From left to right, MP Ahmed Hussen (York-South Weston), MP Yasmin Ratansi (Don Valley East), Parliamentary Secretary Omar Alghabra, MP Salma Zahid (Scarborough Centre), MP Iqra Khalid (Mississauga-Erin Mills) and Minister John McCallum at the podium delivering greetings on behalf of PM Justin Trudeau
Twitter messages by Liberal MPs at #RIS2016
MP SALMA ZAHID – https://twitter.com/SalmaZahid15/status/812478488213147649 / WebArchive – Archive.Today (“Thanks to @HonJohnMcCallum for delivering greetings on behalf of the @JustinTrudeau.”)
MP YASMIN RATANSI – https://twitter.com/Yasmin_Ratansi/status/812711757810544640 / WebArchive – Archive.Today
MP IQRA KHALID – https://twitter.com/iamIqraKhalid/status/812457083371143168 / WebArchive – Archive.Today
Table of contents
PART 1 – Canadian government delegation at #RIS2016
PART 2 – Hamza Yusuf accused of racism and hypocrisy for his reservations about claims by the Black Lives Matter movement
PART 3 – Key speakers at the #RIS2016 convention
At Christmas time (December 23-25, 2016), the fifteenth edition of the Reviving the Islamic Spirit (RIS) convention took place in Toronto.
In spite of numerous warnings about the links between RIS and promoters of Islamic supremacism and sharia, the Canadian government sent a six-person delegation to the #RIS2016 convention.
First as a Liberal leadership contender and now as a Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau spoke at the convention in person (2012), sent a video message (2015) and mandated one of his ministers to deliver his greetings to the participants (2016).
The proximity of the Trudeau government with the RIS convention, PM Trudeau’s visit to mosques with terror connections and other instances of collaboration between the Trudeau government and the Muslim Brotherhood infrastructure will likely become a point of contention between the Trump administration and the Canadian government.
Three key players nominated by President-Elect Trump who are involved in the national security file have approved designating the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist entity in the U.S. The Clarion Project has summarized their positions:
Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) was chosen as attorney general. He is a cosponsor of a Muslim Brotherhood Terrorist Designation Act;
Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS) was chosen as director of the CIA. He was one of the original cosponsors of the bill;
General Michael Flynn, retired, was nominated for national security adviser. He is on the board of Brigitte Gabriel’s ACT for America activist organization, which advocated for passage of the Muslim Brotherhood Terrorist Designation Act.
RIS was launched in 2003 with two editions in 2004. The launch of the event was sponsored by 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.
Point de Bascule (December 12, 2013): Reviving the Islamic Spirit – In 2003, the launch of the RIS conventions in Toronto was sponsored by an organization tied to Al-Qaida
What is presented today as the first edition of the RIS convention was, in fact, the second edition of a convention organized by another Saudi-backed organization called International Committee for Support of the Final Prophet (ICSFP). The first ICSFP conference was organized in London UK in 2002 and the fourth one in Bahrain in 2006. Two sets of pictures (ICSFP website – RIS History section) and a video of RIS 2003 are available.
In 2016, the Trudeau government was represented by Minister McCallum (Immigration), Parliamentary Secretary Alghabra (Foreign Affairs) and four MPs (Yasmin Ratansi, Ahmed Hussen, Salma Zahid and Iqra Khalid).
When Justin Trudeau’s participation at the RIS 2012 convention was announced two weeks before the event, Point de Bascule highlighted that IRFAN-Canada, a sponsor of the event that year, had its charitable status revoked more than a year before for funding the terrorist organization Hamas.
On December 11, 2012, when quizzed on the issue after Point de Bascule’s information was picked up by mainstream media, Justin Trudeau brushed off criticism and accused Point de Bascule of “trafficking in misinformation.”
On December 15, 2012, four days after Justin Trudeau had misled the public about the so-called “misinformation” regarding IRFAN-Canada, this organization withdrew its sponsorship of the RIS 2012 convention
In April 2014, IRFAN-Canada was added to the Government of Canada’s listing of terrorist entities.
Point de Bascule (January 7, 2016): Large Trudeau government delegation at the #RIS2015 convention featuring proponents of sharia and Islamic supremacism
As in 2012, Islamic Relief Canada was also a sponsor of the RIS convention in 2016. Islamic Relief Canada is chaired by Hany El-Banna. El-Banna is also a trustee of the UK-based Muslim Charities Foundation (MCF) that was “stripped of state funding in a crackdown on Islamist extremism” in January 2015 by the British government.
According to The Telegraph, this decision was motivated by MCF’s sponsorship of extremist speakers at events “who fuel hatred, division and violence” in Britain and because of links uncovered between MCF and a group alleged to fund Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood political movement.
On January 4, 2016, British media announced that the HSBC bank had cut banking ties with Islamic Relief UK over alleged fears of terror funding. Islamic Relief Canada belongs to the same international network / GMBDW.
The endorsement given by Prime Minister Trudeau and several of his MPs to an annual event that has featured proponents of sharia and Islamic supremacism from its inception in 2003 and has been sponsored by organizations linked to terrorism is incompatible with the mandate of the Government of Canada to insure the safety of Canadians.
During #RIS2016, the NCCM / CAIR-CAN Executive Director Ihsaan Gardee highlighted on Twitter the presence of author John Ralston Saul at the convention. John Ralston Saul also spoke at RIS 2012 and, that year, Ihsaan Gardee relied on Saul’s presence to discard Point de Bascule’s criticism about the sponsorship of the event by the fund collector of a terrorist organization:
Ihsaan Gardee (NCCM / CAIR-CAN – December 12, 2012): “To suggest that there is something untoward about a conference that invites thinkers like John Ralston Saul and Karen Armstrong to speak on topics such as inter-faith dialogue and mutual understanding is ludicrous. This is yet another example of Islamophobic vitriol aimed at marginalizing and vilifying Muslims. Point-de-Bascule describes itself as a ‘non-partisan’ website that ‘defends our liberties by educating people on the Islamist threat’. However, its Islamophobic bias regularly takes aim at Muslims using misinformation to foster fear and suspicion.”
On December 15, 2012, only three days after Ihsaan Gardee assured everybody that the presence of John Ralston Saul at RIS was a guarantee that RIS, its sponsors and its speakers were above suspicion, the sponsor of the event, IRFAN-Canada, withdrew its sponsorship of the RIS 2012 convention after its involvement with the terrorist organization Hamas made the headlines in Canadian mainstream media. In April 2014, IRFAN-Canada was added to the Government of Canada’s listing of terrorist entities
Point de Bascule (December 21, 2012): CAIR-CAN condemns Point de Bascule and uses John Ralston Saul as a poster boy to legitimize the Islamist agenda
PART 2 – Hamza Yusuf accused of racism and hypocrisy for his reservations about claims by the Black Lives Matter movement
The RIS convention has become the most important event supported annually in Canada by the North American Muslim Brotherhood infrastructure. Tariq Ramadan’s 2014 decision to stop speaking at the event over a disagreement with other speakers about their collaboration with certain Arab regimes has affected the RIS convention’s standing among Muslims but the event is still widely attended.
Tariq Ramadan (August 10, 2014): “The problem [with RIS] is that some of the participants, scholars or preachers, under the guise of Sufism or in the name of avoiding partisan politics, defend highly politicized positions of support for states and dictatorships.”
Tariq Ramadan’s August 2014 announcement came after Abdallah Bin Bayyah, a prestigious speaker at RIS and an associate to the Muslim Brotherhood spiritual guide Youssef Qaradawi decided to break with Qaradawi and his International Union of Muslim Scholars in September 2013 and participated at a meeting sponsored by the United Arab Emirates in March 2014. Hamza Yusuf, a fixture at the RIS convention since the beginning, has described Bin Bayyah as “my teacher.” After a 2-year boycott of the Islamic Society of North America’s annual convention in the U.S. and of the RIS convention in Canada, Tariq Ramadan made a comeback at the former in September 2016 but has remained a no-show at the latter, so far.
In his last speech at the RIS convention in 2013, Ramadan asked for the resignation of Prime Minister Recep Erdogan and found himself on the defensive after Turkish media reported it. In 2016, Turkey (via Turkish Airlines) sponsored the launch of an important North American Muslim Brotherhood umbrella organization (USCMO).
In 2016, another controversy hit the RIS convention when Hamza Yusuf was labelled a ‘racist’ by many RIS participants on social media for expressing reservations about claims by the Black Lives Matter movement. In his conversation with Al Jazeera presenter Medhi Hasan that took place on December 23 at RIS Session 6, Hamza Yusuf also alluded to the racism that Pakistanis experience in Arab countries. Abdullah Hakim Quick, Faisal Kutty and others reacted strongly. Quick asked Hamza Yusuf to ‘keep his mouth shut.’ Later he accepted Yusuf’s apology stressing that Yusuf had said things that were hurtful because he found himself in a position that he was not suited for.
Abdullah Hakim Quick (Facebook – December 24, 2016): Stop blaming Black People and Native People for their weak family structure or drug addiction / WebArchive
“Muslim leaders in the Americas who do not recognize the systematic subjugation and continued suppression of Black people in the West and do not speak clearly against the organized racism that is raising its head today should step down and keep their mouths shut!!! […] [I]n their cowardice and [they] should stop blaming Black People and Native People for their weak family structure or drug addiction. Stop victimizing the victims.”
“The recent controversy surrounding ‘Black Lives Matter’ and ‘Racism’ at the RIS Convention in Toronto has raised up a lot of emotions. […] As for Shaykh Hamza Yusuf, I have known him personally and found him to be a person with a sincere heart, a brilliant mind and a [sic] excellent practice of Islam. Sometimes when people are put in positions that they are not suited for, they say and do things that are hurtful and misunderstood. […] Shaykh Hamza made a clear apology and ‘I accept it’ (full stop).”
5 Pillars (December 25, 2016): Hamza Yusuf stokes controversy with comments about Black Lives Matter and political Islam / WebArchive – Archive.Today
Faisal Kutty (Facebook – December 25, 2016): The @risconvention @hamzayusuf controversy on the #blacklivesmatter and the #MuslimBrotherhood / WebArchive – Archive.Today
In his speech delivered at the #RIS2015 convention, Seyyed Hossein Nasr reiterated that “The sharia’s roots are static; its application is dynamic.” The fact that Islamists operating in Canada may not have the same priorities than those operating in other countries does not mean that they apply different rules of sharia or have different long term objectives but that they simply adjust their program to the local conditions.
Abdal Hakim Jackson was identified as a member of the International Institute of Islamic Thought’s Council of Scholars in January 2016. The IIIT is the main Muslim Brotherhood research institute in North America. In his book of A mosque in Munich dedicated to the beginnings of the Muslim Brotherhood in Europe, author Ian Johnson describes the IIIT’s “real task” as “provid[ing] the theoretical underpinnings for the spread of Islamism in the West.” The IIIT is entity #28 on a list of organizations identified in a Brotherhood internal memorandum as supporting the Islamist network in the U.S. This memorandum was introduced as evidence in a terrorism trial that resulted in the conviction of all the defendants in 2008. In the memorandum, the Muslim Brotherhood offensive in North America is described as “a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and ‘sabotaging’ its miserable house […] so that it is eliminated and God’s religion is made victorious over all other religions.”
In the past, RIS speaker Zaid Shakir advocated that, if better organized, Muslims could “take over this country [the U.S.] …in a very short period of time. So, we’ve got a lot of foundational work to do and we must do if we’re serious about the task that is before us.”
Investigative Project on Terrorism: Profile of Zaid Shakir
Siraj Wahhaj advocated converting to Islam youth who felt excluded, and eventually arming them with Uzi submachine guns so that they could wage jihad in U.S. streets.
In an interview given in the early 2000s, Jamal Badawi advocated that Muslims should become judges and civil servants in North America and take advantage of their influential positions in order to stop applying current legal provisions that are incompatible with sharia. In a speech on the future of the Muslim ummah (community), Jamal Badawi also told his supporters that his goal and the goal of those working with him is the establishment of a caliphate, an Islamic state ruled by sharia. In the past, the National Council of Canadian Muslims (then called CAIR-CAN) 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).
In a special dedicated to How the Muslim Brotherhood has taken Belgium hostage published by Le Vif / L’Express in 2015, Belgian journalist Marie-Cécile Royen quoted Nouman Ali Khan on his disagreements with ISIS on how to take control of a non-Muslim country:
Le Vif / L’Express: Nouman Ali Khan, a Muslim Brotherhood leader in North America, disputes the goal of the Islamic State to reach statehood: “If you truly want to take control of a society, you know what you should be taking control of? The private sector.” Muslim Americans should create “colossal businesses like Wal-Mart, in order to influence the course of events”. Economic activity generates income that can then be reinvested in the religious sector at large.
Reacting to a very complacent article published by the Boston Globe about Suhaib Webb in 2013, Robert Spencer of JihadWatch wrote that Webb “openly call[s] for an Islamic state, dismiss[es] secularism as a ‘radical lunatic ideology,’ which means the dismissal of the idea that the government derives its just powers from the consent of the governed, and the embracing of the idea that the law of Allah constitutes the only legitimate constitution and government. He also calls Ayaan Hirsi Ali an ‘idiot’.”
Munir Elkassem (El Kassem)
Munir El-Kassem had a leadership position within the World Islamic Call Society (WICS), a Libyan organization whose terror funding activities were documented in a U.S. trial and later by the Canada Revenue Agency.
Twitter: #RIS2016 (Hashtag of the Islamist convention)
Point de Bascule: FILE Reviving the Islamic Spirit (RIS) conventions
Point de Bascule (January 4, 2017): #RIS2016 – Sponsors and speakers
Konhaber (December 26, 2016): İslam Ruhunun Dirilişi Konferansı / WebArchive – Archive.Today (Title in Turkish: Reviving the Islamic Spirit Convention / Speaker Recep Senturk from the Fatih Sultan Mehmet University alluded to the conquest of Constantinople [Istanbul] in his speech.)