An alarming letter by the Lawfare Project in New York City has been sent to the Canadian International Council Board Members, Trinity College in the University of Toronto and NGO’s about an event they hosted on October 17, 2017, entitled “Canada And The World: Views From Canadian Muslims.”
The alarm about this event concerns the ongoing prominence of the National Council of Canadian Muslims, which changed its name from CAIR.CAN. This group has been behind the “anti-Islamophobia” initiatives Canada-wide to “beat down critics” of Islam and demonize anyone who wishes to shed light upon the growing influence of intolerant Islamic supremacism.
I solidly oppose anti-Muslim bigotry, have consistently supported a Muslim’s right under the UN Declaration of Human Rights to worship however he or she sees fit without harassment, discrimination and intolerance. That goes for anyone of any faith or belief, as long as one’s religious practice respects the Constitution and the principles of human rights and equality for all.
Unfortunately, my own work has come under fire for highlighting the dangers of jihadis and the deceptions of Islamic supremacists. You will note that the controversial NCCM Communications Director Amira Elghawaby figures prominently in the concerns expressed by the Lawfare Project in the letter below.
Elghawaby has mounted a nasty and deceptive attack upon me personally. In a statement to the press, Elghawaby stated about me — and about Jihad Watch — in the article “Federal appointee to race relations board under scrutiny for writings on Islam”
For a federal appointee to be writing for hateful websites, denying the existence of Islamophobia and calling for the violation of fundamental rights and freedoms of a minority community is contrary to everything the Canada Race Relations Foundation stands for and to the values enshrined in the charter
Her statement is libelous. The Canadian Race Relations Foundation (and I do not speak on its behalf, but only as a witness) stands for equality for all and opposes all intolerance by bigots and supremacists, which I also oppose vehemently. I will repeat what I have stated before on Jihad Watch: that I stand for equality for all, human rights for all and freedom of speech for all, provided that one does not spew hatred or incite violence. Truth is not hate, and Westerners must collectively stand up to the lies that seek to cover over the severe abuses being committed against innocent human beings (including Muslims) in the name of Islam.
Farzana Hassan, who is a Muslim, has warned against the dangers of the victimhood narrative being pushed by the likes of the NCCM in her article “Liberals are wrongly supporting a Muslim victimhood narrative.”
She also notes that “the more progressive Canadian Muslim groups have opposed it vehemently” and that Canadian laws…
protect all citizens from racial, ethnic and religious discrimination. These ideals are enshrined in our Charter Rights. Whenever minority groups face discrimination — and they do — they can seek redress in court.
There’s no denying that there are pockets of bigotry everywhere, toward Islam and other minorities as well. But the systems and laws in Canada do not promote such attitudes, and most Canadians advocate interracial harmony.
There are Muslims in Canada, such as Farzana, who wish to live in peace, who do not accuse Canadians of “intolerance and fear,” who do not slander truth-tellers who advocate for human rights, who do not harass them and accuse them of “hate” for pointing out the truth about the bigotry, intolerance, deception, and violence perpetrated against infidels in the name of Islam; nor do they advocate for themselves a superior place in society.
Please note carefully the warnings in this letter by lawyer Brooke Goldstein of the Lawfare Project; they should be heeded by all freedom-loving Westerners of every race and creed.
“Lawfare Concerned That Former Leading National Council of Canadian Muslims Operative Amira Elghawaby Participated in Canadian international Council Event in Canada’s Capital”, sent by email October 26, 2017:
Dear Canadian International Council Board Members, CIC Partner Organization Trinity College in the University of Toronto, and Individual, Corporate and NGO Members of CIC, It has been brought to the attention of The Lawfare Project, a legal think tank based in New York City, that the Ottawa Branch of the Canadian International Council (CIC) hosted an event, titled “Canada And The World: Views From Canadian Muslims,” on October 17, 2017. It has further come to our attention that one of two announced discussants was the controversial Ms. Amira Elghawaby, a longtime employee, including “human rights coordinator” and “communications director”, of the National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM), formerly the Canadian Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-CAN, CAIR.CAN, CAIR-Canada).
The Lawfare Project is concerned that your credibility and standing, and that of other individuals and organizations who attended or were involved in the October 17 event, including government officials, NGOs, and others, could be harmed by involvement in an event so intimately and unavoidably connected, through Ms. Elghawaby and her history, to NCCM/CAIR.CAN.
NCCM/CAIR.CAN has long been a highly controversial organization in the context of Islamist radicalism. Links to a series of mainstream articles and other documents examining NCCM/CAIR.CAN, are appended for recipients’ personal review in the course of their own due diligence analysis. These deal in various ways with a number of concerns about NCCM/CAIR.CAN, and invite many questions relevant to Ms. Elghawaby’s professional connection to NCCM/CAIR.CAN. This connection appears to have existed as recently as only weeks ago, when Elghawaby would have seemed to many serious observers to have been a directing mind of NCCM/CAIR.CAN. Among the questions that should have been fully dealt with by any competent, responsible entity considering offering an invitation of the sort benefiting Ms. Elghawaby:
- Why, during Ms. Elghawaby’s lengthy and prominent NCCM/CAIR.CAN tenure, did NCCM/CAIR.CAN never condemn, publicly and by name, its Saudi-funded, US-based mother organization, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), despite the latter’s U.S. designation as an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation terror-funding prosecution and its having been declared a terrorist organization by at least one country?
- Why, during Elghawaby’s involvement, did NCCM/CAIR.CAN never condemn, publicly and by name, all of those persons who were materially linked to the U.S. mother organization and were found guilty of terrorism-related charges—including CAIR’s own former “civil rights coordinator”? How is this consistent with a dedication to counter-radicalization, counter-terrorism, “inclusivity”, and concern about youth extremism – “provid[ing] a moral compass to our youth,” as the CIC Ottawa Branch’s invitation put it?
- Does the CIC understand that, according to the National Post, CAIR is “linked by the FBI to the Muslim Brotherhood-created Hamas support network in the U.S., and is still considered unsuitable by them as ‘an appropriate liaison partner’ for any government outreach?” Or that the FBI has for years refused to meet with, or be trained by, CAIR officials – and still appears to await a satisfactory explanation for CAIR’s extensively reported deep connections to Hamas, a designated terrorist organization under Canadian and U.S. law? Or that all of this was publicly notorious before Ms. Elghawaby chose to join, and speak for, NCCM/CAIR.CAN as a senior official of the group?
- Does the CIC understand its reputational risk in being connected with, and mainstreaming, a recent, key strategic player in what was conceived as the Canadian chapter of CAIR? Have CIC personalities who were implicated in the October 17 event contemplated the ramifications for their professional and personal credibility in United States’ and other Allied contexts? Have they examined NCCM/CAIR.CAN’s record, including as conveyed in testimony about NCCM/CAIR.CAN before Canada’s House of Commons Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security?
- In order to better understand Elghawaby and NCCM/CAIR.CAN, will the CIC press NCCM/CAIR.CAN to at last release all documents it has been forced to disclose in the course of any court proceedings in which it has been involved? Such documents would include those relevant to what was regarded by many human rights advocates as a combined, multi-year Canada-U.S. “libel lawfare” nuisance-lawsuit attempt by CAIR and CAIR.CAN/NCCM, contrary to Section 2 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms’ guarantee of freedom of expression, including freedom of the press, and contrary to analogous U.S. First Amendment rights, to silence commentators who were demanding answers about these organizations? (This category of lawsuit is familiar to, and generally condemned by, human rights lawyers as Strategic Litigation Against Public Participation [SLAPP].) In the event that NCCM/CAIR.CAN operatives should claim that such documents cannot be released as a result of discretionary confidentiality obligations, why did NCCM/CAIR.CAN agree to – or insist on – such obligations in any pertinent legal settlement? As a related question, will NCCM/CAIR.CAN release names of its donors, including foreign sources? Does ambiguity involved in such realms reflect an attempt to render the public record incomplete, and thwart necessary examination of NCCM/CAIR.CAN – enabling Elghawaby and her associates more readily to complicate due diligence investigations by groups considering inviting their participation, such as the CIC?
- Why did NCCM/CAIR.CAN produce, with the troubling Islamic Social Services Association (ISSA), and with Ms. Elghawaby at NCCM/CAIR.CAN’s “human rights’” helm, “United Against Terrorism”, a supposed counter-radicalization handbook recommending as scholars “to consult to gain an accurate understanding of our faith” individuals who may be part of the radicalism problem, such as: Dr. Ingrid Mattson, former head of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), a U.S. unindicted co-conspirator organization; Dr. Jamal Badawi, a former ISNA officer known for recommending light physical punishment for uncooperative wives; Sheikh Siraj Wahhaj, another U.S. unindicted co-conspirator; and other questionable individuals? Why was Elghawaby so active in pushing the “United Against Terrorism” operation, given this kind of content?
- Does this content explain why an embarrassed Royal Canadian Mounted Police suddenly withdrew its misguided support for the handbook project? Why, given this withdrawal – and during Elghawaby’s distinctive role in pressing the “counter-radicalization handbook” upon the public – did NCCM/CAIR.CAN and ISSA mislead Canadians and others by continuing to distribute the document, domestically and internationally, with the RCMP logo still on its cover?
- Is it true that, with Elghawaby’s being among its leading figures, CAIR.CAN changed its name in 2013 to “NCCM”, in order to escape its history, while maintaining its contacts and approach – at least until critics remarked on the maneuver?
- Why, under Elghawaby’s strategic communications direction, did NCCM/CAIR.CAN, notwithstanding its advertised “Stronger Together” public relations spin, persist in sowing division and discord, and risking alienating Muslims from Canadian society, with exaggerated “Islamophobia” studies and narratives – narratives that have been condemned by many mainstream Canadian Muslims? Why did NCCM/CAIR.CAN push the narrative that downplays the statistically far-greater suffering of other minorities – individual Canadian Jews, for example, in a recent year, facing eight times the police-reported hate crime risk encountered by Canadian Muslims, based on Canadian government statistics? Is it because the startling nature of such misrepresentations met such media hostility that Elghawaby and NCCM/CAIR.CAN might now be attempting to finesse this statistical overreach by improbably spinning themselves as “multi-community” human-rights advocates? And, this, with occasional, token assistance of one or two marginal Jewish voices who may earlier have been confused or compromised through misguided association with NCCM/CAIR.CAN?
The Lawfare Project is persuaded that the totality of publicly available evidence about NCCM/CAIR.CAN and its leaders raises questions of such gravity that significant current and former NCCM/CAIR.CAN figures such as Ms. Elghawaby should have no place gaining the legitimacy and privileged networking opportunity that inevitably would flow from participation in the October 17, 2017 CIC “Canada And The World: Views From Canadian Muslims” gathering….
The Lawfare Project is encouraging Canadians of good faith, including Canadian journalists, to examine the CIC’s governance and decision-making in this matter, and the surrounding professional, ethical, moral, and, perhaps, legal issues….