Table of contents
PART 1 – CJPME: Engaging with the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas
PART 2 – CJPME’s background
PART 3 – Tariq Ramadan
PART 4 – The justification of violence by Muslim Presence and the Charlie Hebdo massacre
PART 5 – “Moderate Islamists”: the case of Hassan Turabi
PART 6 – Some of CJPME’s proposals to the Canadian government
* * * * *
The Montreal-based lobby Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) will host Tariq Ramadan for a series of five conferences in Alberta and Ontario in the third week of January 2017.
Ramadan’s upcoming conferences are entitled Creating Thriving Societies in Troubling Times. According to the invitation, these events will focus on the wave of recent terrorist attacks and the massive refugee movement among other themes.
In 2014, Tariq Ramadan announced that he had been admitted to the International Union of Muslim Scholars, a group of Sunni Islamist scholars presided by the Muslim Brotherhood spiritual guide, Youssef Qaradawi.
In spite of the openly totalitarian Muslim Brotherhood agenda, CJPME has produced position papers recommending that the Canadian government engage with the Muslim Brotherhood and its branch Hamas.
On July 7, 2010, CJPME stated that “Canada must abandon its failed strategy to marginalize Hamas [and] must recognize that Hamas is not a monolithic organization but a Palestinian national religious/political movement including people of many views, as well as a militant wing.”
In April 2016, CJPME told the Canadian government to “distinguish between ISIS [the Islamic State] and other militant Islamist groups of the Middle East. […] Canada should accept the credibility of Middle East Muslim groups that function as political resistance movements. […] Many groups, e.g. Hezbollah, Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood in many countries, enjoy widespread popular support, have moderate elements, and seek to engage politically. Canadian policy may oppose the violence used by some groups, but could nevertheless validate the ‘cause’ of such groups. […] By validating the ‘cause,’ Canada establishes greater trust, and may be able to serve as a significant neutral broker.”
Aside from being engaged in the destruction of Israel (Hamas Charter / article 13), Hamas’ leaders have frequently advocated the Islamic conquest of the West (2006/Jan – 2006/Feb – 2008 – 2011 – 2012). This is Hamas’ “cause.” All of Hamas’ positions on other issues flow from there. In 2011, Hamas leader Mahmoud Al-Zahhar said on TV that the 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.
None of this essential information, nor the listing of Hamas as a terrorist entity in November 2002 by the (Liberal) Government of Canada is mentioned in CJPME’s factsheet on Hamas that was published in 2014.
CJPME discards those warning about the Muslim Brotherhood’s ambitions in Canada as being “Reactionary Canadians [who] relish in digging up decades-old documents, or finding obscure low-level leaders with anti-Semitic views.”
Yet, Tariq Ramadan and the Islamist scholars whom he joined at the IUMS are far from being “low-level leaders.” They have important followings in Muslim communities in Canada and elsewhere in the world. Point de Bascule has dedicated part of an article to present many Islamist leaders endorsing and relaying IUMS president Qaradawi and his “causes” in Canada.
The Muslim Brotherhood’s spiritual guide, Youssef Qaradawi (IUMS listing / #31 in the Muslim 500 for 2017), presents 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.”
Youssef Qaradawi considers that “true Islam is essentially political.” He describes 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.” Qaradawi condones the use of force to enforce Islamic principles “whenever possible” (“changing wrong by force whenever possible”) and justifies the killing 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) He also justifies female genital mutilations and the killing of homosexuals.
In 2009, Qaradawi told his viewers on Al-Jazeera that Hitler had been sent by Allah to punish the Jews and that he was hoping the next massacre of Jews would be at the hands of Muslims. Hamas has also promoted Hitler on numerous occasions (2009 – 2013 – 2014) and the Muslim Brotherhood founder Hassan Al-Banna included Hitler among a group of Muslim leaders who led their people “to the pinnacle of the success and fortune.”
In 2002, Tariq Ramadan endorsed Youssef Qaradawi’s understanding of Islam by writing a preface to a compendium of his fatwas that was published in French. In 2009, in his book Radical Reform, Ramadan presented Qaradawi as a “prominent scholar” who has outlined the attitudes and the kind of behaviour that Muslims living in the West should adopt. In 2012, Youssef Qaradawi was at the opening of a research centre on sharia headed by Tariq Ramadan in Qatar (see photo).
Other Muslim scholars who were or are still part of the select group of Islamist scholars joined by Tariq Ramadan at the IUMS include Hamas leader Ismail Haniyah, Ennahda leader Rachid Ghannouchi, Salah Sultan, Jamal Badawi, etc.
In a December 2008 appearance on Egyptian television (reported by Patrick Poole at PJ Media), Tariq Ramadan’s fellow IUMS scholar, Salah Sultan, “warn[ed] of the imminent destruction of the U.S., invoke[ed] notorious Islamic hadith calling for the extermination of the Jews by Muslims, and cit[ed] approvingly the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.”
In its 2003 refusal to grant refugee status to one of Rachid Ghannouchi’s lieutenants, Canada’s Federal Court of Appeal described Ghannouchi as “a terrorist who is an integral part of the international Islamist movement [and who] is regarded by some sources as one of the masterminds of terrorism. The same legal case lists several terrorist activities waged by Ghannouchi’s Ennahda organization in the eighties and the nineties: bombing attacks in France and Tunisia, arsons on cars and buildings, throwing acid in people’s faces, physical attacks in schools and universities, the use of Molotov cocktails, etc. Rachid Ghannouchi is #27 in the Muslim 500 for 2017.
According to its own website, the Montreal-based organization Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) was established in 2002. The current name was registered in 2004. Thomas Woodley is CJPME’s president since 2011 (according to his LinkedIn profile) and since early 2008 (according to CJPME’s website). Former Liberal Minister Warren Allmand (1932-2016) was on CJPME’s Board of directors until his recent death.
On its ‘Mission and Vision’ page, CJPME states that it “seeks to provide resources and host activities which enable Canadians at all levels to better understand the dynamics of the region [the Middle East], and work toward solutions for the region.” CJPME aims at becoming “The ‘go to’ organization for politicians, policy makers, and the media on our issues.”
In an Al-Jazeera profile (video 13:00), CJPME President Thomas Woodley recalled that he was born in New York, spent most of his younger years in Indiana, went to work at the White House (Office of Management and Budget), met Montrealer Grace Batchoun and moved to Montreal in 1995 to marry her. He became a Canadian citizen in 1998.
Grace Batchoum is listed as CJPME’s VP Public Relations and as President of the CJPME Foundation (Canada Revenue Agency #841493539RR0001 / Archive.Today). In 2015, Ms. Batchoun lost the Liberal Party nomination to Mélanie Joly in Montreal’s Ahuntsic-Cartierville riding. She contested the results, claiming that more votes were cast than there were eligible voters on the party’s list but her appeal was rejected.
In 2011, Mohammed Azhar Ali Khan reported in the Ottawa-based Muslim Link that CJPME “has more 22,000 members.” In March and October 2016, writing for the Saudi Gazette this time, Khan praised CJPME’s support for the economic boycott of Israel (the BDS campaign).
Point de Bascule (June 26, 2015): Saudi Gazette columnist Mohammed Azhar Ali Khan accuses Point de Bascule of lying about Human Concern International’s sponsorship of events (featuring radical preachers). Really?
In his book Auspices of the Ultimate Victory of Islam, Muslim Brotherhood spiritual guide Youssef Qaradawi explained the progression of Islam in the last century by two factors: “grassroots Muslim revival movements [whose] common prototype remains the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood” and top down initiatives by state actors that were “greatly expanded by the possibilities of petro-dollar financing.”
CJPME has been associated with Islamist activities on both fronts:
- CJPME has been involved in PR work and lobbying in favour of foreign Islamist actors, such as the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, the Qatar’s state-run network Al Jazeera and Tariq Ramadan;
- It has also been giving credibility to initiatives of Muslim Brotherhood-linked entities registered in Canada and operating at the grassroots level here;
- Invoking its “humanitarian” mission, CJPME and its Foundation have lobbied the Canadian federal government to bring in more Muslim migrants and to fund their “integration.” Numerous Muslim Brotherhood ideologues have elaborated on the role that Muslim immigrants must play in the Islamization of the West. For example, Muslim Brotherhood leader Ismail Faruqi, who spent many years at McGill University’s Institute of Islamic Studies in the sixties before moving to the U.S. to establish an important Muslim Brotherhood research institute (the IIIT), stated in Edmonton in 1980 that the mission of Muslim immigrants in North America is “transforming the North American reality so that it conforms to Islamic standards“;
- CJPME has also asked the federal government for “more active legal action” aimed at those warning against the Islamist threat in Canada whom it presents as “anti-Muslim provocateurs.”
In order “to access the quarters of power,” as Mr. Woodley put it in his Al Jazeera profile (video 9:30), CJPME Foundation’s charitable façade has been of great help to promote a very political agenda.
QATAR’S STATE-RUN NETWORK AL JAZEERA
In May 2010, after the CRTC gave the green light to Al-Jazeera English (AJE) to broadcast in Canada, CJPME issued a press release (English) / Archive.Today (French) describing its own campaign in favor of the Qatar’s state-run network: “CJPME has worked a lot to inform Canadians about AJE. […] In 2009, CJPME encouraged its members to send official letters supporting Al Jazeera’s application to the CRTC. The 2200 letters sent by CJPME supporters represented over 83 percent of the total comments submitted by Canadians to the CRTC on the application.”
On August 17, 2014, in a message released by WikiLeaks, former U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, acknowledged that “ [T]he governments of Qatar and Saudi Arabia … are providing clandestine financial and logistic support to ISIL [the Islamic State] and other radical Sunni groups in the region.”
In 2013, The Economist published that “Al Jazeera’s breathless boosting of Qatari-backed rebel fighters in Libya and Syria, and of the Qatar-aligned Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, have made many Arab viewers question its veracity. So has its tendency to ignore human-rights abuses by those same rebels, and its failure to accord the uprising by the Shia majority in Qatar’s neighbour, Bahrain, the same heroic acclaim it bestows on Sunni revolutionaries.”
In 2015, an online poll of Al Jazeera’s audience (40,000 votes) showed that 81% of the respondents supported the Islamic State.
In 2010, The Guardian reported that US embassy cables released by WikiLeaks stated that “Qatar is using the Arabic news channel Al-Jazeera as a bargaining chip in foreign policy negotiations by adapting its coverage to suit other foreign leaders and offering to cease critical transmissions in exchange for major concessions. The memos flatly contradict Al-Jazeera’s insistence that it is editorially independent despite being heavily subsidised by the Gulf state.”
After the ouster of Muslim Brotherhood-backed President Mohamed Morsi in 2013, many of his associates fled to Qatar and, at the time, the Washington Post reported that several of them “live temporarily in hotel suites paid for by Qatar’s state-run Arabic satellite network Al Jazeera.”
Al Jazeera English itself has also been accused of partiality. In 2014, its journalist Peter Schwartzstein accused the network of having removed passages that reflected poorly on the Muslim Brotherhood in one of his articles dedicated to the harassment of a small Christian community in Egypt.
Point de Bascule: FILE Qatar
In 2014, when the Canadian federal government added IRFAN-Canada to its list of banned terrorist organizations, CJPME protested on Facebook.
The ban came after IRFAN-Canada’s charitable status was suspended in 2010 for deficient bookkeeping and failure to provide documents to the Canada Revenue Agency, then revoked in 2011 for transfers worth $14.6 million made to the terrorist organization Hamas for the 2005-2009 period alone.
In 2009, IRFAN-Canada joined with the Muslim Association of Canada (the main Muslim Brotherhood front in Canada) to organize a fundraiser in Montreal. Ekrima Sabri was their guest speaker. Like Tariq Ramadan, Sabri is a member of the International Union of Muslim Scholars headed by the Muslim Brotherhood spiritual guide, Youssef Qaradawi. Like Ramadan also, Sabri is listed among the Muslim 500 for 2017.
In 2000, IRFAN’s guest speaker, Ekrima Sabri promoted suicide operations by stating: “The younger the martyr – the greater and the more I respect him.” After the terrorist attacks in Toulouse at the end of March 2012, the French government banned Ekrima Sabri from entering its territory. He was scheduled to take part in a Muslim Brotherhood-linked convention.
Like many other Islamist organizations with charitable status operating in Canada, IRFAN sponsored several non-charity related activities aimed at promoting the Islamist agenda. The sponsorship of the Reviving the Islamic Spirit (RIS) annual convention in Toronto (2009 – 2012) immediately comes to mind.
The RIS convention has become the most important event supported annually in Canada by the North American Muslim Brotherhood infrastructure. It was launched in 2003 with the support of the World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY), a Saudi organization whose Canadian branch’s charitable status was revoked a few years later because it had transferred funds to an Al-Qaida front in 2001. Numerous Islamist leaders have addressed the participants in the fifteen editions of the convention.
Point de Bascule: FILE IRFAN-Canada
NATIONAL COUNCIL OF CANADIANS MUSLIMS (NCCM / CAIR-CAN)
In its factsheet dedicated to Islamophobia in Canada, CJPME refers to an Angus poll revealing that 54% of Canadians (69% in Quebec) hold an unfavourable view of Islam and it concludes that “Islamophobia is not uncommon in many Western societies, including Canada.”
A phobia is an “irrational fear” of something. In this instance, an “Islamophobia” is an irrational fear of Islam. Rather than getting into the specifics and addressing what Canadians and Westerners in general fear about the mainstream version of Islam being applied and disseminated today, CJPME asks the federal government for “more active legal action” aimed at those warning against the Islamist threat.
For two years, in the name of Islam, Tariq Ramadan’s organization, the very mainstream Muslim Presence, justified on its website the use of violence against Charlie Hebdo because it was offended by the magazine’s criticism of Islam. This issue is discussed with more details in section 4 of this article. Even if the massacre against Charlie Hebdo had not occurred, how can Mr. Woodley and Ms. Batchoun argue that it was irrational, that it was a phobia, an Islamophobia to fear such threats of violence by their guest’s organization?
The Muslim Association of Canada and IRFAN-Canada invited Ekrima Sabri for a fundraiser in Montreal as mentioned earlier in this article. Sabri had publicly expressed his endorsement for suicide operations in the past (“The younger the martyr – the greater and the more I respect him.”) This did not stop CJPME from endorsing both organizations (MAC in 2016 and IRFAN in 2014). Given that, in recent years, Westerners have been able to realize that justifications for suicide operations have led to massacres in their own cities, how can their fears be described as irrational, as phobias, as Islamophobia when they find out that mainstream Muslim organizations in their own cities invite apologists of suicide operations?
Recently, CJPME President Thomas Woodley signed an article in the Huffington Post endorsing the anti-Islamophobia campaign waged by the National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM / CAIR-CAN) and the Canadian Muslim Forum (“My friend Samer Majzoub”).
CJPME did not provide any information about NCCM’s ideological background. However, in a so-called anti-terrorism guide released in 2014 (see p.13), the NCCM listed many scholars based in North America whom it consults “to gain an accurate understanding of our faith.” Wouldn’t it be relevant to examine what these NCCM mentors have declared in the past before concluding that only an irrational fear of Islam, an ‘Islamophobia,’ could trigger those criticizing these mentors?
Jamal Badawi, Ihsan Bagby, Ingrid Mattson, Hamid Slimi and Siraj Wahhaj are among the scholars listed by the NCCM as its mentors.
JAMAL BADAWI – 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 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 published by the Islamist website SoundVision in the early 2000s. After over a decade, the interview was removed from the 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.
IHSAN BAGBY – From 1995 to 2013, Ihsan Bagby was on the Board of NCCM / CAIR-CAN’s parent organization (see p.14), the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). 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 NCCM / CAIR-CAN has also misled Canadians on the meaning of “jihad.” Its 2014 so-called anti-terrorism guide (see p.10) defines “jihad” as a “Personal struggle to overcome personal shortcomings and come nearer to God.” It specifies that “it is not holy war.”
Yet, in the bibliography of his book Terrorism, NCCM mentor Hamid Slimi recommends a Saudi Koran that provides a definition of “jihad” (which was added to clarify the meaning of verse 2:190) that goes completely against NCCM’s definition. “Jihad” is presented as an “Islamic Holy War” (sic), an armed offensive to impose Islam.
Hilali-Khan Koran (published by Maktaba Dar-us-salam in Saudi Arabia and recommended by Hamid Slimi)
(V. 2:190) Al-Jihad (Islamic Holy War) in Allah’s Cause (with full force of numbers and weaponry) is given the utmost importance in Islam and is one of its pillars (on which it stands). By Jihad Islam is established, Allah’s Word is made superior, […] and His Religion (Islam) is propagated. By abandoning Jihad (may Allah protect us from that) Islam is destroyed and the Muslims fall into an inferior position; their honour is lost, their lands are stolen, their rule and authority vanish. Jihad is an obligatory duty in Islam on every Muslim, and he who tries to escape from this duty, or does not in his inner-most heart wish to fulfill this duty, dies with one of the qualities of a hypocrite.
The full page is archived on Point de Bascule
The meaning given by NCCM mentor Siraj Wahhaj to the word “jihad” cannot be reconciled with NCCM’s misleading definition of the word either. In a sermon delivered in New York, Wahhaj pleaded for the conversion to Islam of youths who felt excluded, and for eventually arming them with Uzi submachine guns so that they could wage jihad in U.S. streets.
In 2014, the RCMP headquarters in Ottawa directed its Manitoba division to dissociate from NCCM’s so-called anti-terrorism guide. According to the Gatestone Institute, on April 10, 2016, Durham police “acknowledged that it had been an error to invite” the NCCM to an event attended by the Durham Regional Police Service and the Regional Municipality of Durham, Ontario. In 2009, the FBI took the decision to cut all links with NCCM / CAIR-CAN’s parent organization (see p.14), the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) after a relationship was demonstrated between CAIR and the terrorist organization Hamas in an important terrorism trial in the U.S. Don’t count on CJPME to come up with a factsheet that will inform Canadians on recent decisions taken by government security agencies in North America and elsewhere to distance themselves from lobbies using the “Islamophobia” narrative as a weapon to silence those warning against the Islamist threat.
The terrorist attacks of March 2016 in Belgium led some mainstream Belgian media to have a second look at the organizations screaming “Islamophobia” as soon as commentators criticize one trend or another of Islam.
Shortly after the attacks, the main Belgian French-language public broadcaster, the RTBF, broadcast a report explaining how Islamists, and those close to the Muslim Brotherhood infrastructure in particular, use the accusation of Islamophobia as a fighting tool 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.”
Point de Bascule: FILE National Council of Canadians Muslims / CAIR-CAN
In October 2016, MAC London announced its partnership with CJPME for the presentation of a photo exhibition at Western University. CJPME Foundation’s President, Grace Batchoun, was scheduled to give the walk-through at the exhibition on opening night. Collaborating with MAC on any activity means giving legitimacy to MAC’s main “cause” (as CJPME’s terminology goes) which is the progressive Islamization of Canada.
On its own website, MAC has acknowledged its adherence to the Muslim Brotherhood’s program:
MAC’s […] 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. MAC regards this ideology as the best representation of Islam as delivered by Prophet Muhammad.”
In the Egypt of the 1940s, Hassan Al Banna encouraged suicide attacks and other terrorist activities. He dedicated a whole book to explain the theological justifications of offensive jihad. In that book, Al Banna upheld the principle that “It’s an obligation for us [Muslims] to fight against them [non-Muslims] after inviting them [to join Islam], even if they do not fight against us.”
In his 50-point manifesto, Hassan Al Banna promoted the abolition of political parties and the establishment of a one-party State, the reform of the law, so that it will conform to sharia, an increase in the number of youth groups promoting jihad, the prohibition of dancing, the censorship of movies and plays and a dress code for all citizens enforced by a sharia police.
In its answers to frequently asked questions posted on its website, MAC also listed other Muslim authorities toward whom it turns for ideological guidance. Among them Maulana Abul A’ala Maududi (Syed Maududi 1903-1979). He was the founder of the Jamaat-e-Islami in British India. This organization is a close ally of the Muslim Brotherhood. Its members are active in Pakistan, India, Bangladesh and in expatriate communities in the UK, Canada, the U.S. and elsewhere.
In his book Jihad in Islam, Maududi describes the mission of Islam as follows:
Islam wishes to destroy all States and Governments anywhere on the face of the earth which are opposed to the ideology and programme of Islam regardless of the country or the Nation that rules it. […] Islam requires the earth – not just a portion – but the whole planet.
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.”
In the portion of his tafsir (Koranic commentary) 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. 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 2000, at an ISNA conference, Ingrid Mattson, one of many NCCM / CAIR-CAN’s Islamist mentors, endorsed Maududi’s Koranic commentary by stating that it was probably “the best work of Tafseer in English.”
MAC is one of the rare organizations in the world openly acknowledging its connection to the Muslim Brotherhood agenda and its founder. Hamas is another one. In its charter (Article 2), it describes itself as “one of the wings of the Muslim Brotherhood in Palestine.” In these circumstances, it does not come as a surprise that MAC openly endorsed Hamas on its website in 2004 more than one year after it was added by the (Liberal) Government of Canada to its list of banned terrorist organizations in November 2002.
On March 21, 2014, the head of MAC’s Education Department, Chiheb Battikh, pleaded guilty and was convicted to six years in jail for the kidnapping for ransom of a rich businessman’s grandson in a Montreal park. He was planning to ask for a $500,000 ransom before his capture.
Point de Bascule: FILE Muslim Association of Canada
CJPME representatives, including Grace Batchoun and Thomas Woodley, with Foreign Affairs Minister Stéphane Dion.
In January 2016, Foreign Affairs Minister Stéphane Dion confirmed that a flattering presentation of Tariq Ramadan entitled “A man with a vision” had been withdrawn from his Department’s website after a TVA report. At the time, Minister Dion said that the article praising Ramadan “does not represent the opinion of the Government of Canada.”
CJPME presents Tariq Ramadan as an academic, a philosopher, a writer and a political expert but it neglects to stress that Ramadan is, first and foremost, an activist actively engaged in the Islamization of Western societies. Ramadan’s academic coating has mostly served to facilitate his access to Western elites in universities, in non-Muslim religious circles, etc.
In recent years, when addressing Muslim audiences, Tariq Ramadan has expressed his intentions in no uncertain terms.
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. He 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,” Ramadan said. “There is no need to stress that. […] For the time being this is not how we want to be perceived,” he added. Ramadan’s tactic has led to what is now called “reasonable accommodations” or “religious accommodations” that are being enforced by tribunals or quasi-legal entities in lieu of property laws and contract laws (See some examples in Quebec, Ontario and the U.S.)
On July 27, 2011, in a speech given at a fundraiser organized by the Islamic Circle of North America in Dallas, Tariq Ramadan openly enjoined his supporters to colonize the United States of America “with our understanding of Islam, our principles.”
When Tariq Ramadan talks about the “integration” of Muslims, he does not mean that Muslims moving to the West should “integrate” to their new environment in the sense that they should accept Western values. Quite the opposite, in fact. Ramadan’s redefinition of “integration” leads Muslims to take what is compatible with the Islamist agenda in their land of migration and maneuver to change what is not compatible with sharia.
Tariq Ramadan has summarized his thinking in his text The Principle of Integration:
Tariq Ramadan: The universality of the message of Islam and the principle of integration that is at its heart invite us to integrate everything that is positive [PdeB: that is conform to sharia], to move forward selectively, and to act from within, as full members in our society, in order to promote what is good [PdeB: what is conform to sharia], to work against injustices and discrimination [PdeB: against what is opposed to sharia], and to develop alternatives that do not restrict fiqh [Islamic jurisprudence] in the West to thinking of itself as on the defensive, moving in a protective fashion, giving the name of “exemptions” (rukhas) to what in the long term could take on the color of surrender.
This “acting from within” by Muslims to “develop alternatives” (sharia-compliant alternatives, that is) is no different than what was advocated in a Muslim Brotherhood internal memorandum that was discovered by police and produced for evidentiary purposes in a terrorism trial that led to the convictions of all Muslim Brotherhood leaders accused of terrorism financing in 2008.
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 [PdeB by the non-Muslims’ hands] and the hands of the believers [PdeB: the Muslims] 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.
In its own documents, CJPME advocates the “full integration” of Muslims in Canada while hosting Tariq Ramadan for whom “integration” means nothing less than “Muslim colonization” and “Islamization.”
Point de Bascule (October 4, 2012): Edmonton / May 1980 – Muslim Brotherhood leader Ismail Faruqi highlighted the role of Muslim immigration in the Islamization of North America
In its factsheet dedicated to Tariq Ramadan, CJPME states that Ramadan “is perceived as a bridge between the two cultures” (the West and the Muslim world). If Ramadan is still “perceived as a bridge,” it is only because most of those commenting about him (including CJPME) do not take into account many of his explicit statements by complacency or by fear of or being labelled “Islamophobes.”
In his essay Milestones, Muslim Brotherhood leading ideologue, Sayyid Qutb, has provided a very clear definition of what Islamists mean by “bridge” and “bridge builder”:
Sayyid Qutb (Milestones / Chapter 10): 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
CJPME acknowledges that the shooting at Charlie Hebdo “represented an attack on freedom of speech” and it agrees that “combatting terrorism is certainly a worthwhile pursuit.”
Yet, CJPME does not hesitate to host Tariq Ramadan whose organization Muslim Presence justified for more than two years the use of violence against Charlie Hebdo. The Muslim Presence text remained accessible on its French-language website from September 22, 2012 until January 9, 2015, two days after the Islamist slaughter perpetrated against Charlie Hebdo left 12 persons dead and others injured. It was removed from Tariq Ramadan’s organization’s website only after Point de Bascule exposed it.
The Muslim Presence’s text established a moral equivalence between a non-violent criticism of Islam, such as Charlie Hebdo’s, and the use of violence by those who are offended by it. Here is an excerpt that was translated by Point de Bascule:
One does not have the right to grant oneself all the rights, including that of offending people and hitting them in what is the most sacred to them: the object of their Faith or of their disarray
If offending is the expression of your freedom, then violence will be the expression of their freedom! No, do not say ‘but’! Assume [your choices]…
[Original French] Non Charlie
On n’a pas le droit de s’octroyer tous les droits, d’offenser et de défoncer les gens dans ce qu’ils ont de plus sacré : l’objet de leur Foi ou de leur désarroi”
Si l’offense est l’expression de votre liberté, alors la violence, sera l’expression de leur liberté ! Non, ne dites pas “mais” ! Assumez…
Tariq Ramadan is the founder of the organization Muslim Presence. An article on the organization’s English website describes Muslim Presence as “a group of Muslim citizens who follow the ideas of Tariq Ramadan.” On January 8, 2015, the English website of the organization identified Tariq Ramadan as one of its contributors.
Point de Bascule (January 9, 2015): Tariq Ramadan’s organization, Muslim Presence, published an article justifying the use of violence against Charlie Hebdo
Rather than asking the federal government to “confront the root causes of violent extremism in Canada or abroad” which suggests that it is poverty and the lack of education that breeds terrorism and radicalism, CJPME should spend more time getting accustomed with the ideas that Tariq Ramadan, his collaborators and his mentors are spreading.
Muslim Presence’s bases of operations in the world, as they were presented on the organization’s website in 2011. Right, a picture of Tariq Ramadan taken during an activity in the Ivory Coast in 2010.
In its position papers, CJPME enjoins the Canadian government to be open-minded towards “moderate Islamists.” What is a “moderate Islamist”? Although Tariq Ramadan rejects the notion of “moderate Muslim” when addressing his Muslim supporters (Video 3 @ 02:36), he has not hesitated to promote his mentors by calling them “moderate” when targeting non-Muslim audiences. He did so when he presented Hassan Turabi as a “moderate” Muslim leader in a French interview:
Tariq Ramadan: “[Translation by Point de Bascule] Turabi has always been a moderate. He was among those advocating for a reform at the grassroots level. It has been a reality for the last thirty years.”
Tariq Ramadan: “[Original French] Tourabi a toujours été modéré, de ceux qui étaient de la réforme à la base. C’est une réalité depuis trente ans.
Here is a short presentation of Hassan Turabi to better understand the kind of persons CJPME’s guest Tariq Ramadan has endorsed as “moderates.”
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. Attorney General Turabi’s involvement in the decision to kill Taha was covered 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.”
Another 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.
This is what a “moderate Muslim” looks like in the eyes of Tariq Ramadan, whom CJPME is promoting in Canada and defending against accusations of doublespeak.
CJPME has published two position papers in October 2014 and April 2016 with recommendations to the Canadian government regarding several Islamist organizations operating in Canada and abroad (ISIS, Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas and Hezbollah). In what follows, we have reproduced CJPME’s positions (between quotations marks) with our own summary (in bold capital letters).
DISTINGUISHING BETWEEN THE ISLAMIC STATE AND THE MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD, HAMAS AND HEZBOLLAH; ENGAGING WITH THE LATTERS
April 2016 / “Canada should distinguish between ISIS and other militant Islamist groups of the Middle East. […] Many groups, e.g. Hezbollah, Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood in many countries, enjoy widespread popular support, have moderate elements, and seek to engage politically.”
October 2014 / “Canadian policy should not paint all militant Islamist groups with the same brush. Canada should ascribe credibility to the groups that merit and desire it.”
SUPPORTING THE “CAUSE” OF ISLAMIST GROUPS WHILE SOMETIMES OPPOSING THE VIOLENCE USED TO PROMOTE IT
October 2014 / “Canadian policy should reflect an understanding of the roots of origin of each militant Islamist group, and should validate legitimate grievances when appropriate. Canada policy may oppose the ‘means’ used by some groups, but could nevertheless validate the ‘cause’ of such groups.”
April 2016 / “Canadian policy may oppose the violence used by some groups, but could nevertheless validate the ‘cause’ of such groups.”
REWARDING / FUNDING “MODERATE” ISLAMISTS
October 2014 / “Canada must encourage and ‘reward’ moderate elements in all groups, even those that shun political participation.”
April 2016 / “The Federal government must do more to mainstream its Muslim communities. There are vibrant programs among Muslims in the West which push for full integration as ‘Western Muslims,’ and desire full engagement with their local Canadian communities. Such efforts should be encouraged and funded through wisely conceived programs.”
DISCARDING OLD ISLAMIST DOCUMENTS; LISTENING TO RECENT STATEMENTS BY TOP-LEVEL ISLAMIST LEADERS
April 2016 / “Canada must avoid politically-motivated or counterproductive ‘labelling’ of Muslim groups which seek to discredit or marginalize such groups. Reactionary Canadians relish in digging up decades-old documents, or finding obscure low-level leaders with anti-Semitic views. Canada is better served by listening to what the pragmatic top-level leaders of these groups are saying today.”
INITIATING MORE ACTIVE LEGAL ACTION AGAINST ISLAMOPHOBIA
April 2016 / “The Federal government must condemn manifestations of Islamophobia at all levels. […] Initiatives should include a vocal denunciation of all acts of Islamophobia committed by agents of the state; a registry of hate crimes; more active legal action against anti-Muslim provocateurs.”
PROVIDING ASSISTANCE TO MUSLIM COMMUNITIES (READ: ISLAMIST LOBBIES) IN CANADA
April 2016 / “Canada must implement a long-term strategy to deal with ISIS. […] Domestically, Canada must work with Muslim communities to deter radicalization. […] They should receive assistance through: 1) government messaging which positions them as part of the solution, rather than as part of the problem; 2) relationships with law enforcement to help deter radical elements or individuals; 3) relationships with law enforcement to deter ISIS recruitment in Canada; 4) a foreign policy that recognizes the legitimate grievances of the many resistance groups in the Middle East, and Canada’s sympathy with the legitimate political aspirations of many such movements.”
Point de Bascule: FILE Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East
Image reproduced from Al-Jazeera’s video profile of Thomas Woodley and Grace Batchoun
Grace Batchoun (right), CJPME VP Public Relations and CJPME Foundation President, in discussion with former Bloc Québécois MP Jean Dorion (left). Recently, after a talk given by AMAL-Québec co-president, Haroun Bouazzi, Mr. Dorion made a useful distinction between the concepts of “Islamophobia” and “racism.” He expressed his reluctance to use both words as synonyms since the former means the “fear of Islam” (the irrational fear of Islam, in fact). On the other hand (this is a comment by Point de Bascule), Islam being a doctrine, it can be abandoned or modified, which is not the case with a race. Politely, Mr. Dorion was criticizing Haroun Bouazzi, an NCCM / CAIR-CAN ally in Quebec, who actively promotes the idea that “Islamophobia” would be a kind of racism. To those who challenge him and stress that Islam is not a race, Mr. Bouazzi replies that races do not exist (Video 40:40) but that there is still racism, regardless…