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Muslim group demands apology from Harper, chief spokesman


Canada’s George W. Bush, Prime Minister Stephen Harper, is still in power and still contemptuous of Muslim Canadians.

Harper’s government has been condemned for ignoring legitimate concerns while at the same time flinging libelous claims at the National Council of Canadian Muslims as “Hamas-linked,” echoing the way in which Islamophobes such as Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller describe any prominent Muslim organizations.

It will be a matter of time before the Canadian Zuhdi Jasser, Tarek Fatah is trotted out to repeat the government line and put an “acceptable” Muslim face on MacDonald’s libel.

Muslim group demands apology from Harper, chief spokesman


A major Canadian Muslim group is demanding an apology from Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his chief spokesman for a comment it says linked the organization to the militant group Hamas.

The National Council of Canadian Muslims has filed a notice of libel in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice that accuses Jason MacDonald of acting maliciously when he made the comment earlier this month.

The council had criticized the inclusion of a controversial rabbi in Harper’s delegation that went to the Middle East last week.

“Rather than responding to our legitimate concerns, the PMO’s director of communications attacked us and attempted to smear our name by claiming NCCM had ‘documented ties to a terrorist organization such as Hamas,”‘ Ihsaan Gardee, the council’s executive director, told a news conference Tuesday.

“Nothing could be further from the truth. NCCM will not let the PMO’s false statement stand.”

The council says MacDonald’s comment was a deliberate attempt to discredit the group and Harper is responsible for the words uttered by his spokesman. On CBC News Network’s Power & Politics, Gardee told host Evan Solomon that “this is school-yard bully tactics – an attempt to silence dissent from anybody who has a differing view or anybody who asks a question of this government that is more difficult to answer than did the sun rise in the east this morning.”

The libel notice is the first step in what could become a formal lawsuit.

The Prime Minister’s Office responded tersely: “As this matter may be the subject of litigation, we have no further comment.”

Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird told Solomon that he couldn’t comment, but directed Canadians to the internet. “I’d encourage any Canadian to Google the group in question, and do some research on their own and come to their own conclusions.”

Gardee was dismissive of that tactic: “If it’s on the internet it must be true. C’mon.”

Further legal action possible

Further legal action is possible, said Nader Hassan, lawyer for the council.

“Whether we go through with the lawsuit is going to depend on a number of factors, namely the quality, timing and content of the public apology and retraction,” he said.

Gardee said MacDonald’s comment was “categorically false, offensive and defamatory.”

The libel notice says MacDonald’s statement was unwarranted.

“The defamatory words were stated maliciously in order to discredit and insult an organization that did nothing other than exercise its constitutional right to freedom of expression to criticize a decision made by the prime minister,” it said.

“Mr. MacDonald simply made up that statement in an effort to discredit NCCM and deflect its criticism of Mr. Harper.”

The council describes itself as an independent, non-partisan, non-profit group which has worked for 14 years on human rights and civil liberties issues on behalf of Canadian Muslims. Gardee told Solomon the group has never shared any funding, staff or board members with the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a U.S. group that has also faced allegations of ties to militant groups.

The groups shared names (NCCM was known as CAIR-CAN) until July 2013. Gardee said the Canadian group only used the name because CAIR was well recognized within the Muslim civil liberties movement.

A half-dozen other rights groups, including the Canadian Civil Liberties Association and the Canadian Association of University Teachers, have offered support to the Muslim group.

Farhat Rehman of the Canadian Council of Muslim Women said more than just the council was impacted by the remark.

“This defamation endangers the very valuable work of NCCM and goes against every Canadian democratic principle,” she said.

“Further, it exposes the members of NCCM and the whole Muslim community to suspicion, hatred and bigotry.”

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  • Christian-Friend

    Like Chameleon_X said, prove it. And do it WITHOUT using atlasshrugs,jihadwatch, or its affiliates.

  • Chameleon_X

    Let me repeat myself, moron. PROVE IT. Is that sinking in this time or are you too busy drooling? Where the hell are these supposed “mountains of evidence”? There is no point in debating me because you are making an utter fool out of yourself. Come on now, spit it out. We are all waiting while you are running around buck naked.

  • Chameleon_X

    Marxism is a political affiliation. Christianity is a religious affiliation. One affiliation does not obviate the other. The bulk of the membership of the PFLP is Christian. It was founded by Christians, and it operates in Christian-dominated districts in Nablus, Bethlehem and Jerusalem. But most important, it has nothing to do with Hamas.

    You were embarrassingly, 100% wrong. This crime was not done by Hamas. period, yet you trumpeted it like it encapsulated everything that Hamas represents. Not only that, it has been the official policy of Hamas NOT to target children. Oh my, you are pathetic.

    As for Hamas targeting children, no one can claim that they are innocent, and I have no interest in defending any political group. However, what matters most is not anecdotes, but statistics. For every Israeli child killed by Palestinians, more that 10 Palestinian children have been killed by Israelis, per the link below. Do you always like to embarrass yourself this much, Alex?

  • Alex

    The pflp are a Marxist organization. And not, as you claim, by any definition a Christian organization.
    To further counter your point, those murders were widely celebrated by both the people and Palestinian organizations.
    You can call it an embarrassment all day long, but what I could do is provide an embarrassingly long list of both Hamas and non affiliated Palestinians targeting children.

  • Lets face it. It is illegal in the US and Canada to support the relief of the Palestinian, and encouraged to support the entity that has “created the cage” of their oppression. To decry Zionism is to be anti semitic. Can you explain that with rationale to the semites of Palestine or the Jewish Hasids in New York?

    Read the legal documentation in the US and it is easy to see that anti semite thought was at the root of Zionist support for much of the 19th and 20th century, and “hurry up and bring Jesus” logic by evangelicals in the 21st continues its support.

    I would rather see US muslims fight for their American 1st amendment rights to declare the CIA as a terrorist organization and Hamas as a grassroots resistance movement. In CA, the equivalent.

    No fighter in the occupied territory has a dime of mine, so they can kiss my butt with charges of “support”.

    The main goal is not to prove support, but to get you to deny it. I do not. If I am oppressed for this I will not shed a wasted tear.

  • LiesYouTell

    Harper Regime allows the Jewish Defence League(JDL) to operate in Canada, even though the FBI consider the JDL a terrorist group.

    In 2004 congressional testimony, John S. Pistole, Executive Assistant Director for Counterterrorism and Counterintelligence for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) described the JDL as “a known violent extremist Jewish organization.”[24] FBI statistics show that, from 1980 through 1985, there were 18 officially classified terrorist attacks in the U.S. committed by Jews; 15 of those by members of the JDL.[25] According to the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs,[26]

    On December 12, 2001, JDL leader Irv Rubin and JDL member Earl Krugel were charged with planning a series of bomb attacks against the Muslim Public Affairs Council in Los Angeles, the King Fahd Mosque in Culver City, California, and the San Clemente office of Arab-AmericanCongressman Darrell Issa, in the wake of the September 11 attacks.[41][42] Rubin, who also was charged with unlawful possession of an automatic firearm,[43] claimed that he was innocent. On November 4, 2002, at the federal Metropolitan Detention Center in Los Angeles, Rubin slit his throat with a safety razor and jumped out of a third story window.[12][44] Rubin’s suicide would be contested by his widow and the JDL, particularly after his co-defendant pleaded guilty to the charges and implicated Rubin in the plot.[12] On February 4, 2003, Krugel pleaded guilty to conspiracy and weapons charges stemming from the plot, and was expected to serve up to 20 years in prison.[45] The core of the evidence against Krugel and Rubin was in a number of conversations taped by an informant, Danny Gillis, who was hired by the men to plant the bombs but who turned to the FBI instead.[12][46] According to one tape, Krugel thought the attacks would serve as “a wakeup call” to Arabs.[12] Krugel was subsequently murdered in prison by a fellow inmate in 2005.[16]

    On February 25, 1994, Baruch Goldstein, an American-born Israeli member of the JDL, opened fire on Muslims kneeling in prayer at the revered Cave of the Patriarchs mosque in the West Bank city of Hebron, killing 29 worshippers and injuring 125 before he run out of ammunition and was himself killed. The attack set off riots and protests throughout the West Bank and 19 Palestinians were killed by the Israeli Defense Forces within 48 hours of the massacre. On its website, the JDL described the massacre as a “preventative measure against yet another Arab attack on Jews” and noted that they “do not consider his assault to qualify under the label of terrorism”. Furthermore, they noted that “we teach that violence is never a good solution but is unfortunately sometimes necessary as a last resort when innocent lives are threatened; we therefore view Dr. Goldstein as a martyr in Judaism’s protracted struggle against Arab terrorism. And we are not ashamed to say that Goldstein was a charter member of the Jewish Defense League.”

  • LiesYouTell

    I’m not surprised Geller was allowed entry into Canada last year. The Harper regime/Conservative Party is extremely Islamophobic.

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