The Canadian Interfaith Conversation starts tomorrow, and will feature Ingrid Mattson and Amira Elghawaby as speakers.
Mattson is a former President of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA).
“The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) was established in July 1981 by U.S-based members of the Muslim Brotherhood with a background as leaders of the Muslim Students Association (MSA). As author and terrorism expert Steven Emerson puts it, ISNA “grew out of the Muslim Students Association, which also was founded by Brotherhood members.” Indeed, Muslim Brothers would dominate ISNA’s leadership throughout the Society’s early years. Striving “to advance the cause of Islam and serve Muslims in North America so as to enable them to adopt Islam as a complete way of life,” ISNA was highly dependent upon Saudi funding during its early years.” — from Discover the Networks
From the Investigative Project on Terrorism:
In its latest filing before the federal district court in Dallas on behalf of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) and its affiliate organization, the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT) in the Hamas-terrorism financing case, the ACLU has made a noteworthy admission.
Rather than deny that there is copious evidence tying ISNA and NAIT to Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood, the brief argues that such evidence is merely dated. In a curious footnote on page 7, the reply states:
Assuming the authenticity of documents’ dates, the most recent documents to mention either ISNA or NAIT are dated 1991, Gov. Exhs. 3-3 and 3-85, but the majority of the documents are older. Almost all of the numerous exhibits that purport to show financial transactions and that contain any mention of ISNA or NAIT are dated 1988 and 1989 (there are two dated 1990), almost a decade before the majority of the overt acts the government alleges in support of its conspiracy charges against the HLF defendants.
So ISNA and NAIT are not saying that the documents tying their organizations to Hamas are “inauthentic,” but that the problem with the evidence is just that it is old. Then, even more curiously, the reply goes on to argue something that the government has not even alleged:
Even if the “evidence” provided some basis for alleging criminality against petitioners, the government’s discussion of it shows the government utterly fails to grasp the singular weight and consequence that an official accusation of criminal conduct carries in our criminal justice system and in our society.
But, of course, the government has not charged ISNA or NAIT with criminal conduct, or the two groups would be indicted in their own right, rather than un-indicted co-conspirators who worked with the Holy Land for Relief and Development (HLF), the defendant and alleged Hamas-front. The reply brief then, as Shakespeare might write, “doth protest too much.”
Elghawaby is with the National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM), which founded as the Canadian branch of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). CAIR is an unindicted co-conspirator in a Hamas terror funding case — so named by the Justice Department. CAIR officials have repeatedly refused to denounce Hamas and Hizballah as terrorist groups. Several former CAIR officials have been convicted of various crimes related to jihad terror. CAIR’s cofounder and longtime Board chairman (Omar Ahmad), as well as its chief spokesman (Ibrahim Hooper), have made Islamic supremacist statements about how Islamic law should be imposed in the U.S. (Ahmad denies this, but the original reporter stands by her story.) A California chapter distributed a poster telling Muslims not to talk to the FBI, and a Florida chapter distributed pamphlets with the same message. CAIR has opposed virtually every anti-terror measure that has been proposed or implemented and has been declared a terror organization by the United Arab Emirates. A CAIR operative recently called for the overthrow of the U.S. government.
Clearly, this conference is a farce, with Muslim spokesmen with numerous unsavory ties being showcased by those who pretend to care about human rights but really do not.
Even at this eleventh hour, many Canadians are trying to mobilize in order to bring objections to this situation to the attention of the organizers of the gathering. Please politely and courteously write to those responsible for the inclusion of these speakers:
Mr. Zul Kassamali and Dr. Aileen van Ginkel, Co-Chairs
Canadian Interfaith Conversation
Mr Albert Lo
Canadian Race Relations Foundation
Mr. Ray Pennings
Executive Vice President
The Lawfare Project recently wrote a letter to “Dear Prospective Canadian Interfaith Conversation ‘Our Whole Society’ Conference Participants, Attendees, and Media Representatives.” It stated:
The Lawfare Project (LP), a non-profit legal think-tank based in New York City, notes with dismay the apparent failure of ethical due diligence of the Canadian Interfaith Conversation (CIC) in the course of planning the CIC’s pending conference in Ottawa, Canada. Scheduled for Saint Paul University on May 8-9, 2017, and titled “Our Whole Society: Religion & Citizenship at Canada’s 150th,” the conference and its failings appear to be the shared responsibility of the CIC and its “Our Whole Society” partner organizations, the Canadian Race Relations Foundation, and Cardus, a Canadian Christian organization.
The LP’s concern stems from the announced presence, among conference presenters, of Dr. Ingrid Mattson, former head of the Islamic Society of North America, and Ms. Amira Elghawaby, a representative of the National Council of Canadian Muslims. These individuals are, in the LP’s opinion, unsuitable candidates for prominent roles in an interfaith gathering purporting to emphasize solidarity and tolerance, and aspiring to achieve a more peaceful world.Dr. Ingrid Mattson was a longtime leader of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) when it was designated an unindicted co-conspirator in the successful US Holy Land Foundation terror-fundraising prosecution. Mattson‘s current position at Huron University College was the result of an endowment built around money from radical-Islamic sources. Any number of her associates have been problematic from the perspective of Islamist supremacism, as have some of her teachings and preferred theological sources. For more information on Mattson, see the LP’s news release, “Collapse of Mattson Libel Suit Signals Victory for Free Speech and The Lawfare Project,” including its links to court papers.
The LP is unaware of any attempt by Dr. Mattson to repudiate, publicly and by name, the various troubling individuals and organizations with which she is, or has been, connected.
Ms. Amira Elghawaby has for years been communications chief for the Canadian Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR.CAN), now renamed—deceptively, according to some—the National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM). NCCM/CAIR.CAN was established as the Canadian chapter of the radical, US-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a Saudi-funded organization that was also designated an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation trial. CAIR derived from the Islamic Association of Palestine (founded by Hamas operative Mousa Abu Marzook, who is now a US Specially Designated Global Terrorist), is said to be a Hamas-supporting organization, and has seen several of its officials and affiliates convicted of terrorism-related offenses. Like CAIR, NCCM/CAIR.CAN is known for its exaggerated claims of “Islamophobia“, claims that have unnecessarily alarmed Canadian Muslims and thereby risked pushing young Muslims into radical hands. For more about NCCM/CAIR.CAN, see the LP’s statement, “Lawfare Project Concerned about National Council of Canadian Muslims Participation in Global Affairs Canada event.” To the best of the LP’s knowledge, neither Ms. Elghawaby nor her organization have ever condemned, publicly and by name, CAIR and those CAIR officials and affiliates who have been convicted of terrorist offenses. Nor are they known to have publicly condemned Dr. Jamal Badawi, a former, long-serving official of NCCM/CAIR.CAN who recommends light physical punishment for “misbehaving” Muslim wives and has been a high-level Islamic Society of North America official – and a US unindicted co-conspirator in his own right.
In the United Against Terrorism handbook jointly produced by NCCM/CAIR.CAN and the closely connected, controversial Islamic Social Services Association, many people of good faith were shocked to find the handbook’s authors apparently attempting to mainstream Dr. Mattson and other questionable individuals by recommending them as scholars to whom Muslims and broader civil society could defer in matters of Islamic theological interpretation, particularly in counter-radicalization contexts. To no one’s surprise, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police publicly withdrew its support for the handbook project. NCCM/CAIR.CAN, however, continues misleadingly to distribute the document, with the RCMP name and logo on it.
Was the inclusion of Mattson and Elghawaby in the “Our Whole Society” event the result of incompetence within CIC, its planning committee, and CIC partner organizations? Was it reflective of one or more planning insiders’ conscious efforts to “launder” the two Islamists in Canada’s national capital, the better to facilitate their access to interfaith, media, government and other influential circles?
Perhaps it was a combination of these things. But incompetence cannot be ruled out, given the fact that a Canadian Interfaith Conversation webpage announcing that CIC executive committee members Mr. Zul Kassamali and Dr. Aileen van Ginkel would become the CIC co-chairs, featured what the Interfaith Conversation seemed to regard as a spiritually uplifting quotation of industrialist Henry Ford. An accomplished anti-Semite, Mr. Ford produced a notorious hate-book, The International Jew, and his Nazi sympathies helped the auto-builder win Hitler’s 1st Class Grand Cross Order of the German Eagle in Gold with Star.
CIC might find a certain resonance in Mr. Ford’s ability to dupe Christian, Jewish and other well-meaning clerics and others about his true inclinations – and then to use such people for endorsements.
Following a review of the material herein provided and linked, CIC organizers and their Canadian Race Relations Foundation and Cardus partners will face a moral-ethical choice. On the one hand, they could honestly and forthrightly admit that errors have been made. On the other, they might be too embarrassed to be honest, and might further condemn themselves by doubling down on their invitations to Dr. Mattson and Ms. Elghawaby. The former, honorable course would avoid opening the CIC, its partners, presenters and sponsors to being used to legitimize individuals and organizations unworthy of the influence that involvement in a high-profile, spiritually oriented gathering could avail them. The latter course would dishonor all concerned and facilitate further penetration by undesirables into influential Canadian circles.
The choice made by the Canadian Interfaith Conversation and its associates will give a revealing indication of the true commitment of those involved, to morals, ethics and the integrity of Canada’s interfaith movement….