Canadian PM Blasts CAIR-Canada for Ties to Hamas

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The Office of Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper has responded to criticism from the Canadian affiliate of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) by pointing to its “documented ties” to the Hamas terrorist group.

The organization slammed Prime Minister Harper’s inclusion of Rabbi Daniel Korobkin of Beth Avraham Yoseph Congregation in his trip to Israel because he of his complimentary remarks towards two prominent activists critical of Islamists and sharia law. CAIR labeled them “anti-Muslim” bigots.

“We will not take seriously criticism from an organization with documented ties to a terrorist organization such as Hamas,” replied Harper’s communications director, Jason MacDonald.

CAIR was designated an unindicted co-conspirator in the trial of the Holy Land Foundation, a charity that was shut down for financing Hamas. Federal prosecutors labeled CAIR an “entity” of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood’s secret Palestine Committee, a body set up to covertly advance the Hamas agenda.

CAIR’s bid to have the label lifted failed. A federal judge ruled in 2009 that the government provided “ample” evidence linking CAIR to the Muslim Brotherhood/Hamas network. For example, a 1991 U.S. Muslim Brotherhood memo explicitly identifies CAIR’s predecessor, the Islamic Association for Palestine, as a Brotherhood front.

The FBI officially stopped using CAIR in 2009 as a liaison to the Muslim-American community because of these Hamas links. A September 2013 Justice Department report said the policy’s objective is to “ensure that the FBI is not supporting individuals who support extremist or terrorist ideologies.”

The Canadian branch of CAIR changed its name in July to the National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM). Its executive director, Ihsaan Gardee, says that the comment by Harper’s office is “defamatory and libelous.”

CAIR-Canada’s name change does not absolve it of its past. Its name purposely implied it is a branch of CAIR for a good reason: It is a branch of CAIR.

NCCM says, “There was never any operating or funding relationship between CAIR.CAN and CAIR.” Its previous website said, “CAIR-CAN is a fully independent and separate organization from the Washington D.C.-based CAIR, although the two may coordinate on issues of mutual concern.”

This is a game of semantics. All of CAIR’s chapters are registered independently. This is by design. Don’t take my word for it. Look at what one of CAIR’s founders said:

“Registering an organization is easy. I can register 100 organizations in 100 cities in one day,” said CAIR founder Omar Ahmad during a secret 1993 Muslim Brotherhood meeting. It was at this meeting that the need to create CAIR was discussed.

There is plenty of documentation to prove that CAIR-CAN (now NCCM) operates as an organ of CAIR, as collected by the Point De Bascule blog.

There are CAIR-CAN press releases that explicitly identify it as CAIR’s “office in Canada,” as if the name doesn’t make it obvious enough. A 2003 affidavit by the chair of CAIR-CAN states that CAIR “has direct control over the character and quality of all activities of [CAIR-CAN] including the use of its trademark and trade name.”

One of the pioneers of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood network (a network which CAIR is a part of) is Jamal Badawi. He remains on CAIR-CAN’s Board of Directors. The U.S. Muslim Brotherhood lists him as an operative in a 1992 document and he has a history of extremist rhetoric that includes support for Hamas.

It is condescending that CAIR-CAN would think the public is naïve enough to be tricked with a simple name change—but we shouldn’t be surprised. The manipulative use of semantics is a key part of CAIR’s modus operandi.

At the aforementioned 1993 meeting, a Brotherhood leader repeatedly stated, “War is deception.” The participants, including CAIR’s founder, discussed how to shift their language to change perceptions and brainstormed name changes.

A 2007 court filing by federal prosecutors said:

“From its founding by Muslim Brotherhood leaders, CAIR conspired with other affiliates of the Muslim Brotherhood to support terrorists … the conspirators agreed to use deception to conceal from the American public their connections to terrorists.”

These are some of the “documented ties to a terrorist organization such as Hamas” that Canadian Prime Minister Harper’s office was referring to. That is not libel, nor is it slander. It is truth that CAIR wants to disguise.


Ryan Mauro is the ClarionProject.org’s National Security Analyst, a fellow with the Clarion Project and is frequently interviewed on top-tier TV stations as an expert on counterterrorism and Islamic extremism.

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Meira Svirsky

Meira Svirsky is the editor of ClarionProject.org

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