In January 2014, a spokesman for Prime Minister Harper’s office described CAIR-CAN / NCCM as an “organization with documented ties to a terrorist organization such as Hamas.” At the time, the NCCM retorted that the statement was “absolutely false” and that it is not associated with any terrorist group.
On January 28, 2014, the NCCM sent a notice of libel to the PMO. This is the first step in a defamation suit. On May 26, a lawyer acting on behalf of the NCCM announced that the organization had filed a lawsuit against the Prime Minister and his spokesman.
In recent articles, Point de Bascule and other commentators have pointed out at least three types of links between CAIR-CAN / NCCM and Hamas.
The first link derives from the endorsement given to Hamas in 2004 by Jamal Badawi and Wael Haddara while they were both leading CAIR-CAN and the Muslim Association of Canada (MAC). On March 22, 2004, the MAC issued a press release in which it openly supported Hamas. This endorsement of Hamas came more than one year after the Canadian government, Liberal back then, had added Hamas to a list of terrorist organizations. The listing is available on Public Safety Canada’s website. This endorsement of a listed terrorist organization by CAIR-CAN leader Wael Haddara contradicts another statement he made in 2012 when he assured Canadians that he would withdraw his support to an organization if “for any reason, [it] ceases to be considered in compliance with Canadian laws.” Clearly, that was not the case when he and another CAIR-CAN leader, Jamal Badawi, endorsed Hamas in 2004.
Over the years CAIR-CAN / NCCM and MAC have shared leaders and sponsored many activities together. They are among the most important components of the Muslim Brotherhood’s infrastructure in Canada.
The second link between CAIR-CAN / NCCM and Hamas was revealed by analyst Jonathan Halevi. In a March 2014 article, he reproduced CAIR-CAN’s October 7, 2000 Action Alert urging its supporters to fund the Jerusalem Fund for Human Services (JFHS), a Hamas front in Canada at the time. Like CAIR-CAN, JFHS changed its name and became the International Relief Fund for the Afflicted and Needy Canada (IRFAN-Canada). Under its two names, JFHS / IRFAN-Canada was well known for its documented ties with Hamas.
In April 2011, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) revoked IRFAN-Canada’s charity status after it concluded that, for the period 2005-2009 alone, it transferred $14.6 million to the terrorist organization Hamas (GMBDR – Toronto Star). On this occasion, the CRA produced a document “illustrat[ing] past and present linkages between JFHS, IRFAN-Canada and Hamas.”
On April 24, 2014, IRFAN-Canada was added to the Public Safety Canada’s list of terrorist organizations. A CRA audit of IRFAN-Canada for the fiscal year 2002 confirms that CAIR-CAN / NCCM leader Wael Haddara (from 2001 to 2012) was on IRFAN-Canada’s Board of Directors at least from 1999 to 2003. (See pp. A-2 and A-3).
Since U.S. tribunals have acknowledged the relationship between Washington-based CAIR and Hamas, a third link can be established between CAIR-CAN / NCCM and Hamas by demonstrating the operational relationship between CAIR-CAN and Washington-based CAIR.
In 2002, an American judge presiding over the case Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development v. Ashcroft concluded that the “Islamic Association for Palestine (“IAP”), has acted in support of Hamas.” CAIR was established in 1994 by three leaders of the Islamic Association for Palestine.
In 2009, in the case United States of America v. Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, Judge Jorge Solis stated that “The government has produced ample evidence to establish the associations of CAIR, ISNA, NAIT, with HLF, the Islamic Association for Palestine (“IAP”), and with Hamas.”
The link between Washington-based CAIR and CAIR-CAN can be established by relying on many of CAIR-CAN’s own documents. For example, a 2003 Journalist’s Guide to Islam, conceived by CAIR-CAN (p. 15), describes Washington-based CAIR as “CAIR-CAN’s parent organization” (p. 14). In December 2003, then CAIR-CAN Chair Sheema Khan swore an affidavit supporting Washington-based CAIR in a legal trade-mark battle stating that it “has direct control” over CAIR-CAN’s activities in Canada.
There are also numerous documents published by Washington-based / Hamas-linked CAIR identifying CAIR-CAN as one of its branches.
When, in 2001, the Globe and Mail identified Sheema Khan as “chairwoman of the Canadian branch of the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations,” it stated a fact that the CAIR-CAN / NCCM leadership would like us to forget. In a letter to the Winnipeg Free Press, CAIR-CAN / NCCM Executive Director Ihsaan Gardee reminded his readers that Sheema Khan has been a Globe and Mail columnist for many years.
When the CAIR-CAN’s name change was announced in July 2013, Sheema Khan, the organization’s founder, made a point of participating in the activities that were organized in Ottawa for the occasion. Her presence at the event illustrates the continuity that exists in CAIR-CAN / NCCM’s mission and activities beyond the name change. On July 6, 2013, Ihsaan Gardee and other NCCM leaders highlighted this continuity when they stressed that “we [NCCM] remain the same organization our constituents and partners have come to rely on.”
Ihsaan Gardee and the NCCM leadership do not claim that the nature of the operational relationship between Washington-based CAIR (aka CAIR National) and CAIR-CAN / NCCM could have changed over the years, but that it never existed. Period. This rewriting of CAIR-CAN / NCCM’s history contributes to bring confusion about the relationship between CAIR-CAN / NCCM and Hamas.
Original title: Muslims say Post reporter deliberately made trouble
A Muslim lobby group accused a National Post reporter yesterday of setting out to cause trouble for people who sent letters to his newspaper criticizing his stories.
Sheema Khan, chairwoman of the Canadian branch of the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations, said that Stewart Bell telephoned the employers of people who sent their letters to the Post via workplace e-mail.
In one call to an Ottawa company, “he asked the company if the letter was reflective of their own company policy, and, if not, whether the company had given this individual permission to use the company’s e-mail address to send the correspondence,” she said.
She declined to name the company or the letter writer. “Things were cleared up with his employer. They didn’t see any harm in sending a letter to the editor.”
Mr. Bell wrote three stories last month about Muslim-related Internet sites he said may have been used to recruit terrorists. He appeared to hang up yesterday when asked about the group’s complaint. Post editor-in-chief Kenneth Whyte did not repond [sic] to a request for comment.
Point de Bascule: File CAIR-CAN / NCCM
Hansard (September 20, 2005): CAIR-CAN Executive Director hails Jamal Badawi as “perhaps one of the best North American Islamic scholars, if not the premier.” (Badawi is a leader of numerous Muslim Brotherhood organizations in Canada and abroad and has been a CAIR-CAN director from 2001 to 2013.)
Point de Bascule (February 7, 2014): Current NCCM / CAIR-CAN Director Khadija Haffajee was on the Editorial advisory board of a magazine hailing the Muslim Brotherhood founder Hassan al-Banna as “a True Guide”
Point de Bascule (March 4, 2014): Mohammed Azhar Ali Khan – Saudi Gazette publishes reservations of a National Council of Canadian Muslims’ ally about suing PM Harper’s office for defamation over links with Hamas