Last Saturday the National Council of Canadian Muslims (an entity previously known as CAIR-CAN) held a fundraiser at Westin Harbour Castle in Toronto. It is strange to believe it, but the attendees had to pay a few hundred dollars each to hear Reza Aslan, a foul-mouthed character, who presents himself as a progressive Muslim scholar, but has strong pro-Iranian and anti-Israeli views.
JDL-Canada organized a picket to express disagreement with the presence of the speaker. About twenty members and supporters braved the cold and the wind and gathered near the entrance. At the peaceful protest they carried Canadian, Israeli, and JDL flags, along with a few signs.
The peaceful protest was a far cry from a similar event last year, when Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer were invited to speak in Toronto. CAIR-CAN/NCCM went out of its way to blackmail the speakers as some horrible extremists and even sent a threatening letter to the hosting hotel in an attempt to cancel the event. There was nothing peaceful about their protest.
The bearded men and the hijab women that passed us by on their way into the hotel, mostly ignored the protest. Just one of the hijabs acknowledged our presence, hissing: “Get a life!”
It was not possible to get in and enjoy the heavenly wisdom of Reza Aslan, but at least somebody got out an interesting document. It contained greeting letters from the NDP leader Tom Mulcair and the Chairman Shiny Pony (a.k.a. Liberal leader Justin Trudeau). They were printed on the both sides of one sheet of paper. For some reason we didn’t see a greeting from Stephen Harper – maybe because CAIR-CAN/NCCM is suing him.
Thomas Mulcair said among other things:
That is why I would like to recognize the National Council of Canadian Muslims for your dedication to building bridges of understanding between Muslims and Canadians of other faiths and for your vigilant pursuit in protection of the human rights and civil liberties in Canada and abroad.
Justin Trudeau managed to outperform Angry Tom:
Since its establishment in 2000, the National Council of Canadian Muslims has been a leading promoter in this country for Muslim human rights and civic engagement. Tonight’s Gala Dinner, featuring Dr. Reza Aslan as guest speaker, seeks to discuss and promote interfaith and intercommunity friendship between Canadian Muslims and their counterparts.
I would like to thank the NCCM for organizing tonight’s dinner, which seeks to foster new and lasting friendships that support Canadian Muslims, as well as strengthens the multicultural fabric of this country. Moving forward, it is essential to have events such as tonight’s, which highlight the historical challenges that Muslim-Canadians have overcome, and the many contributions they have made, and continue to make, to Canada’s landscape.
Such letters are not a surprise. It is a well-known fact that many Canadian politicians are desperate political whores, who would sell their principles in order to gain a few votes. I guess we should consider this normal. The problem is their poor judgement – CAIR-CAN/NCCM and their speaker are hardly the wonderful creatures described in the letters (more about that later)
As Tarek Fatah has observed on several occasions, politicians think that the weirder the members of those ethnic organizations look, the better they represent their “community.” Funny hats, robes like Victorian nightgowns, hijabs and niqabs are trusted more than a Muslim, who dresses like everybody else.
The craftiest politicians even try to blend completely with the community. Last year Justin Trudeau appeared in a mosque in weird Muslim garb and sat among the visitors mumbling the prayers (he might have accidentally converted to Islam while doing that).
It’s hard to beat that. To catch up, Tom Mulcair will have to shave his moustache and let his beard grow to Islamic size (he still has the time to do it for the next elections).
Let’s get back to the letters. Both Trudeau and Mulcair say that CAIR-CAN/NCCM is building bridges and promoting human rights. I would appreciate it, if they refresh my memory about what specific actions they have taken to strengthen the “multicultural fabric” of Canada.
In an article, explaining why they are suing Harper for libel, in which they try to convince us how important their organization is, they list only one event:
In 2005 we coordinated a national statement by over 120 Canadian Imams representing hundreds of mosques across Canada which denounced terrorism and religious extremism and we subsequently met with former Prime Minister Paul Martin who recognized this initiative.
Well, it has been 9 years from that event. Since then we had the Toronto 18 terrorists, several other terrorist conspiracies, an attempt to introduce sharia in Ontario, successful imposing of Muslim prayers in a Toronto school, though our education system is supposed to be secular, and other events. We have probably over 100 Canadian Muslim fanatics fighting and killing in Syria and other places, who will come back prepared for terrorism. What has CAIR-CAN/NCCM done to tackle those issues?
I remember an event organized by CAIR-CAN/NCCM over a year ago with the “human rights activist” Maher Arar and the ancient Marxist Rick Salutin. It was in defense of the convicted terrorist and murderer Omar Khadr. I guess that there is no specific law prohibiting the support of convicted terrorists, but from a moral point of view such an event is repugnant. But, again, as Justin pointed out, we live in a “multicultural fabric” and in that mix normal morality means nothing. Then there was the event to silence Geller and Spencer and the attempt to present Rabbi Korobkin as a dangerous bigot.
I probably should keep my mouth shut and not ask too many questions, because in the same article CAIR-CAN/NCCM doesn’t hide its contempt for bloggers:
Similarly, fringe bloggers like to trot out innuendo of wrongdoing based on a game of six degrees of separation that would never pass muster in any court of law worth its salt. Most recently, we successfully settled a claim with a full retraction from an Ottawa professor who joined in this sort of smearing.
There is a clear threat hiding behind the flowery use of those English idioms. I have no idea what CAIR-CAN/NCCM considered “smearing” in the case of the “Ottawa professor.” I am somewhat familiar with the statement that brought the libel suit against Harper (and even Her Majesty the Queen got mixed up in the brawl). As a fringe blogger, who should know his place, I am not going to ponder whether the statement is true or not – that’s for the courts to decide.
I just want to figure out a few publicly available facts without “trotting any innuendo of wrongdoing.” Since I and CAIR-CAN/NCCM are fellow threads in the rich tapestry of the Canadian multiculturalism, we can start by finding common ground.
In their letter (dated January 14, 2014) CAIR-CAN/NCCM demanded that Stephen Harper kick out Rabbi Daniel Korobkin from his delegation to Israel. While listing his sins of support for people the organization doesn’t like, they stated the following:
Ms. Geller and Mr. Spencer are leaders of the anti-Muslim group Stop Islamization of America (SIOA), which has been described as a “hate group” by respected organizations such as the Jewish Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center as well as by the United States Military.
While SPLC is a questionable enterprise specializing in collecting charity money by scaring people, I agree that the Anti-Defamation League is a respected organization – now we have common ground. We can agree that if ADL is respected, their opinions should be credible.
While browsing the ADL reports about extremist organizations and personalities, a few interesting facts popped up. Until recently, a prominent “scholar” named Jamal Badawi was a board member of CAIR-Canada (before they changed their name). He holds quite “unorthodox” views about Jews and Israel:
(The Istanbul Attacks)
“Why don’t we interpret this event as an attempt to improve the ugly image of Israel within the European world’s mind?… Do we see it unlikely that the Jewish terror organizations committed this criminal crime?…
If we want to look for those who committed this crime, we will only find those secret associations and anonymous organizations where the fingers of the international Zionism mingle in order to distort the image of the Arabs and Muslims, having this take the place of the terror image of America and Israel in the minds of the European world”.
Jamal Badawi, “Turkey’s Jews”, Al-Wafd, November 18, 2003
Is there any doubt? The Jews are at the bottom of everything. Badawi is closely associated with an even more sinister character – Sheik Yusuf al Qaradawi, who is a vile anti-Semite and defender of terrorism, as well as a spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, which has been already designated as a terrorist organization in Egypt:
Qaradawi is chairman (in absentia) of the Michigan-based Islamic American University (IAU), a subsidiary of MAS, according to information on the MAS Web site. He is also listed by the IAU as a faculty member. The IAU vice-chairman, Jamal Badawi, and IAU’s founder, Salah Sultan, are members of Qaradawi’s International Association of Muslim Scholars and the European Council for Fatwa and Research. Both Badawi and Sultan attended a conference in July 2007 honoring Qaradawi and his support for suicide bombing in Israel.
ADL also has a report on CAIR:
CAIR’s credibility as a community relations agency promoting “justice and mutual understanding,” however, is tainted. Founded by leaders of the Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP), a Hamas affiliated anti-Semitic propaganda organization, CAIR refused for many years to unequivocally condemn by name Hezbollah and Palestinian terror organizations, which the U.S. and international community have condemned and isolated.
On the fifth anniversary of the Madrid bombings in March 2009, CAIR condemned acts of terrorism by groups designated by the U.S. Department of State as a Foreign Terrorist Organizations, acknowledging that Hamas is on that list. The statement, however, did not represent a genuine break from CAIR’s past because it did not address its own historical links to Hamas.
The statement also followed the Holy Land Foundation (HLF) trial, during which evidence was produced by the Federal prosecutors demonstrating that CAIR and its founders were part of a group set up by the Muslim Brotherhood to support Hamas. The trial ended with guilty verdicts on all charges against HLF and five of its officers. In May 2009, they were sentenced to between 15 and 65 years in prison, including 65 years for Ghassan Elashi, the founder of CAIR’s Dallas chapter.
CAIR’s positions are also clear:
While CAIR has denounced an Iranian-sponsored Holocaust-denial conference in Tehran and attacks against Jewish centers in the U.S., its public statements cast Jews and Israelis as corrupt agents who control both foreign and domestic U.S. policy and are responsible for the persecution of Muslims in the U.S. CAIR has also never disassociated itself from the anti-Semitic ideology of the Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP).
If we were to assume that ADL has done its due diligence regarding Geller’s organization, there is no doubt that their reports about Badawi and CAIR are also credible. Then CAIR-CAN/NCCM should accept the fact that their director and parent organization are hatemongers and extremists.
They may argue that they never knew about the views of Badawi, which would be a weak argument. They may also claim that their organization has nothing to do with CAIR. The latter claim is even more difficult to defend, because there are many documents that prove the link between the US and the Canadian branch of CAIR.
In a CAIR press release about a fundraiser in 2005, CAIR-CAN is described as a “Canada office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.” (click on the picture to enlarge)
On top of that, the event also featured a special message from Tariq Ramadan, grandson of the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood Hasan al-Bana, and prominent functionary of the terrorist organization. An earlier affidavit, signed by the leader of CAIR-CAN in 2003, states that CAIR has direct control over all activities of its Canadian division.
As a fringe blogger, who wants to avoid the wrath of those mighty and aggressive organizations, that may try to silence him, I will leave to you to make your conclusions from these facts.
The question remains – why would our leading politicians associate with an organization, which has so may skeletons in its closet? There are many other decent organizations, like Muslims Facing Tomorrow, Canadian Muslim Congress, etc. that are not afraid to tackle even the most controversial issues. Unfortunately, they are too normal…
After reading all those revelations about the roots and positions of CAIR-CAN/NCCM, it is not surprising that the organization selected a person like Reza Aslan to be its fundraiser speaker. Other than being a scholar, he is also a Muslim political activist in an organization with ties to the Iranian regime:
Aslan is a Board member of the president of the George Soros-funded National Iranian American Council (NIAC), a powerful Iranian lobbying group in Washington, and a foremost enemy of Israel and purveyor of Palestinian jihadist propaganda. Arash Irandoost of the Pro-Democracy Movement of Iran calls NIAC chief Trita Parsi “an intellectually dishonest regime apologist and an unofficial and unregistered lobbyist for the Iranian regime.” According to Irandoost, “Trita Parsi contributes to the regime’s agenda and serves the interests of those in power in the Islamic Republic of Iran, not the Iranians, nor the Iranian-Americans.”
His affiliations determine not only his scholarly positions, but also his political opinions on the developments in the Middle East. In an article in Ahram (via JW), based on an interview with Reza Aslan, the Egyptian journalist Ati Metwaly (who admires Aslan) gives us a glimpse of his opinion about the terrorist organization Muslim Brotherhood.
He starts with Aslan’s claims that the Muslim Brotherhood in 2009 understood that there was no place for radicalism while in power, so they formed alliances with liberal intellectuals. Those claims turned out to be false, but Aslan still believes in the Brotherhood:
Aslan replies however that time would have forced the Muslim Brotherhood to moderate their understanding of political participation. In our conversation, Aslan concentrated on the removal of Morsi from power and the consequences which according to him Egypt will face:
“…I’m not defending the Muslim Brotherhood. They were corrupt, they were inept. Morsi was an awful president and the MB did a terrible job in the year that they had. Many Egyptians would say that there was never an option [of political success] with the Muslim Brotherhood, that they were in the process of taking complete control over the society, but they [the MB] know that people power in Egypt has the ability to transform the government, to put pressure on the Muslim Brotherhood. The mistake was the whole notion. The military has been 50 years in absolute power in Egypt and one year out of it; [the military] cannot be trusted to be bearers of democracy.”
Yet it is world dominion through a Muslim Caliphate that drives most MB members; it was loudly advocated by Safwat Hegazi among other leading MB figures. In 2009 Hegazi was banned from entry to the UK for promoting hatred and was “considered to be engaging in unacceptable behaviour by glorifying terrorist violence”. His famous statement “Whoever sprays Morsi with water will be sprayed with blood”, made during the June 2013 anti-Morsi protests, echoed on international scale.
For a person who boasts a deep understanding of the political realities in the area, his apparent ignorance about the nature of that organization and its methods looks quite strange. The truth probably is that he is simply an apologist of the Muslim Brotherhood, who hoped against all odds that the terrorist group would entrench itself like the Iranian mullahs and gradually transform the Egyptian society.
His attraction to Muslim theocracy becomes clear in his attempts to make the murderous Iranian regime look better than it is. In an article published in The Atlantic, Reza Aslan makes a funny attempt to describe the former Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as a misunderstood reformer:
It might seem shocking to both casual and dedicated Iran-watcher that the bombastic Ahmadinejad could, behind Tehran’s closed doors, be playing the reformer. After all, this was the man who, in 2005, generated wide outrage in the West for suggesting that Israel should be “wiped from the map.” But even that case said as much about our limited understanding of him and his context as it did about Ahmadinejad himself. The expression “wipe from the map” means “destroy” in English but not in Farsi. In Farsi, it means not that Israel should be eliminated but that the existing political borders should literally be wiped from a literal map and replaced with those of historic Palestine. That’s still not something likely to win him cheers in U.S. policy circles, but the distinction, which has been largely lost from the West’s understanding of the Iranian president, is important.
It took him a lot of verbal equilibristics to justify the evil Ahmadinejad’s chilling threat to destroy Israel and it still didn’t work. What exactly does that nonsense mean? Isn’t the wiping of the political borders of Israel the end of that country?
After whitewashing Iran, Aslan does the same for the Iranian proxy Hezbollah, which turns out to be a dynamic social organization:
Other supporters argue that Hizballah is a legitimate political party in Lebanon. Despite its ugly side, they say, Hizballah is a multi-faceted organization that also provides social services. “You may think of Hizballah as a terrorist organization, and certainly they have engaged in terrorist acts, but they are also the most dynamic political and social organization in Lebanon,” writer and Muslim scholar Reza Aslan explained in a 2009 speech.
What do those three organizations that Aslan likes so much have in common? It’s not hard to guess, they all hate Israel and the Jews. From that position Aslan can easily take the next step and attack the “evil masters” in the world.
Recently the American actress of Jewish background Scarlett Johansson became a spokeswoman for the Israeli company SodaStream. Since the latter employs several hundred Arabs from Judea and Samaria (at full salaries and benefits) Johansson immediately became the target of the BDS hyenas. Reza Aslan joined the cackle with his own anti-Semitic tweet, in which he compared Johansson to Hitler.
Reza Aslan is a “fucking idiot.”
I am not being creative here – I am just applying Aslan’s own definition. In an earlier tweet he boldly stated: “I’m going to be as clear as possible. If you compare ANYONE to Hitler for ANY REASON you are a fucking idiot.”
As you can see from other tweets by the same “fucking idiot,” he has the habit to swear at his opponents like a drunken sailor. Is this customary among Muslim scholars? I wonder if that was the best choice of a person to speak to the pious Muslim women in hijabs and their children at the fundraiser.
I am not criticizing CAIR-CAN/NCCM and their choice of speaker. As long as they stay within the frame of the law, they can hold any morally unacceptable views (it will help if they stop trying to tell the Canadians what speakers they can listen to). If they think that such a repulsive Jew-hater like Reza Aslan is good fit for them, I have no comment.
My beef is with the pathetic political whores like Tom Mulcair and Justin Trudeau. They are either ignorant or deceptive in picking the organizations and personalities to support. It is ridiculous to think that organizations like CAIR-CAN/NCCM advance in any way human rights and civil liberties in Canada. The promotion of people like Reza Aslan only ruins bridges and spreads tension and hostility.
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