Another organization led by Hussein Hamdani also collaborated with ISNA-Canada AFTER the charitable status of one of its substructures was revoked because it was involved in the funding of an entity linked with terrorism.
Table of contents
PART 1 – Summary
PART 2 – ISNA-Canada
PART 3 – IRFAN-Canada
PART 4 – Muslim Association of Canada
PART 5 – A privileged access to those responsible of Canada’s security
In a recent article / Archive.Today, Andrew Dreschel from the Hamilton Spectator wonders how one can criticize Hussein Hamdani for having contributed to IRFAN-Canada (IRFAN) BEFORE the revocation of its charitable status for having transferred funds to the terrorist organization Hamas: “How can he [Hussein Hamdani] have known that years later they [IRFAN] would lose their charitable status because of links to terror funding?”, the journalist asks.
Dreschel does not take into account that transfers to IRFAN by two organizations linked to Hussein Hamdani took place between 2005 and 2009 while the mention by Stockwell Day, in the House of Commons, of links between IRFAN (and its predecessor the Jerusalem Fund) and Hamas goes back to 2004.
The criticism of Hussein Hamdani for money transfers to IRFAN is not based on the criminal nature or not of his activities, but on the fact that they were incompatible with his role as a government advisor on security matters.
An action does not have to be proven a crime in court to be considered inappropriate.
After the allegation of links between IRFAN and Hamas was made in the House of Commons and in the media in 2004, after IRFAN was identified as a part of Hamas’ financing infrastructure in North America in an important terrorism trial in the U.S. in 2007 (subsection VIII), it became imperative for a Public Safety Canada advisor to distance himself from it.
Article 3.1 of the Ethics code for the public sector / Archive.Today states that civil servants must be “Acting at all times with integrity and in a manner that will bear the closest public scrutiny, an obligation that may not be fully satisfied by simply acting within the law.”
Admittedly, Hussein Hamdani was not a civil servant. But should we expect less from an advisor to the Minister of Public Safety than we are from a civil servant?
This distinction between a criminal action and a non-criminal action that deserves to be challenged was applied by Mr. Justice Ramsay in the 2013 trial for fraud that followed the Settlement and Integration Services Organization (SISO) bankruptcy. SISO was a Hamilton-based subsidized organization involved in the integration of immigrants and Hussein Hamdani was Chair of its Board.
Although Hussein Hamdani was not charged with fraud, the judge challenged Hamdani’s decision not to contact police after an employee told him that he had been asked to alter a financial document of the organization. Speaking to Hussein Hamdani, the judge told him / Archive.Today: “I don’t understand why you — a lawyer — wouldn’t ask the police to investigate the allegation of a crime.”
Clearly, an action or an inaction does not have to be proven a crime before it can be challenged or criticized.
As noted, Andrew Dreschel’s article did not mention the information that was available about the IRFAN-Hamas connection before the revocation of IRFAN’s charitable status by the Canada Revenue Agency in 2011. Mr. Dreschel also failed to mention another organization, North American Spiritual Revival (NASR), which collaborated with ISNA-Canada. Hussein Hamdani was vice-chair of NASR at the time and this collaboration occurred AFTER the Canada Revenue Agency revoked the charitable status of one of ISNA-Canada’s substructures due to that substructure’s (ISNA-Development) link to terrorism.
The Hamilton Spectator article neglected to mention two other collaborations involving Hussein Hamdani that were incompatible, in the opinion of Point de Bascule, with his participation to the roundtable advising the Minister of Public Safety.
Between 2005 and 2011, Hussein Hamdani collaborated with the Muslim Association of Canada (MAC) on four occasions, at least, in spite of the endorsement of Hamas by the MAC in 2004, more than one year after Hamas had been added to the list of banned terrorist organizations by Public Safety Canada, the very department being advised by Hussein Hamdani.
In 2003, the Ihya Foundation, chaired by Hussein Hamdani, joined with the Saudi World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY) to launch the Reviving the Islamic Spirit (RIS) conventions in Toronto. The charitable status of WAMY’s Canadian section was revoked by Canada in 2012. However, the involvement of WAMY in the radicalization of Muslims and the funding of terrorism was known before 2003. The participation of this Saudi government-linked organization in RIS 2003 was highlighted at the convention’s site, as demonstrated by the photos of the event.
Photos of RIS 2003 clearly identify the Saudi WAMY as a sponsor of the event on the banner and on the lectern. The International Committee for the Support of the Final Prophet, another Saudi organization, and the Ihya Foundation, led by Hussein Hamdani, are highlighted as the organizers of the event.
Jaafar Idris (behind the lectern) was among the many speakers invited by Hussein Hamdani’s Ihya Foundation to launch the RIS conventions in Toronto in January 2003. A few months later, Idris was expelled from the U.S. for visa violations. In 1975, Idris incited North American Muslim student leaders who were gathered at a convention in Toledo (Ohio) to “Islamize” (Part 1 – Part 8) the countries where they operate.
Siraj Wahhaj (right, at the main table) also spoke at RIS 2003.
On October 6, 2013, North American Spiritual Revival, another organization led by Hussein Hamdani, invited Siraj Wahhaj to speak at the Islamic Society of North America Canada’s (ISNA) mosque in Mississauga. This event took place two weeks AFTER the charitable status of an ISNA substructure had been revoked by the Canada Revenue Agency because the Islamist organization provided tax receipts to a second entity that transferred funds to a third entity whose armed wing wages jihad in India.
Besides, Siraj Wahhaj, the speaker invited by Hussein Hamdani’s organization, has a long past of radicalism. In a 1992 sermon given shortly after the Rodney King riots in Los Angeles, Wahhaj advocated harnessing street violence in the United States for the benefit of Islam. He invited his supporters to convert youth who felt excluded, and eventually to arm them with Uzi submachine guns so that they could wage jihad in U.S. streets. The transcript of the main excerpts of the speech is available under the audio archived by Point de Bascule. Note that the quality of the audio is poor.
In 2011, following the Muslim Brotherhood’s doctrine of ‘gradualism’ (tadarruj), Siraj Wahhaj told his supporters not to openly mention their goal of implementing sharia in the U.S. “We are not there yet,” he said at the time.
In a recent article / Archive.Today, Andrew Dreschel from the Hamilton Spectator wonders how one can criticize Hussein Hamdani for having contributed to IRFAN-Canada BEFORE the revocation of its charitable status for having transferred funds to the terrorist organization Hamas: “How can he [Hussein Hamdani] have known that years later they [IRFAN] would lose their charitable status because of links to terror funding?”, the journalist asks.
The serious possibility of their being links between IRFAN and Hamas had been a live issue well before IRFAN-Canada’s charitable status was revoked / Archive.Today in 2011, and even before that status was suspended / Archive.Today in 2010.
Already in November 2004, Stockwell Day (then an Opposition MP in Ottawa) stood in the House of Commons and asked the Minister responsible for the Canada Revenue Agency whether he intended to revoke IRFAN’s charitable status because of its involvement in the funding of terrorism.
This warning by Stockwell Day and the mentions of links between IRFAN and Hamas in newspapers and in court documents before the 2011 revocation were reminders that IRFAN’s situation was controversial.
NOVEMBER 22, 2004 – While an Opposition MP, Stockwell Day asked John McCallum, then the Minister responsible for the Canada Revenue Agency whether he intended to revoke IRFAN’s charitable status because of its involvement in the funding of terrorism. Stockwell Day’s question and the Minister of Revenue’s answer are available in the Hansard.
In his intervention, Stockwell Day highlighted that, already in 2000, “the Privy Council warned the government about organizations that were raising funds in Canada for Palestinian terrorist groups” and that IRFAN (then called the Jerusalem Fund) was among them.
NOVEMBER 23, 2004 – The National Post, The Gazette (Montreal), and other Canadian newspapers reported Stockwell Day’s intervention in the Commons the day before.
SEPTEMBER 22, 2005 – Statement of claim by IRFAN against defendants Stockwell Day and members of the Canadian Coalition for Democracies. The date is mentioned in a March 10, 2008 Ontario Superior Court’s decision / Archive.Today.
JANUARY 11-12 2006 – Possible links between IRFAN and the terrorist organization Hamas are evoked once more by the Canadian Press, the Edmonton Journal, and many other Canadian newspapers when IRFAN announced that it was suing Stockwell Day and the Canadian Coalition for Democracies for defamation for having mentioned these links.
2006 – Launch of Matthew Levitt’s book entitled Hamas: Politics, Charity, and Terrorism in the Service of Jihad. On page 109, the author mentions a letter that was sent by a Hamas-linked organization to IRFAN to thank them for what they had sent them.
The letter was signed by Hosni Hassan Khawajah, the leader of the organization Tulkarm (aka Tolkarem) that is associated with Hamas. A Canada Revenue Agency document / WebArchive dedicated to the links between IRFAN and Hamas also mentions Tulkarm and its leader as parts of the Hamas infrastructure.
2007 – IRFAN and the Jerusalem Fund (IRFAN’s original name) were identified as a part of Hamas’ financing infrastructure in North America in an important terrorism trial in the U.S. (subsection VIII)
MARCH 10, 2008 – Ontario Superior Court decision unfavorable to IRFAN-Canada: International Relief Fund for the Afflicted and Needy v. Day, et al. / Archive.Today.
MAY 20, 2008 – Ontario Superior Court decision unfavorable to IRFAN-Canada: International Relief Fund for the Afflicted and Needy v. Day, et al. / Archive.Today.
OCTOBER 2, 2008 – Ontario Superior Court decision partially favorable to the defendants: International Relief Fund for the Afflicted and Needy v. Day, et al. / Archive.Today.
APRIL 9, 2011 – Revocation of IRFAN’s charitable status / Archive.Today by the Canada Revenue Agency because of its transfer of $14.6 million to Hamas for the 2005-2009 period alone. (GlobalPhilanthropy.ca / WebArchive – Archive.Today)
APRIL 24 2014 – Inclusion of IRFAN in the list of banned terrorist entities / WebArchive – Archive.Today by the government of Canada.
The money transfers from organizations to which Hussein Hamdani is associated to Hamas’ fund collector occurred between 2005 and 2009.
MONEY TRANSFERS TO IRFAN-CANADA
Hamdani Foundation 2005 $1,500
Aside from being engaged in the destruction of Israel (article 13), Hamas’ leaders have frequently advocated an Islamic conquest of the West (2006 – 2008 – 2011 – 2012). In 2011, for example, 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.
During his ten-year membership on the roundtable that advises the Department of Public Safety, Hussein Hamdani has also collaborated with the Muslim Association of Canada (MAC) in spite of its open support for Hamas in 2004, more than one year after Hamas was added to a list of banned terrorist organizations by Public Safety Canada. From 2001 to 2010, the MAC transferred $296,514 to Hamas’s fund collector, IRFAN-Canada.
In 2005, the Hamdani Foundation, led by Hussein Hamdani and others, contributed $11,000 to the Muslim Association of Canada (MAC).
In 2009, under the chairmanship of Hussein Hamdani, the publicly funded Settlement and Integration Services Organization (SISO) that was set up ‘to integrate immigrants’ joined with the pro-Hamas MAC to sponsor a conference in Hamilton.
In May 2011, Hussein Hamdani supported and announced an activity organized by MAC, the proceeds of which went to Cordoba House in Hamilton, a MAC substructure.
Here are some examples of Hussein Hamdani’s privileged access to those responsible for Canada’s security.
SEPTEMBER 2005 – Hussein Hamdani accompanied Deputy Prime Minister Anne McLellan and CSIS head Jim Judd to Pakistan to discuss security matters:
Omar El Akkad (Globe and Mail – June, 9 2006): Hussein Hamdani, a lawyer and member of the government’s cross-cultural roundtable on security, remembers an incident that took place in September of last year , when he was travelling with then-deputy prime minister Anne McLellan and CSIS head Jim Judd to Pakistan to discuss security matters.
While in Pakistan, Mr. Hamdani heard news that a report had come out condemning the spy agency for declaring Bhupinder S. Liddar, a Sikh Canadian public servant, a security risk. CSIS deemed Mr. Liddar untrustworthy partly because he had previously worked with MPs who were sympathetic to the Palestinian cause.
“I took Jim Judd aside and said, ‘What the hell are you doing?’” Mr. Hamdani recalls. “If you flag everyone who supports Palestine, that’s 98 per cent of the Muslim population. I support Palestine — am I a security threat?”
JUNE 2006 – On June 10, 2006, the Toronto Star reported that, a few days earlier, Hussein Hamdani had taken the initiative to meet Stockwell Day, the then Minister of Public Safety, to get him to fund, in Canada, a campaign similar to the British Radical Middle Way initiative.
Shortly after the terrorist attacks in the London public transit system of July 2005, the British government was convinced by Islamists to fund a series of conferences that would be given by various Islamists who were not advocating the use of violence to reach their goals. They were presented as the antidote to other Islamists openly advocating violence to reach the same goals (caliphate, implementation of sharia, etc.)
Rather than challenging the Islamist totalitarian project in general, whether it is waged with the tongue or with the sword, the British government funded Islamists involved in the pre-violent radicalization to counter those who are involved in the violent radicalization.
The operation was a failure. A 2011 UK Home Office report noted that many students involved with the Federation of Student Islamic Societies (FOSIS), one of the organizations behind the publicly-funded Radical Middle Way initiative, were linked with terrorism: “There are several examples of students engaging in terrorism or related activities while members of university societies affiliated to FOSIS.”
Q-News, another organization that was asked by the British government to lead Radical Middle Way, was led by Fareena Alam, an Islamist activist working for Press TV, the Iranian propaganda outfit. Fareena Alam is married with Abdul-Rehman Malik, the program manager at Radical Middle Way. Malik graduated from the University of Toronto. In the nineties, he collaborated with Hussein Hamdani to organize Islamic activities in Toronto, as illustrated by this photo that was published by the Toronto Star on February 18, 1996. At the time, Malik was identified by the Toronto Star as the president of the University of Toronto’s Muslim Students Association.
In 2004, Q-News published an article by Hussein Hamdani describing his meeting with the founder of Hamas. The American website Investigative Project on Terrorism recently published a piece about Hussein Hamdani’s past activities, including his “passion for Hamas”, in relation to his recent suspension as an advisor to the Minister of Public Safety in Canada.
In 2007, Tarek Fatah criticized Tony Blair’s government for funding Radical Middle Way. According to Fatah, speakers invited by Radical Middle Way “carefully avoid […] any rejection of the doctrine of jihad, choosing instead to suggest that Britain’s foreign policy is at the root of terrorism.”
A 2013 list of speakers that were invited by Radical Middle Way is available on Point de Bascule.
Many speakers who were invited by Radical Middle Way in the UK also spoke at the RIS conventions that were launched by Hussein Hamdani’s Ihya Foundation in Toronto in 2003.
Here are three examples of statements made by Islamist leaders who took part in both events.
Tariq Ramadan – In 2004, in an interview with Egypt Today, Ramadan encouraged Islamists operating in Canada to use the Canadian legal framework, which he described as “one of the most open in the world,” to subtly and gradually introduce rules of sharia in Canada. At the time, Tariq Ramadan 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.
Jamal Badawi – In an interview that was published in the early 2000s, Jamal Badawi encouraged Muslims to become judges in North America to take advantage of their influential positions in order to stop applying current legal provisions that are incompatible with sharia.
Mustafa Ceric – In a convention held in Pakistan in 2010, “Dr Mustafa Ceric urged the Muslim Ummah [community] to conquer the world through Halal movement,” Pakistan’s Daily Mail reported (also GMBDW).
Point de Bascule: File Radical Middle Way
JUNE 8, 2012 – Hussein Hamdani led a delegation of Muslim leaders in a meeting with the Minister of Public Safety, Vic Toews. The report of the meeting was made public by Naseer Syed who, for many years, was the lawyer for IRFAN-Canada, an organization that contributed funds to Hamas. IRFAN was declared a terrorist organization in April 2014.
According to the PowerPoint presentation made by Hussein Hamdani to Minister Toews, the first goal of the delegation was to pressure the minister to ban his employees from using Islamic concepts in order to explain the threat faced by Canada and other democracies.
As Stephen Coughlin, a former Pentagon advisor now with the Washington-based Center for Security Policy explained (VIDEO 2:34), even if the enemy has a wrong understanding of Islam, it is still using it to threaten us. Under these circumstances, for our own protection, it is crucial to master its doctrine, its understanding of Islam.
Hussein Hamdani’s recommendation to forbid mentions of Islam and its principles when explaining the threat faced by Canada, was adopted by CSIS after Michel Coulombe became its director in 2013. Mr. Coulombe explicitly alluded to it on February 3, 2014, when he testified before Senate Standing Committee on National Security and Defence.
OCTOBER 2014 – Hussein Hamdani was part of a Public Safety Canada delegation that went to Maryland to participate as a featured panelist in a public meeting on terrorist threats, with the cooperation of senior U.S. police official.
The Investigative Project on Terrorism (May 20, 2015): Hamas-Loving Canadian Islamist Baffled by Suspension (An IPT report about Hussein Hamdani’s meeting with the founder of Hamas)
Point de Bascule: File Hussein Hamdani
Point de Bascule (April 30, 2015): Hussein Hamdani advocated “the Islamization of campus politics” before being appointed public safety advisor by the government of Canada
Point de Bascule (April 30, 2015): Public Safety Canada suspends its advisor Hussein Hamdani after TVA reported on his call “to Islamize campus politics” and his relationships with terror-funding organizations / Archived video with English subtitles