A reply to Issam Saleh, the Muslim Brotherhood leader who threatens to sue Edmontonians opposed to the opening of an Islamic school in their neighbourhood
By Marc Lebuis and Étienne Harvey
Pour l’adaptation française, cliquez ICI.
After they learned about the Muslim Association of Canada’s intentions to run an Islamic school in their Lessard/Gariepy area of Edmonton, 60% of the residents signed a petition opposing the project. [CTV – August 20, 2010]
Initially their objections were based on zoning considerations. As they learned more and more about the ideological background of the Muslim Association of Canada (MAC), their objections came to include the danger of having an organisation openly supporting jihad and suicide bombing that would run a school in their neighbourhood. The Lessard Petition Campaign has set up its own website to explain the motives supporting its opposition.
The MAC is the Canadian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB), an organization whose motto concludes with “Jihad is our way” and “Dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope”. A previous article published on Point de Bascule exposed the totalitarian ideology of the organization and that of its founder Hassan al-Banna. On its own website, the MAC pledges to implement al-Banna’s ideology as “the best representation of Islam”.
Unable to refute the objections brought up by the residents, Issam Saleh, the MAC leader in Edmonton, tried to silence his critics by threatening to sue them for so-called “Islamophobia” in the Edmonton Sun [August 19, 2010].
The very notion of Islamophobia has been developed in the late eighties by Islamists to make their critics pass for irrational haters of Muslims. The MB’s recourse to this concept is flawed for the simple fact that many of its critics are Muslims themselves. Many of the most eloquent expositions written against the MB’s ideology have been produced by Muslims. Many of the most courageous stands against the MB have been taken by Muslims. Consequently, condemning the MB cannot be equated to condemning Muslims in general.
To make this point as clear as possible, we submit to you various examples from different parts of the world that involve Muslims resisting the attempts by the MB to implement shariah [Islamic law] in the various facets of life.
Canada: Fatima Houda-Pépin led the opposition to the introduction of shariah in 2005
When the Ontario Legislature contemplated the idea of allowing shariah tribunals on its own territory, it was a Muslim woman, Fatima Houda-Pépin, who took the lead in explaining why this initiative had to be stopped. Originally from Morocco, she knew that shariah means, amongst others things, a systematic discrimination towards women. As a member of the Québec National Assembly, Houda-Pépin managed to gather a unanimous support from her fellow MNAs into adopting a motion against the introduction of shariah in Canada.
In the speech that she gave before the motion was adopted, she mentioned that Saudi Arabia was directly behind the initiative. She identified a meeting held in Washington in 1991 by the Saudi World Muslim League (MWL – Rabita al-Islamya) as the starting point of the campaign aiming at introducing shariah in North America. In 2005, Ontario was chosen as the North American weak link to do so.
In 2005, many MB leaders tried to discredit Fatima Houda-Pépin and also to mislead the public into believing that the shariah principles applied in Canada would somehow differ from the shariah principles applied in Muslim countries. Jamal Badawi, who was identified on a 2007 MAC webpage as a member of the MAC board of directors, told the Montreal Gazette [Mar 12, 2005, p. A6]: “What do we have to do with what happens in Sudan or Afghanistan? Did anyone say we have to apply the laws of [those countries] in Canada?”
What has to be understood is that the implementation of shariah is a gradual process. Shariah has one set of rules but many levels of penetration or implementation. These levels vary from country to country, even from area to area within a single country [e.g. Nigeria]. While Canada is currently less shariah compliant than Great-Britain, and Great-Britain less than Syria, and Syria less than Saudi Arabia, nothing is static. The MB with its substantial financial backing in petrodollars is working hard at implementing shariah wherever it sets up branches.
To confirm this point, it is worth mentioning that Feisal Adbul Rauf, the MB operative behind the New York mosque being planned for Ground Zero, is leading a team of Muslim scholars whose task is precisely to come up with a shariah index. Rauf’s website describes the index as an “Islamic legal benchmark for measuring [the] Islamicity of a state”. The shariah index is a tool that the MB will use to plan its future campaigns, to determine which Western country shows the least resistance to the implementation of shariah, where more Islamist propagators should be sent and so forth.
Rauf’s shariah project has been named the Cordoba Initiative while the name of the mosque planned for Ground Zero is Cordoba House. Cordoba refers to the city that became the capital of Islamic Spain in 716 after it was conquered by Muslim troops in 711. The Muslim conquerors proclaimed their domination of Spain to the world by demolishing the St Vincent Christian Basilica and by building a very large mosque in its place.
Mali: A family code favourable to women was overwhelmingly adopted by Parliament but the Muslim Brotherhood stopped its implementation
To understand where the MB program leads, it is necessary to study what the MB affiliates do in countries where they have a large influence. It is not sufficient to listen to what MB operatives say in the West since deception [taqiyya] for advancing the implementation of shariah is condoned by shariah itself.
The following excerpt is taken from the Umdat al-Salik [Reliance of the Traveller], a manual of Islamic law written in the 14th century and translated into English in 1991:
r10.3 Scholars say that there is no harm in giving a misleading impression if required by an interest countenanced by Sacred Law [shariah] that is more important than not misleading the person being addressed, or if there is a pressing need which could not otherwise be fulfilled except through lying.
Reference: Ahmad ibn Naqib al-Misri, Umdat al-Salik, Beltsville, Amana Publications, 1994, p. 748
Various MB authorities have endorsed this manual in the past. Tariq Ramadan has positively referred to it and has described its author Ahmad ibn Naqib al-Misri [1302-1367] as a “great jurist of Islam”. The International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT), an organization set up by the MB and Saudi Arabia to integrate Islam to the North American reality, has its endorsement reproduced at the beginning of the book. The publisher of the book, Amana Publications, is also part of the global MB network in the United States. Its president’s profile [Fakhri Al-Barzinji] is available on CAIR Watch. Click HERE.
Reference: Tariq Ramadan, Radical Reform, Oxford University Press, 2009, pp. 302-303
A situation that developed in Mali since 1998 brings another proof that the MB does not speak for all Muslims. For ten years, discussions were held in Mali about a new family code that would be more favourable to women. On August 3, 2009, the new family code was finally adopted by an overwhelming majority of Malian parliamentarians [117 yes – 5 no – 4 abstentions]. Five of the many proposed reforms are listed below:
Women were no longer required to obey their husbands. The notion of obedience was replaced by the notion of respect between spouses. Click HERE;
Marriages would be considered void in the absence of consent by both parties. Click HERE;
The notion of “paternal authority” was replaced by the notion of “parental authority”. Both parents were considered like partners sharing the authority over their children. Click HERE;
The minimum legal age for girls to marry was set at 18. Amnesty International estimated in 2005 that more than 60 percent of young women in Mali married before the age of 18. It is very frequent that young girls married at 10, 11 or 12 die of violence at the hands of much older husbands. The reform aimed at putting a stop to this. Click HERE;
Women were granted greater inheritance rights than those stipulated by shariah. Click HERE.
There were other reforms dealing with adoption, family names, marital status and so forth. Click HERE.
Opponents called the new code “the work of the devil“. The Malian High Islamic Council (HIC) organised demonstrations, threatened to use violence and convened Malian religious leaders at the main mosque in Bamako to denounce the elected officials who had supported the new code. Face with this opposition led by the HIC, the president refused to sign the bill into law.
The HIC, the key organization behind the opposition to the new family code, is closely associated to Tariq Ramadan, his organisation Présence Musulmane (PM – Muslim Presence) and the MB network. Ramadan and the HIC general secretary Mamadou Diamouténé were amongst the main speakers at a 2010 CIMEF conference in Mali. They were also chosen to plan the next CIMEF meeting scheduled for 2012 in Senegal.
The Malian family code was amongst the main topics covered at the 2010 CIMEF conference. CIMEF stands for Colloque International des Musulmans de l’Espace Francophone (International Convention of Muslims from French Speaking Countries). On a map available on PM’s website, CIMEF is presented as PM’s branch in West Africa.
Malians were not able to successfully resist the MB in this case. Nevertheless, this example shows that the MB does not speak for all Muslims. Large segments of the Malian population represented by an overwhelming majority of MPs favoured the reforms that were opposed by the MB. [Mali is Muslim at 90%]. Only intimidation and threats of violence by MB supporters prevented the adopted reforms from being implemented.
This Malian example shows also what is the real agenda pursued by Tariq Ramadan and his cohort of so-called “reformers”. Let’s recall that in April 2010, Ramadan was invited by the MAC to give a lecture in Montreal.
Next time you are being called an Islamophobe by an MB operative, keep in mind that those who want to make you look like a bigot are opposing laws that would have prevented 10 year old girls to marry against their will.
Tariq Ramadan’s organization is active in Canada under the name Présence Musulmane Canada (PMC). It does most of its dawa [proselytising, ideological jihad] in French Canada while the MAC is mostly active in English Canada. Together, PMC and the MAC have organized events in the past.
Jordan: Queen Rania challenges the Muslim Brotherhood on the issue of honour killings
Hoping to decrease the number of honour killings in Jordan, Queen Rania tried to convince Jordanian politicians to impose harsher penalties on parents who kill their own children. Invoking the fact that shariah law forbids punishing fathers and mothers who kill their offspring, the Jordanian MB opposed the reform. This shariah principle is clearly stated at the article o1.2 of the Umdat al-Salik [Reliance of the Traveller].
Reference: Ahmad ibn Naqib al-Misri, Umdat al-Salik, Beltsville, Amana Publications, 1994, pp. 583-584
A reproduction of the relevant section of the book is available by clicking HERE.
Egypt: Female genital mutilations are banned by legislators who resist pressures from the Muslim Brotherhood
In 2008, the Egyptian government introduced a bill to ban female genital mutilations. MPs associated to the MB opposed the reform on the ground that these mutilations were permissible under shariah law. This shariah principle is clearly stated at the article e4.3 of the Umdat al-Salik [Reliance of the Traveller].
The relevant section of the book has been included in an article on female genital mutilations available on Point de Bascule. Although the article is in French, the relevant excerpt in the middle of the text is in English. Click HERE.
Reference: Ahmad ibn Naqib al-Misri, Umdat al-Salik, Beltsville, Amana Publications, 1994, p. 59
This Egyptian story was covered by the Christian Science Monitor [July 24, 2008] and archived by the GMBDR. The MAC which is behind the Islamic school in Edmonton pledges to implement its founder’s ideas in Canada. The top priority on Hassan al-Banna’s agenda was precisely the enforcement of shariah law. Female genital mutilations are an integral part of it.
Canada: The MAC invites Tariq Ramadan in Montreal to address its followers. Four Muslims of international stature denounced this Muslim Brotherhood leader
When Tariq Ramadan, the grand-son of Hassan al-Banna who is himself the founder of the MB was invited by the MAC to address its followers in Montreal, four Muslim personalities of international stature denounced his program in a press conference organised by Point de Bascule:
Salim Mansur, Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Western Ontario and author of Islam’s Predicament Perspectives Of A Dissident Muslim;
Tarek Fatah, Journalist, TV host and author of Chasing a Mirage: The Tragic Illusion of an Islamic State;
Naser Khader [via webcast], member of the Parliament of Denmark.
Large excerpts of the press conference are available on video by clicking HERE.
While Ramadan was is Canada, the National Post [April 15, 2010] published Brother Tariq and Islamism in the West, a comment in which Salim Mansur explained the history and the objectives pursued by the Muslim Brotherhood as well as the role that Tariq Ramadan plays to push the organisation’s agenda in the West.
[EXCERPT] The politics of Muslim Brotherhood – and splinter organizations such as those responsible for the murders of Egypt’s President Sadat in 1981 and Algeria’s President Boudiaf in 1992 – might be termed Islamism, and it is about waging struggle by any means including violence or holy war [jihad] to establish shariah-based rule. Outside of the Muslim world Islamism is the political engagement to bring non-Muslim majority societies in Europe and North America concede to the legitimacy of shariah requirements for their minority Muslim populations, and then establish segregated enclaves where shariah directives can be practiced by Muslims.
During Tariq Ramadan’s visit to Canada in April 2010, Tarek Fatah also published an article about the Islamist visitor in the Montreal Gazette [April 14, 2010]. The title was Tariq Ramadan and the Muslim Brotherhood. This article is also available in the Background section of the website set up by the Lessard community opposed to the MAC Islamic school.
To view the poster advertising Tariq Ramadan’s conferences organized by the MAC, click HERE.
Jordan: Women challenge the Muslim Brotherhood on the minimum legal age for marriage
In a case similar to the one involving the Lessard/Gariepy community, the Québec government recently decided to purchase a building that the MAC was planning to acquire in order to open a new complex [mosque, school, conference centre] in Montreal. Although the elected officials never gave any explanation for having done so, the reputed philanthropist Phyllis Lambert and the former federal minister Serge Joyal wrote in the Montreal Le Devoir [July 13, 2010] that the government’s decision “had the appearance” of excluding the Muslim community. Like many before them, these two prominent Montrealers were mistakenly equating the Muslim Brotherhood with Muslims in general.
The very same day, an article describing an opposition between the MB and Muslim women from Jordan was published in the Montreal La Presse with a perfect timing. The newspaper reported that these Muslim women were opposing a bill promoted by the Jordanian branch of the MB that would have allowed 15 year old girls to marry while maintaining the minimal age for boys at 18.
The women opposing the bill argued that legalizing the marriage of very young girls was essentially legalising their rape. Hamman Said, the local Jordanian MB leader, replied that “shariah law allows marriage under the age of 18.” He also added that”disastrous consequences” await women who “adopt the ways of Western education”.
The GMBDR has covered this news item in English.
Canada: Tarek Fatah denounces the MAC and the Muslim Brotherhood
When the CBC gave credibility to the MAC and CAIR-Canada, another MB organization, by sponsoring a charitable cause with them, Tarek Fatah took the opportunity to write the article CBC and Jihad for the Calgary Herald [December 11, 2008]:
[EXCERPT] The Muslim Association of Canada (MAC) makes no attempt to hide its links to the radical jihadi group, the Muslim Brotherhood. MAC says on its website that its “roots can be traced to the Islamic revival of the early 20th century, culminating in the movement of the Muslim Brotherhood.”
If the reader is left with any doubt about MAC’s links with the Muslim Brotherhood, their website makes it abundantly clear:
“MAC adopts and strives to implement Islam . . . as understood in its contemporary context by the late Imam, Hassan Albanna, the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood.”
One has to marvel at the audacity of MAC to endorse Albanna, who proclaimed that armed “Jihad is obligatory on every Muslim,” and that martyrdom in the name of Allah is better than life on earth.
To those of us Muslims who escaped the tyranny of Islamists in the Arab world and South Asia, shivers run up our spine when we see the ease with which MAC and other Islamists can fly under the radar and even manage to appropriate the CBC name and logo in their plans.
“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”
This statement is usually attributed to Edmund Burke (1729 – 1797). Wikipedia present it as a case of probable misattribution. Whoever came up with the formula has summed up in a few well chosen words what should motivate us to resist the Islamist threat represented at this very moment in Edmonton by the MAC trying to set up there an Islamic school in order to teach Hassan al-Banna’s ideology.
Since Muslims often risk their lives to challenge the totalitarian ideas promoted by the MB in countries where the Islamist organisation has a high level of penetration, it would be unconceivable that freedom lovers in non-Muslim countries cease to denounce the MB simply because one of its leaders has pronounced the word “Islamophobia”.
Edmonton: La section canadienne des Frères Musulmans menace de poursuite. Click HERE.
Who Is Behind The Islamic School Being Planned For West Edmonton? Click HERE.
Point de Bascule (Tipping Point) is an independent organization that promotes individual freedom by exposing the various ways by which Islamists are trying to implement their agenda.