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On February 13, 2014, Mohammed Azhar Ali Khan became the president of the Muslim Coordinating Council of the National Capital Region (MCCNCR) for the second time. Ali Khan started this Ottawa Muslim umbrella organization in 2007 and was its president until 2010 the first time.
At the beginning of his new mandate, Mohammed Azhar Ali Khan stressed that the MCCNCR “now represents most of the Muslim organizations of the [Ottawa] area and can speak to the governments and the media on their behalf.” Ali Khan made his statement shortly before the RCMP announced at the beginning of March that it will outreach to Muslim community leaders in a counter-radicalization program to be launched soon.
Mohammed Azhar Ali Khan was born in India in 1932 and moved to Pakistan in 1950, three years after the partition of India. After studying in the United States and working as a news editor in Pakistan and as a correspondent for two American newspapers, he migrated to Ottawa in 1965. Shortly after his arrival, he started working as a journalist for the Ottawa Citizen and became a member of its editorial board in 1967. He resigned his position in 1990 to become director of multiculturalism and senior policy adviser with the Citizens’ Forum on Canada’s Future, usually referred to as the Spicer Commission. After the failure of the Meech Lake accord, Prime Minister Brian Mulroney had asked former Ottawa Citizen editor Keith Spicer to take the pulse of Canadians about the political future of the country. From 1996 to 2006, Mohammed Azhar Ali Khan has been an Immigration and Refugee Board adjudicator (“refugee judge”).
Mohammed Azhar Ali Khan has also occupied various positions in Islamist organizations belonging to the MCCNCR.
He led the Ottawa Muslim Association (OMA) and was identified as its representative in 2011. In a 2013 text, Ali Khan wrote that he led the OMA in the 1980s whereas in a more recent text, he stated that it was in the 1970s.
During five years (2008 – 2009 – 2010 – 2011 – 2012), Mohammed Azhar Ali Khan was a member of Human Concern International board, some years as director and others as vice-chair. The organization still has a charitable status with the Canada Revenue Agency in spite of its support for political activities involving the promotion of sharia in Canada.
Examples of HCI’s support for the promotion of sharia in Canada:
2008 – Sponsorship of ISNA’s convention featuring Jamaaat-e-Islami leader Qazi Hussain Ahmad
2012 – Sponsorship of the RIS convention
2013 – Sponsorship of the 1ndépendance convention
2013 – Money transfer ($45000) to Al-Maghrib Institute / IPT’s Profile of its leader Yasir Qadhi
According to Maclean’s Michael Petrou, “In 1995, Osama bin Laden told an Egyptian interviewer that Human Concern International funded an al-Qaeda charitable front called ‘Blessed Relief.’ [Ahmed Said] Khadr was in charge of Human Concern International’s Pakistan office at this time. […] Khadr died in 2003 in the company of Taliban and al-Qaeda members, when Pakistani troops attacked their South Waziristan safe house. An al-Qaeda website profiling ‘120 Martyrs of Afghanistan’ described him as an al-Qaeda leader and praised him for ‘tossing his little child [Omar] in the furnace of the battle’.” A 2005 U.S. legal case also reported the connection between HCI and Al-Qaeda.
In 2008, while Mohammed Azhar Ali Khan was a director of HCI, his organization joined with the Islamic Society of Cumberland to sponsor an ISNA convention featuring the leader of the Pakistani Jamaat-e-Islami (JEI), Qazi Hussein Ahmad. Before the convention took place, the Canadian authorities refused to grant the Islamist leader a visa. JEI’s armed wing Hizbul Mujahideen is engaged in military jihad in Kashmir. The Canada Revenue Agency highlighted JEI’s military operations in Kashmir when it revoked ISNA Development Foundation’s charitable status in 2013 (ISNA’s audit – Notes 53 & 54 / p. 15/36). This ISNA substructure had its charitable status revoked after the Canada Revenue Agency discovered that it was providing receipts for income tax purposes to an organization without charitable status collecting money for jihad in India. JEI has a large following in North America, particularly among Muslims from Southeast Asia.
Although JEI leader Qazi Hussein Ahmad was banned from coming to Canada in 2008, he took part in other Islamist events in North America before. Islamic Horizons (ISNA’s “flagship bi-monthly magazine”) mentions that he gave a speech at an Islamist convention in Baltimore in 2000. The same year, at the end of Bill Clinton’s mandate as a U.S President, State Department officials even met with Qazi Hussein Ahmad although JEI’s founder openly pledged to destroy all non-Islamic governments from the face of the earth.
JEI founder Syed Maududi (1903-1979) defined the mission of his organization as follows in his book Jihad in Islam:
In a 2000 decision denying the refugee status to a Tunisian Islamist, the Canadian Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) examined the background of the claimant’s Islamist party Ennahda and of his leader Rachid Ghannouchi. In section 5.3.16 of their decision, the adjudicators (“refugee judges”) remarked that Maududi’s influence on Ghannouchi had led him to justify discrimination against non-Muslims on the basis of the nature of the Islamic state. The IRB decision also noticed that Maududi (Mawdudi) “considers slavery to be legitimate.”
In 2000, the endorsement of Maududi’s ideas was referred to by an IRB adjudicator as a manifestation of Islamic radicalism and was taken into account when the refugee status was refused to an Islamist claimant. In 2008, however, two years after retiring as IRB adjudicator, Mohammed Azhar Ali Khan condoned Maududi’s ideology when he sponsored a conference given by his successor, as a member of HCI board.
In 2011, Qazi Hussein Ahmad’s successor as JEI leader (Syed Munawwar Hassan) praised Osama bin Laden as “a man of character and a symbol of jihad and resistance against the U.S.” In 2014, Hassan declared that Osama bin Laden is “still alive in people’s hearts.”
In 1996, the Globe and Mail reported that, when HCI representative in Pakistan and al-Qaeda leader Ahmed Said Khadr was arrested in relation with the bombing at the Egyptian embassy in Islamabad that killed 16 people and injured 60, the Jamaat-e-Islami provided him legal counsel.
Point de Bascule: File Jamaat-e-Islami
Information available on the Canada Revenue Agency’s website also shows that Mohammed Azhar Ali Khan’s own charitable foundation transferred substantial amounts of money to both organizations that sponsored the 2008 ISNA convention featuring a conference by JEI leader Qazi Hussein Ahmad until he was refused a visa.
Ali Khan Fondation’s transfers to Human Concern International:
> Total / $57328
Ali Khan Fondation’s transfers to the Islamic Society of Cumberland:
> Total / $2300
Mohammed Azhar Ali Khan: Invoking ‘Islamophobia’ rather than disproving his anti-Islamist opponents’ facts
In the last month, Mohammed Azhar Ali Khan has defended two other organizations belonging to the MCCNCR network. In a Saudi media, he criticized Prime Minister Harper and his Director of communications after the latter stated in mid-January that the National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM / former CAIR-CAN) has “documented ties” with the terrorist organization Hamas. In a recent article, Point de Bascule has presented at least three ways in which NCCM / CAIR-CAN is linked to the Hamas infrastructure.
In a recent debate about the Muslim immigration to Canada organized by the MacDonald-Laurier Institute, University of Western Ontario Professor Salim Mansur talked about the Islamist threat in Canada. According to Ali Khan’s report in the Toronto Star, Mansur mentioned that the Muslim Association of Canada (MAC) “draw[s] inspiration from the Muslim Brotherhood, which seeks to subvert the West from within through immigration.”
Ali Khan dislikes that these facts are brought up but cannot disprove them. Therefore, he resorted instead to present them as manifestations of “Islamophobia,” hoping that this would discourage others from speaking out on the matter.
The link between MAC and the Muslim Brotherhood can easily be demonstrated as it directly comes from MAC’s own website:
According to the Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Watch, apart from Hamas (charter – article 2), “the Muslim Association of Canada (MAC) appears to be one of the only organizations in the world that has acknowledged its ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.”
As for subverting the West through immigration, Ismail Faruqi and other Muslim Brotherhood leaders have openly presented this strategy as a method for Islamizing North America in the past.
In 1980, during a symposium at the University of Alberta (Edmonton), Faruqi gave a lecture entitled Islamic Ideals in North America. According to what he presented at the time, Muslims immigrants have two duties:
1. Calling non-Muslims to Islam;
2. Transforming the North American reality so that it conforms to Islamic standards.
Faruqi’s lecture is available in a book entitled The Muslim Community in North America that was published in 1983 and is archived on Point de Bascule. On page 269, Ismail Faruqi clearly states that the Muslim immigrant’s aspiration should be turning North America away “from its past evil” and “marching forward under the banner of Allahu Akbar!” On the same page, Faruqi stresses that “the Islamic vision provides the [Muslim] immigrant with the criterion with which to understand, judge, and seek to transform the unfortunate realities of North America.”
It could not be clearer. Faruqi enjoigned his supporters to transform North America, where many of them chose to come, to make it more like the land they chose to leave.
In 1977, Faruqi, Youssef Qaradawi and other Muslim Brotherhood leaders met in Lugano (Switzerland) to establish the foundation of what would become the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT) four years later. Since then, the IIIT has become the main Muslim Brotherhood research institute in the West. Based in Herndon (Pennsylvania), the IIIT provides Islamist operatives in North America and elsewhere the theoretical resources to implement sharia in their non-Muslim environment and transform the institutions where they live in accordance with Islamic standards.
In 1983, when Mohammed Azhar Ali Khan was working for the Ottawa Citizen, he reviewed the very book containing Faruqi’s lecture but refrained from reporting Faruqi’s call to Islamize North America.
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
Mohammed Azhar Ali Khan and Saudi Arabia
In recent years, Mohammed Azhar Ali Khan has been a frequent contributor to the Saudi Gazette, the English language newspaper owned by Jeddah-based Okaz, one of the major Arabic language newspaper in the kingdom. In 2004, journalist Lawrence Wright authored an extensive report about the Saudi Gazette for the New Yorker (highlights – integral article). At the time, Wright wrote that “Although ostensibly independent, Okaz is closely identified with Prince Naif bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud, the Minister of Interior, who also controls the secret police and the media.”
In 1987, while a member of the Ottawa Citizen editorial board, Mohammed Azhar Ali Khan displayed an uncritical attitude towards Saudi Arabia and its leaders when a high-ranking prince visited Canada. In his report for the Citizen, Ali Khan mentioned that in 1971 he had met King Faisal, the father of the visiting prince. On that occasion, the king reminded Ali Khan of the importance for Muslims living in Canada to remember their “Islamic brotherhood.”
Ali Khan’s 1987 piece repeated assurances given to the world by then Saudi King Fahd that Saudi Arabia’s conduct “is based on mercy, compassion, solidarity, brotherhood and mutual respect, and is devoid of oppression, deceit and treachery.”
A version of the Koran printed by the King Fahd Complex for the Printing of the Holy Qu’ran tells otherwise. An explanation of jihad added to clarify the meaning of verse 2:190 promotes resorting to military jihad in order to impose the Islamic doctrine:
In his 1987 article, Ali Khan also praised Saudi Arabia’s so-called generosity. According to Ali Khan, the country was the world’s leading donor in foreign aid in 1987 (6.62 % of its GNP).
In spite of being an editorial board member specializing in international affairs for a mainstream Canadian newspaper, Mohammed Azhar Ali Khan relayed the Saudi message without any filter. Nowhere in this article did Ali Khan explain that a large portion of the Saudi money spent on foreign aid goes for radicalizing Muslims around the world (in Muslim and non-Muslims countries alike). Nowhere in this article did Ali Khan mention how human rights are violated in Saudi Arabia, non-Muslims forced to hide to practice their religions and severely punished when they get caught.
BBC (March 15, 2002): Saudi religious police stopped girls from leaving a blazing school because they were not wearing correct Islamic dress (Fifteen girls died in the fire.)
Nina Shea and Paul Marshall (Hudson Institute – September 16, 2011): Ten Years On: Saudi Arabia’s Textbooks Still Promote Religious Violence
What is true today about Saudi Arabia was also true in the eighties.
Although most people awakened to the threat of radical Islam and the role of Saudi Arabia in propagating it only after the events of September 11, 2001, the Saudi financial support for the radicalization of Muslims around the world was nonetheless already known in the eighties. This information was accessible to Ali Khan back then when he wrote for the Citizen. Here is an excerpt of an article published by the Montreal Gazette in 1988 describing Saudi Arabia’s role in making the Jamaat-e-Islami a powerful Islamist party in Pakistan.
In his 2004 report about the Saudi Gazette, Lawrence Wright also explained what the Saudi “foreign aid” is all about:
The role of Saudi Arabia in the radicalization of Muslims in Canada and abroad has also been discussed in the House of Commons on numerous occasions: Dr. Patrick Armstrong in 2000, MP Bernard Patry in 2001, Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld in 2005, Mr. Antoine A. Malek in 2011, etc.
The Investigative Project on Terrorism (September 10, 2003): Saudi Support for Islamic Extremism in the United States (Testimony before the United States Senate Judiciary Committee / Subcommittee on Terrorism, Technology, and Homeland Security)
Robert Fife (The Ottawa Citizen –
RCMP counter-radicalization program: Mohammed Azhar Ali Khan is not a part of the solution, he is a part of the problem
Mohammed Azhar Ali Khan would like the police and other government agencies to consider his organization MCCNCR as the primary contact to reach the Muslim community in Ottawa. As far as the counter-radicalization program soon to be launched by the RCMP is concerned, Ali Khan and his organization are not a part of the solution, they are a part of the problem.
- In 1983, when Mohammed Azhar Ali Khan reviewed a book for the Ottawa Citizen containing a text by Muslim Brotherhood leader Ismail Faruqi enjoining Muslim immigrants to Islamize North American, he chose not to report this part of the book to his readers. Thirty years later, Ali Khan condemns Salim Mansur as some kind of racist for evoking the very strategy of conquest that he chose not to report to his readers. Why should the RCMP consider that Ali Khan will be more straightforward when the discussion will turn to other facets of Islamist radicalization?
- As a member of HCI’s board in 2008, Mohammed Azhar Ali Khan endorsed a conference by the leader of an organization waging armed jihad in Kashmir and vowing to destroy all non-Islamic governments from the face of the earth. What else does the RCMP need to disqualify Ali Khan and his supporters from any involvement in discussions related to the security of Canada?
- As a journalist for the Ottawa Citizen, Mohammed Azhar Ali Khan presented a rosy picture of the Saudi reality. These days, he has chosen to collaborate with an important Saudi media conglomerate in a country where there is no freedom of press. Ali Khan is in a conflict of interests. He cannot be trusted to give a clear picture of the radicalization of Muslims in Canada, particularly when the role of Saudi Arabia in the matter will be examined.
Point de Bascule: File Mohammed Azhar Ali Khan
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