignation at the link that was established between radical Islam and Nazism, it is useful to keep in mind that, a few years later, in a column that she signed in The Globe and Mail as CAIR-CAN Chair, she praised the Muslim Brotherhood’s spiritual guide, Youssef Qaradawi, as a “renowned Muslim scholar”. Yet, it is the same Qaradawi who told his viewers on Al-Jazeera in 2009 that Hitler had been sent by Allah to punish the Jews and that he was hoping that the next massacre of Jews would be at the hands of Muslims.
JULY 10, 2000 – Incorporation of the National Council of Canadian Muslims under its original name of Council on American Islamic Relations (Canada). Between 2000 and 2013, the shortened variations CAIR-CAN and CAIR-Canada were also used.
Besides Sheema Khan, another cofounder of the NCCM / CAIR-CAN has been Faisal Kutty. From the foundation (incorporation) in 2000 until 2007, Kutty was legal advisor, director and vice president of the NCCM. The description of Faisal Kutty’s role with the NCCM / CAIR-CAN is provided in the organization’s 2008 Annual review (pp.5-6).
Faisal Kutty was already a prolific author before his involvement with the NCCM. His endorsement of Islamist heavyweights such as Hassan Turabi, Wagdi Ghoneim, Ismail Faruqi, Youssef Qaradawi and Rachid Ghannouchi helps us better understand the ideological foundations on which the NCCM was established.
Far from distancing itself from its past, the NCCM invited its former vice president Kutty to address its supporters on the theme of Islam & the media in March 2016. In its recent invitation, the NCCM reminded its supporters that, in 2016, Faisal Kutty is listed among the 500 most influential Muslims in the world.
Contrary to the mantra that Islamists are endlessly repeating today to the effect that Islam or their version of Islam has nothing to do with violence or terrorism, Faisal Kutty provided an entirely different explanation of the origin of Islamic violence when he quoted (approvingly) Hassan Turabi in a text published by the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs / Archive.Today in 1996.
The excerpt chosen by Faisal Kutty comes from a text by Turabi entitled The Islamic State that is part of a compilation of Islamist texts edited by John Esposito in 1983 (Voices of resurgent Islam). We reproduced the excerpt that was chosen by Faisal Kutty below. We also added between brackets [ ] a portion of Turabi’s original text that Kutty left aside. Click on the image below to view a scan of the original page:
Hassan Turabi quoted by Faisal Kutty: “Whenever religious energy is … suppressed, it builds up and ultimately erupts either in isolated acts of struggle or resistance, which are called terrorist by those in power, or in a revolution. On the other hand, when Islam is allowed free expression, it will bring about social change peacefully and gradually [, and the Islamic movement develops programs of Islamization before it takes over the destiny of the state.]”
Kutty added that, according to Turabi, “since Islam is based on sincere conviction and voluntary compliance, an Islamic state cannot be imposed on a reluctant society.”
All that had to be known about Hassan Turabi and his totalitarian methods was known in 1996 when Faisal Kutty endorsed him.
Hassan Turabi (1932-2016) was the main force behind the introduction of sharia in Sudan in the eighties. In the short profile of Turabi that he presented in his book Voices of resurgent Islam, John Esposito described him as “a founder of Sudan’s Muslim Brotherhood [who] is currently [in 1983] Attorney General of the Sudan.”
As the Attorney General of Sudan, Hassan Turabi played a key role in the decision to charge Muslim reformer Mahmoud Mohamed Taha with apostasy and to kill him in conformity with sharia law. Taha had pleaded for the reform of certain Islamic principles. Turabi’s involvement in the decision to kill Taha has been addressed in a 2006 New Yorker article.
In a case that was heard by Canada’s Immigration Commission in 2000, Turabi’s Sudan was described as a “country of horrors [where] people are whipped in the name of Shari’a, terrorist bases are harboured and the Christians in the South are exterminated.” In this Canadian legal case, Turabi himself was described as the “leader [of a] genuine ‘Islamist International’” and “the ideologue of the military regime in Sudan.”
The Canadian legal decision Almrei (Re), 2009 FC 1263 (Section 274) indicates that “[Usama] Bin Laden and his entourage moved to Sudan in 1991 at the invitation of the Islamist leader, Hassan Turabi.” Bin Laden lived in Sudan until 1996. On August 12, 1993, the Clinton administration added Sudan to the U.S. list of State Sponsors of terrorism.
In 2012, American CAIR honored Faisal Kutty for his “outstanding work as an international human rights leader.” No less. Three years earlier, the FBI had “severed its liaison relationship” with the CAIR that had honored Kutty after evidence presented in the Holy Land Foundation terrorism trial demonstrated a relationship between CAIR and the terrorist organization Hamas. In 2009, Judge Solis also ruled that “The [U.S.] Government has produced ample evidence to establish the associations of CAIR…with Hamas.” (United States of America v. Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development / pp.14-15 of 20).
OCTOBER 7, 2000 – The NCCM / CAIR-CAN urged its supporters to financially support the Jerusalem Fund, a Hamas fund collector in Canada at the time. A few years later, the Jerusalem Fund’s activities were reorganized and it became IRFAN-Canada.
In 2007, IRFAN and the Jerusalem Fund were identified as a component of Hamas’ financing infrastructure in North America in an important terrorism trial in the U.S. (subsection VIII).
In 2011, the Canada Revenue Agency revoked IRFAN-Canada’s charitable status because it transferred $14.6 million to Hamas for the 2005-2009 period alone. In 2014, IRFAN-Canada itself was added to Canada’s list of banned terrorist organizations.
Less was known about the Jerusalem Fund / IRFAN-Canada in 2000 than today, of course. However, it was known that the Jerusalem Fund invited Yusuf Islam (formerly singer Cat Stevens) to a fundraising event in 1998. Yet, in 1989, the same Yusuf Islam had supported the Ayatollah Khomeini’s fatwa asking Muslims worldwide to kill writer Salman Rushdie, his editors and his translators. Click to view Yusuf Islam’s interview on the BBC.
NOVEMBER 13, 2002 – In a column that she signed in The Globe and Mail as CAIR-CAN Chair, Sheema Khan praised the Muslim Brotherhood spiritual guide, Youssef Qaradawi, as a “renowned Muslim scholar”. Aside from his statement on Al-Jazeera, already mentioned, in which he described Hitler as Allah’s envoy sent to punish the Jews, Qaradawi made many other totalitarian statements before and after his endorsement in 2002 by the CAIR-CAN founder.
At the beginning of the nineties, Qaradawi stated that, at this stage, technological weaknesses prevent the Muslim world from launching military offensives comparable to those of the past against non-Muslim countries (see: we depend on others for military power). Nevertheless, Qaradawi expressed his confidence that the Muslim world would be able to conquer Europe with an ideological offensive.
In 2002, Qaradawi presented the current Islamist offensive in Europe as a continuation of the Islamic military offensives of the past / Archive.Today:
Youssef Qaradawi: “Islam will return to Europe as a conqueror and victor, after being expelled from it twice – once from the South, from Andalusia [Spain – 1492], and a second time from the East, when it knocked several times on the door of Athens . […] I maintain that the conquest this time will not be by the sword but by preaching and ideology.”
At a conference in Toledo (Ohio) in 1995, Qaradawi had already stated: “We will conquer Europe, we will conquer America! Not through sword but through Da’wa [proselytism].”
Youssef Qaradawi has also written that “true Islam is essentially political.” He described the role of mosques as being “to guide the public policy of a nation, raise awareness of critical issues, and reveal its enemies. From ancient times the mosque has had a role in urging jihad for the sake of Allah.”
Youssef Qaradawi condoned the use of force to enforce Islamic principles “whenever possible” (“changing wrong by force whenever possible”).
Youssef Qaradawi justified the murder of Muslims who leave Islam. In fact, he explained that “If they [Muslims] had gotten rid of the apostasy punishment, Islam wouldn’t exist today.” (Video) Qaradawi justified female genital mutilations and the murder of homosexuals.
In accordance with a Muslim Brotherhood principle of operation already reported by the New York Times in February 1949, Qaradawi endorsed the use of suicide bombers. For this, author Paul Berman called him “the theologian of the human bomb” in 2007.
FEBRUARY 26, 2004 – The NCCM Executive Director told a Canadian Senate Committee that Jamal Badawi “is generally understood to be perhaps one of the best North American Islamic scholars, if not the premier.” Jamal Badawi was on the NCCM / CAIR-CAN Board of Directors at least from 2001 to 2013. In 2014, the NCCM also identified Badawi as a scholar whom it consults “to gain an accurate understanding of our faith” (Guide p.13).
Badawi is a member of the International Union of Muslims Scholars led by the Muslim Brotherhood spiritual guide, Youssef Qaradawi. Qaradawi has advocated the Islamic conquest of the West, condoned suicide operations, justified the murder of Muslims who leave Islam, and described Hitler as Allah’s envoy who came to punish the Jews, etc.
Jamal Badawi himself has frequently displayed his Islamist allegiance:
- In an interview given in 2004, Jamal Badawi stated that Hassan Al-Banna, the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, “has epitomised twentieth century Islamic thought and ideology.” In his 50-point Manifesto, Al-Banna urged his supporters to abolish political parties and establish a one-party system, he encouraged the modification of laws so that they conform to sharia, he advocated increasing the number of youth groups dedicated to spreading the spirit of jihad, etc. In his book To What Do We Invite Humanity?, Al-Banna presented Adolf Hitler as a model to his supporters looking for “success and fortune.” In his book Jihad, he also listed many passages from the Koran, the hadiths and other writings justifying the use of armed jihad to impose Islamic rule.
Hassan Al-Banna: “[I]n the Sharee’ah it [jihad] is the fighting of the unbelievers, and involves all possible efforts that are necessary to dismantle the power of the enemies of Islam including beating them, plundering their wealth, destroying their places of worship and smashing their idols.”
- In the early 2000s, Jamal Badawi stated that, at the current stage, Muslims should accept to become judges and civil servants in Canada although the country is not run by sharia law, the Islamic law. He added that these Muslim judges and civil servants should take advantage of their position of influence to stop applying current legal provisions that are incompatible with sharia. After the Point de Bascule director warned a Canadian Senate committee about this specific aspect of the Islamist agenda on February 23, 2015, Jamal Badawi reacted by challenging his opponents to produce a text in which he enunciated this proposal. The proposal can be found in an interview he granted the Islamist website SoundVision in the early 2000s. True to their style, the Islamists removed the interview from their website after it became compromising. However, it is archived on Point de Bascule and on archiving websites.
- In a text and also on video, Jamal Badawi stated that we are at the penultimate step of a five-step program leading to the implementation of a caliphate, a global Islamic government. “That’s where we are going”, Badawi said. It could not be clearer.
In 1999, while current NCCM Director Khadija Haffajee was on the Editorial advisory board of Islamic Horizons, the magazine published an edition praising Hassan Al-Banna as “a True Guide.” One article of this edition recalled Al-Banna’s call for the dissolution of political parties “so they could emerge as a single entity serving according to the guidance of Islam.” Al-Banna advocated this totalitarian measure and others in his 50-point Manifesto. Islamic Horizons is the U.S.-based Islamic Society of North America / ISNA’s “flagship bi-monthly magazine.” In 2006, 2007 and 2008, Khadija Haffajee was listed on the U.S.-based ISNA Board of Directors. In 2009, Judge Jorge Solis ruled in an American case that “The [U.S.] Government has produced ample evidence to establish the associations of CAIR, ISNA…with Hamas.” (pp.14-15 of 20).
MARCH 3, 2004 – While Jamal Badawi and Wael Haddara were simultaneously on the Boards of the NCCM and of the Muslim Association of Canada (MAC), the MAC issued a press release in which it openly supported Hamas. This endorsement came more than one year after the Government of Canada (Liberal at the time) had added Hamas to a list of banned terrorist organizations.
Aside from being engaged in the destruction of Israel (Hamas charter / article 13), Hamas’s leaders have frequently advocated the Islamic conquest of the West (2006/Jan – 2006/Feb – 2008 – 2011 – 2012). In 2011, for example, Hamas leader Mahmoud Al-Zahhar said on TV that Western civilization “will not be able to withstand the great and glorious Islam.” On July 16, 2013, Hamas threatened to launch terrorist attacks in countries where Israel’s embassies are located. Canada is among the potential targets, of course.
APRIL 30, 2005 – Washington-based CAIR announced that its Canadian branch, described in its press release as “the Canada office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations,” would organize a fundraising event in Toronto. The press release indicated that “A special message from Dr. Tariq Ramadan will also be aired” during the evening.
In a 2004 interview, Tariq Ramadan told Egypt Today that Islamists operating in Canada must use the Canadian legal framework (“one of the most open in the world,” Ramadan highlighted) to subtly and gradually introduce rules of sharia in Canada. At the time, Tariq Ramadan strongly urged his supporters in Canada not to openly mention their commitment to sharia: “The term shariah in itself is laden with negative connotations in the Western mind,” said Ramadan. “There is no need to stress that. […] For the time being this is not how we want to be perceived,” he added.
SEPTEMBER 15, 2005 – The NCCM / CAIR-CAN and several other Islamist organizations operating in Quebec published a letter in Le Devoir and The Gazette to condemn as ‘discriminatory’ a motion by the Quebec National Assembly rejecting the recognition of sharia tribunals in family matters that was being considered by the Government of Ontario.
The same day, the Globe and Mail published a column by the NCCM / CAIR-CAN founder, Sheema Khan, advocating that “The sharia debate deserves a proper hearing.” In her article, Ms. Khan condemned Fatima Houda-Pepin, Homa Arjomand and Lysiane Gagnon for having obstructed the Islamist agenda.
Subsequent events in the UK proved that the Quebec approach had been the right one in 2005. In the UK, they took the other path and endorsed Islamic tribunals in family matters led by Imams linked to the same Islamist networks (Muslim Brotherhood and Jamaat-e-Islami) that were pushing for them in Ontario and in Quebec. Numerous decisions that are inequitable and incompatible with Western standards regarding human rights have since been recorded in the UK.
In 2014, the UK Law Society (the equivalent of the Quebec Bar or the Upper Canada Law Society) apologized to the public after issuing discriminatory guidelines for sharia-style wills. Islamic legal principles implemented by the UK Law Society denied an equal share of inheritances to women, while unbelievers could be excluded altogether. “[C]hildren born out of wedlock might not be counted as legitimate heirs.”
APRIL 11, 2006 – In a meeting with employees of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), NCCM / CAIR-CAN founder Sheema Khan asked for the hiring of more Muslim judges and security advisors in Canada. At the time, she was the NCCM honorary Chair.
A few years earlier, Jamal Badawi, with whom Sheema Khan collaborated for many years at the head of the NCCM / CAIR-CAN, stated in an interview that Muslim judges and civil servants should take advantage of their position of influence to stop applying current legal provisions that are incompatible with sharia.
Point de Bascule (September 15, 2014): April 11, 2006 – NCCM founder Sheema Khan addressed CSIS’s personnel, asked for more Muslims to be named judges and security advisors
APRIL 24, 2006 – In a press release, David Harris described the circumstances that led the NCCM / CAIR-CAN to drop its defamation lawsuit against him. In its original claim, the NCCM / CAIR-CAN had contended that the connection that Harris had hinted at between the NCCM / CAIR-CAN and the Washington-based / Hamas-linked CAIR was defamatory. The Harris camp had reacted by producing a 2003 affidavit by CAIR-CAN founder Sheema Khan in which she declared under oath (in another legal case) that the Washington-based CAIR “has direct control” over the activities of CAIR-CAN. Unable to demonstrate the slightest distance between their Canadian branch and its parent organization in Washington, the NCCM / CAIR-CAN leadership simply dropped its lawsuit. See also an NCCM / CAIR-CAN guide for journalists that identifies the Washington-based / Hamas-linked CAIR as CAIR-CAN’s ‘parent organization’ (p.14).
At about the same time, the U.S.-based website Anti-CAIR and the National Post settled defamation lawsuits launched against them by the CAIR and its Canadian branch without retraction or apology.
JANUARY 28, 2009 – In her Globe and Mail column, the NCCM founder, Sheema Khan, stated that Muslims living in Canada “have a fondness for…sharia law” and that the debate for the recognition of Islamic tribunals in family matters is far from over. She based her statement on a survey concluding that “53 per cent of Muslims think sharia law should be recognized as a legal basis for settling family disputes.” The same survey concluded that “59 per cent of Muslims aged 18 to 29 indicated their preference for sharia law.”
APRIL 28, 2009 – The FBI “severed its liaison relationship” with the Washington-based CAIR after evidence presented in the Holy Land Foundation terrorism trial demonstrated a relationship between CAIR and terrorist organization Hamas. In 2009, Judge Solis also ruled that “The [U.S.] Government has produced ample evidence to establish the associations of CAIR…with Hamas.” (United States of America v. Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development / pp.14-15 of 20).
JUNE 8, 2012 – A delegation of Islamist leaders linked to the Muslim Brotherhood infrastructure in Canada met with Public Safety Minister Vic Toews. The delegation was led by Hussein Hamdani, and Maryam Dadabhoy represented the NCCM / CAIR-CAN.
As unlikely as it may seem, it was Naseer Syed, then the lawyer of IRFAN-Canada, the Hamas fund-collector in Canada, who made public the report of the meeting between the Islamists and Minister Toews on his own website MuslimLegal.ca. By Naseer Syed’s own account, it was Hussein Hamdani himself, who gave him the report of the meeting.
According to Hussein Hamdani’s PowerPoint presentation to Minister Toews, aside from requesting more money to fund Islamist organizations, the first goal of the meeting was to pressure the Minister to ban the employees of his Department from using Islamic concepts when they define and explain the current Islamist threat faced by Canada and other Western democracies.
Under Director Richard Fadden, CSIS was describing the threat as “Islamist extremism.” Hussein Hamdani openly criticized Prime Minister Harper for having described “the biggest threat to Canada” as “Islamicism” in 2011, etc. Islamists wanted to put an end to that and they succeeded. Nowadays, current CSIS Director Michel Coulombe uses the expression “terrorism inspired by al Qaeda ideology” rather than “Jihadist” or “Islamist threat,” as he pointed out before a Senate Committee in 2014.
Rather than helping Canadians understand the threat, this new approach blurs the threat because it removes the focus from the doctrine motivating those threatening us to the organizations they use to do so. Organizations come and go. The doctrine stays.
In any war, in order to defeat the enemy, it is crucial to be well aware of its objectives and motivations. Forbidding all allusions to Islam and its principles leads to prohibiting the required study and analysis of texts and speeches made by those who threaten us. This in turn, prevents the understanding of their objectives and how they intend to achieve them.
As Stephen Coughlin, a former Pentagon advisor now with the Washington-based Center for Security Policy explained (VIDEO 2:34), even if we accept that the enemy has a wrong understanding of Islam, it is still using it to threaten us. In these circumstances, for our own protection, it is crucial to master its doctrine, its understanding of Islam.
In a second phase, it is important to evaluate how widespread this interpretation of Islam is in order to determine the magnitude of the threat.
Point de Bascule (September 5, 2014): June 8, 2012 – Muslim Brotherhood delegation led by Hussein Hamdani met with Minister of Public Safety Vic Toews / Details provided by lawyer of Hamas’s fund collector
JULY 6, 2013 – CAIR-CAN changed its name and became the National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM). The decision came after the FBI’s decision to severe its liaison relationship with the NCCM / CAIR-CAN’s ‘parent organization’ (p.14), and the media’s frequent reminders of links between the Washington-based CAIR and the terrorist organization Hamas.
The press release announcing the name change stressed that “We remain the same organization. […] Our vast body of work is a matter of public record and of which we are very proud.”
The NCCM leadership was so proud of its “vast body of work” that it made sure that no document from its original website, particularly those highlighting the links between CAIR-CAN and the Washington-based CAIR, would be transferred to the new site
Point de Bascule (July 18, 2013): National Council of Canadian Muslims: The new name chosen by CAIR-CAN helps cover its links with Washington-based / Hamas-linked CAIR
JANUARY 28, 2014 – The NCCM initiated a defamation lawsuit against Prime Minister Stephen Harper after, earlier that month, his director of communications said that the NCCM has “documented ties to a terrorist organization such as Hamas.”
That day, Evan Solomon interviewed the NCCM Executive Director Ihsaan Gardee about the legal procedures on his CBC show Power and Politics. A large portion of the interview focused on the relationship between the NCCM / CAIR-CAN and the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). The summary that we present here is based on a transcript of the main excerpts of the interview available on Point de Bascule. The video of the interview is also available.
Since the links between the Washington-based CAIR and the terrorist organization Hamas have been recognized by U.S. tribunals, notably by Judge Solis in 2009 (pp.14-15 of 20), it is essential for the NCCM to demonstrate that it has no links today, nor had any links in the past to CAIR in order to demonstrate that the NCCM itself is not linked with Hamas. That’s what Ihsaan Gardee tried to do during his interview with Evan Solomon.
Do note that Ihsaan Gardee made the point that the relationship between the Washington-based CAIR and the NCCM / CAIR-CAN has never existed. He did not try to explain that this relationship could have changed over the years. He set the bar very high.
So, why did the Washington-based CAIR and the NCCM / CAIR-CAN share the same name for thirteen years, Evan Solomon asked Ihsaan Gardee. Gardee answered that the NCCM founders chose the name CAIR-CAN “because CAIR in the U.S. is a well-known, well-recognized Muslim civil liberties organization” but insisted that “we’ve never had any funding relationship with them, never any operational relationship with them.”
In fact, the acronym CAIR was registered as a trademark in Canada by the Washington-based CAIR with the Canadian Intellectual Property Office, a subdivision of Industry Canada (Government of Canada). When another Islamist organization, the Canadian Islamic Trust Foundation (a substructure of ISNA-Canada), tried to register the acronym CAIR for one of its own organizations, the Washington-based CAIR objected. In 2003, in order to support the Washington-based CAIR’s objection, CAIR-CAN founder Sheema Khan submitted an affidavit in which she stated under oath that the Washington-based CAIR “has direct control” over CAIR-CAN’s activities. See point 6 of the affidavit. During the legal process, CITF / ISNA-Canada ended up withdrawing its application and the Washington-based CAIR officially became the registrant of the trademark used by CAIR-Canada in Canada.
Point de Bascule has covered this legal battle over the trademark CAIR in a 2013 article: Early 2000s – Legal battle between CAIR and ISNA to get the acronym CAIR as trade-mark in Canada
Evan Solomon also asked Ihsaan Gardee if there had been instances of leaders being simultaneously on the Boards of the Washington-based CAIR and of the NCCM / CAIR-CAN. Ihsaan Gardee assured him that “We have separate Board members, separate staff, we’ve never had any funding relationship.”
Yet, in 2000, while Sheema Khan was the NCCM / CAIR-CAN Chair, the Washington-based CAIR announced that she had just been appointed on its own Board of directors.
The Washington-based CAIR and CAIR-CAN / NCCM have also acknowledged their relationship on numerous occasions throughout the years. Besides the affidavit in which CAIR-CAN founder stated under oath that the Washington-based CAIR “has direct control” over CAIR-CAN’s activities, the NCCM / CAIR-CAN published a guide for journalists in which it described the Washington-based CAIR as “CAIR-CAN’s parent organization” (p.14)
There are even CAIR-CAN press releases about events that occurred in Canada that were published in Washington and signed only by a Washington-based CAIR official with a contact number only in Washington. Other press releases were jointly signed by CAIR officials in Washington and CAIR-CAN officials in Ottawa. That’s what an “operational relationship” looks like.
The Washington-based CAIR has also issued numerous press releases in which CAIR-CAN was identified as the Canadian branch of the Washington-based CAIR.
For example, in 2005, the Washington-based CAIR announced an activity of its Canadian branch scheduled to take place in Toronto and it described CAIR-CAN as “the Canada office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.”
CAIR Mission statement: “CAIR, America’s largest Islamic civil liberties group, has 35 offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada. Its mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.”
In his interview with Evan Solomon, Ihsaan Gardee said that the relationship between the Washington-based CAIR and the NCCM / CAIR-CAN was akin to the relationship between Pepsi and Coke. No matter how the relationship between the Washington-based CAIR and the NCCM / CAIR-CAN may have evolved over the years, these entities have certainly not become competitors like Pepsi and Coke as Tarek Fatah pointed out in 2014:
- According to a 2014 NCCM guide (p.13), one of the scholars of Islam whom the NCCM “consult to gain an accurate understanding” of Islam is Ihsan Bagby. Bagby has been on the Board of the Washington-based CAIR from 1995 to 2013. In the book The Muslims of America (p.115) edited by Yvonne Yazbeck Haddad, Ihsan Bagby is quoted as saying: “Ultimately we [Muslims] can never be full citizens of this country [the U.S.] because there is no way we can be fully committed to the institutions and ideologies of this country.” This, of course, invalidates an NCCM statement in its 2014 guide (page 7) to the effect that NCCM supporters and Muslims in general (since they claim to talk on their behalf) can have “dual loyalties […] without being disloyal to either your cultural heritage or religious and Canadian identities.”
- The Washington-based CAIR and the NCCM take part together in activities organized by the Muslim Brotherhood infrastructure. For example, in February 2016 the Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Watch reported the presence of a Washington-based CAIR official, Nihad Awad, and NCCM Executive Director Ihsaan Gardee at such an event sponsored by Turkish Airlines.
SEPTEMBER 29, 2014 – The RCMP headquarters in Ottawa “directed” their “D” Division (Manitoba) to dissociate from a so-called anti-terrorism joint initiative it had been engaged in with the NCCM. The order came after a 14-month collaboration between the NCCM and the RCMP Manitoba Division that resulted in a booklet praising jihad as being “striving, struggling and exertion in the path of good“ (Guide p.10) and endorsing 13 North America-based Muslim scholars whom the NCCM consult “to gain an accurate understanding” of Islam (Guide p.13). Among them were Siraj Wahhaj and Jamal Badawi, to whom we already referred in this chronology.
Siraj Wahhaj advocated converting to Islam youth who felt excluded, and eventually arming them with Uzi submachine guns so that they can wage jihad in U.S. streets. In a text and also on video, Jamal Badawi stated that we are at the penultimate step of a five-step program leading to the implementation of a caliphate, a global Islamic government. “That’s where we are going”, Badawi said.
Badawi also stated that Hassan Al-Banna, the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, “has epitomised twentieth century Islamic thought and ideology,” in spite of Al-Banna’s overtly totalitarian program that can be found in his 50-point Manifesto and in other writings.
Another scholar whom the NCCM consults “to gain an accurate understanding” of Islam is Ingrid Mattson.
In 2009, during her mandate as President of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), U.S. Judge Solis ruled that “The [U.S.] Government has produced ample evidence to establish the associations of CAIR, ISNA…with Hamas.” (United States of America v. Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development / pp.14-15 of 20).
In 2000, at an ISNA conference, Ingrid Mattson endorsed Muslim scholar Syed Maududi (1903-1979) by stating that he has probably produced “the best work of Tafseer [Koranic commentary] in English.” In the portion of his tafsir dedicated to verse 4:24, Maududi condoned the rape of non-Muslim female prisoners of war by Muslims. This kind of doctrinal justification led to the rape of Yazidi female prisoners of war on a large scale by the Islamic State in Iraq. According to the Guardian, “When [Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi] made his speech in July  at Mosul’s Great Mosque declaring the creation of an Islamic state with himself as its caliph, [he] quoted at length from the Indian/Pakistani thinker Abul A’la Maududi [aka Syed Maududi], the founder of the Jamaat-e-Islami party in 1941 and originator of the contemporary term Islamic state.” The relevant excerpt of Maududi’s tafsir is available on Point de Bascule and his full Koranic commentary is on the EnglishTafsir website.
Already in 2000, Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Board noticed, in a refusal to grant refugee status to a leader of Tunisia’s Ennahda Party living in Canada, that “Mawdudi too, the great Pakistani religious wise man by whom Ghannouchi, the leader of Ennahda, is much influenced, considers slavery to be legitimate.”
In the summer of 2016, the former ISNA president and NCCM mentor, Ingrid Mattson dropped a defamation lawsuit against terrorism expert David Harris. The lawsuit had been initiated because he had called her “a radical”. Despite her claim of grave reputational damage, she gave up all her demands “likely fearing what a full legal-disclosure process would reveal.”
FEBRUARY 22, 2015 – Shahina Siddiqui was invited to appear before the Senate Committee on National Defense to address the issue of radicalization. Ms. Siddiqui is President of the Winnipeg-based Islamic Social Services Association and a director of the NCCM / CAIR-CAN. Both organizations authored the recent Islamophobia guide and the 2014 so-called anti-terrorism guide endorsing advocates of armed jihad in U.S. streets such as Siraj Wahhaj.
In 1997, Shahina Siddiqui was a member of the organizational committee that invited Siraj Wahhaj in Winnipeg to coach Muslim student leaders belonging to the Muslim Student Association (MSA) during a summer retreat. The MSA was the first organization set up by the Muslim Brotherhood upon their arrival in North America in the sixties. In 2007, the NYPD Radicalization in the West report presented the MSA as an “incubator” for radicalism (p.68).
When Shahina Siddiqui appeared before the Senate committee, she was asked by Senator Beyak: “How can we trust community organizations to help us develop a counter radicalization narrative when they themselves are affiliated with organizations with known ties to terrorism?” Just before, Senator Beyak had referred to the NCCM founder Sheema Khan’s affidavit to the effect that the Hamas-linked Washington-based CAIR “has direct control” over the activities of CAIR-CAN. Ms. Siddiqui answered that “CAIR in the U.S.A., it’s an independent organization from NCCM.” When the Chair of the Senate committee asked her about the radical scholars being endorsed by her organization’s 2014 guide, she blamed the messengers rather than addressing the armed jihad, the caliphate and the other measures being promoted by these Islamist leaders. She did not address the promotion of armed jihad in U.S. streets by Siraj Wahhaj for example but rather blamed Wahhaj’s critics because of their poor knowledge of Islam and “what Islamic terminology means.”
During her testimony in Ottawa in 2015, Ms. Siddiqui told senators that she “sit[s] on the RCMP Commissioner’s Advisory Committee on Diversity and on D-Division’s Commanding Officers’ Advisory Committee on Diversity.” In the picture above, Ms. Siddiqui stands with RCMP officers involved in ‘outreach programs.’
Brian Daly (QMI Agency – February 24, 2015): Senate questions Muslim leader [Shahina Siddiqui] over alleged ties to radicals / Archive.Today
DECEMBER 2, 2015 – Ontario Superior Court Judge Liza Sheard ordered the NCCM to provide Hamas-related documents to Stephen Harper’s lawyers so that they can prepare their defense.
Irena Alifanova (CIJ News – December 12, 2015): NCCM ordered to provide all documents related to Hamas in its lawsuit against Stephen Harper / Archive.Today
MAY 5, 2016 – Although the NCCM / CAIR-CAN started its activities in Montreal in the nineties, it has never been very active in Quebec. For many years, other organizations belonging to the local Muslim Brotherhood infrastructure such as the Muslim Council of Montreal and the Canadian Muslim Forum engaged in the NCCM kind of lobbying. In recent years, the organization AMAL-Québec, co-chaired by Haroun Bouazzi and Nadia Reguigui, has been waging the kind of campaigns against Islamophobia that most resemble what the NCCM is doing. On May 5, 2016, the NCCM gave Bouazzi and his organization an award.
Point de Bascule (May 27, 2016): The organization AMAL-Québec that was chosen by the Couillard government as a representative of the Muslim community received an award from the Islamist lobby NCCM / CAIR-CAN [Article in French]
On January 28, 2014, when Ihsaan Gardee was invited on the CBC’s show Power and Politics, he stated that the NCCM / CAIR-CAN has never had any kind of relationship with its ‘parent organization’, the Washington-based CAIR: “Well Evan, what I can tell you is that we’ve never had any funding relationship with them, never any operational relationship with them.” (Transcript and video 04:28)
The NCCM / CAIR-CAN press release above was issued in Washington although it pertains to an event that occurred in Canada. It is signed by a Washington-based CAIR official with only a contact number in Washington. It is one of many documents proving an ‘operational relationship’ between CAIR-CAN and its ‘parent organization,’ the Washington-based / Hamas-linked Council on American-Islamic Relations.
Point de Bascule: FILE National Council of Canadian Muslims
The following websites provide new information daily about the Washington-based / Hamas-linked CAIR and the NCCM / CAIR-CAN: