Monthly Archives: February 2011

More Terrorists to Come: Expert

By MARIAM BOCARI, Edmonton Sun
Last Updated: January 19, 2011 10:11pm
 
Canada is a prime spot for terrorist fundraising and plotting attacks in foreign lands and domestically, says one terrorism expert. “Garage mosques are popping up in major Canadian cities and should be invigilated upon,” said Toronto-based Sarah Bokhari. “Islamist groups are working behind the scenes, if not in mosques, and targeting the moralistic emotions of young Muslims, thus creating pipelines for recruitment of jihadis.” Bokhari said offshoots of major international terrorist rings are nesting in Canada. 
“Al-Qaida groups, such as Al-Shahab have vowed to recruit western Muslim youth to wage holy war on infidels of the West,” said Bokhari, who has taught courses on politics of violence at Humber College in Toronto.  “Al-Shahab is a Somali extreme Islamist group which is involved in radicalizing young minds and sending them to Somalia for jihadi training.” Bokhari says deterring homegrown fundamental terrorism involves more education in schools, colleges and universities about terrorism and religion.
Bill Pitt, an Edmonton-based criminologist and former RCMP officer, is not surprised the terrorist suspect was caught in Edmonton’s “backyard.” “Canada is a springboard into the U.S.,” said Pitt, a criminology professor at Grant MacEwan University. “History seems to show where one terrorist is caught, there are more to come.” Pitt bases this theory on the Russian spies that have lived in Canada since the Cold War to recent times.  “Their sole purpose is to raise funds in legitimate Muslim charities and this is a great place to do that.” Pitt describes terrorism as a “grey science because it is multilayered, multinational and global in scope, much like its adversaries.” The terrorist charges against Faruq Khalil Muhammad Isa, 38, involved connections to a worldwide terrorist network.  Pitt also credits the advances made in intelligence-gathering. “Electronic transmissions through computers can easily be intercepted now,” said Pitt. “Programs such as Carnivore can read your hard drive and are used extensively. These methods are far-reaching.” Pitt adds funding and purposeful investigations post-9-11 have foiled terrorist plots in North America.  
“A concerted effort by the US, Canada, Pakistan and other countries is needed to uproot this menace,” said Bokhari.  “The terrorists are not looking for faroff lands. I believe it’s a matter of opportunity.”

Immigrant families try to opt out of curriculum

Nick Martin, Winnipeg Free Press · Saturday, Feb. 5, 2011
A dozen Muslim families who recently arrived in Canada have told a Winnipeg school division that they want their children excused from compulsory elementary school music and coed physical education programs for religious and cultural reasons.
"This is one of our realities in Manitoba now, as a result of immigration," said Terry Borys, superintendent of the Louis Riel School Division. "We were faced with some families who were really adamant about this. Music was not part of the cultural reality."
Mr. Borys said the school division has alerted Education Minister Nancy Allan about the situation because music and phys-ed are compulsory in the province's elementary schools.
There have been no issues so far with children of middle-school or high-school age, he said.
The families accept physical education, as long as the boys and girls have separate classes, but do not want their children exposed to singing or the playing of musical instruments, Mr. Borys said. The division has suggested they could instead do a writing project to satisfy the music requirements of the arts curriculum.
However, a local Muslim leader says there is no reason for young children to be kept out of music or phys-ed classes based on religious and cultural grounds.
"Who is advising them? My first concern would be who are these new immigrants talking to?" said Shahina Siddiqui, executive director of the Islamic Social Services. "This is the first time I am hearing this; I'm not very happy about it."
Ms. Siddiqui said there is no problem with elementary-school children taking coed phys-ed, at least "not with little kids under the age of puberty."
She said when some middle-school and high-school students have asked not to mix genders, they have been accommodated by schools.
Ms. Siddiqui acknowledged that music can be an issue — but only for a few people.
"Music is controversial in our community; this is a North American phenomenon," she said. "There is a minority view that music is forbidden. [That view] is not accepted by the majority."
Mr. Borys said that there had been one or two requests for children to be excused previously, but this year a dozen families came forward at six schools.
He said that school division contacted a member of the Islamic community whom the parents suggested, consulted the Manitoba Human Rights Commission and looked at what other jurisdictions are doing about accommodation, particularly Ontario.
The division is trying to figure out what issues might arise when the children enter junior high or high school, he said.
Music is optional beyond Grade 6, but phys-ed is coed right through Grade 12.
 
As one of our members pointed out:  “Nobody is stopping them from opening their own private schools, like the ultra-orthodox Jewish sects do.  Public schools are there for the majority, not to cater to the demands of the few with an outsized sense of entitlement!”

ISNA Canada Lives High on Charitable Funds

by Daniel Pipes – January 20, 2011 – updated Jan 23, 2011

The Islamic Society of North America's Canada branch, Jesse McLean of the Toronto Star reports in "Muslim charity squandered money for poor," has engaged in gross mismanagement. A 2010 audit of the prior four years carried out on behalf of the ISNA Canada board found that of C$810,777 collected in a special pool of Zakat and Fitrah money for "helping needy Muslims not only in Canada, but all over the World", less than one-quarter, or $196,460 actually went to the poor. The remaining $614,000 went for what the audit delicately calls "administration of the centre" by its 30-plus-year Secretary General Mohammad Ashraf, a 73-year-old microbiologist.
The auditor, Fareed Sheik, discovered a long list of abuses. He
took issue with how charity cash was used to cover … health benefits for Ashraf's daughters, even though they don't work for ISNA Canada. … The audit shows tens of thousands of charity dollars were shuffled from ISNA Canada to its affiliated services and businesses, several of which have secretary-general Ashraf as a director. …
The auditor also uncovered multiple cases where Ashraf or the organization inappropriately gave and received charity tax receipts, repeatedly violating federal charity rules. In a review of the financial statements for the halal meat certification agency, a business branch of the Society that certifies meat as permissable to eat under Islamic rules, the auditor discovered Ashraf had received a $15,000 tax receipt after moving money from the agency's business account over to ISNA Canada and claiming it was a "personal donation." Former board members told the Star Ashraf diverted profits from the certification agency to a secret account from which he paid himself and at least two family members. …
The agency's funds were also used from 2005 to 2009 to pay Ashraf's wife and one of his daughters nearly $150,000 for a handful of services, from consulting and promotions to putting together a newsletter that comes out four times a year, according to financial statements. There were also three cases where people received charity tax receipts from ISNA Canada for repaying scholarship loans. … The Society also issued charity receipts — more than $42,000 in 2009 — to those who purchased funeral services through the organization. …
The organization had a world-renowned Islamic scholar on its payroll, despite her not actually working for ISNA, in a bid to help her immigrate to Canada, the audit revealed. Farhat Hashmi had been invited to come from Pakistan to deliver lectures several times throughout the mid-2000s. "This is a serious violation of the (Canadian Revenue Agency) rules and immigration rules to hire someone just in the books to help get through immigration," the auditor's report said.
And this may not be all, for ISNA's management refused to give the auditor some documents. Consequently, Sheik noted, "I was not able to follow the trail of funds transferred from ISNA to other organizations. Hence I cannot conclude with certainty that there has been no misappropriation or embezzlement of funds or cash."
Comment: Islamic "charities" already have a notorious reputation because of their ties to terrorism; this case shows that they must be watched for more venal problems as well. (January 20, 2011)

A Call for Tougher Canadian Immigration Scrutiny

by IPT News  •  Feb 4, 2011 at 11:57 am
Canada's skyrocketing immigration is creating new security challenges that should prompt the nation to consider more direct steps to try to weed out those who may bring radical Islamist ideology with them, an intelligence expert testified Thursday.
David B. Harris, former Canadian Security Intelligence Service chief of strategic planning, told a Senate committee in Ottawa that the rate of immigration – 250,000 people per year – is creating more enclaves in the country, diluting the normal pattern in which "a newcomer's radical tendencies might more readily have been overwhelmed by Canada's ambient liberal-pluralist atmosphere."
Canada's population grew from 29 million people to 34 million people in just over a decade. Many of them come from Muslim majority countries that have extremist movements. In many cases, those immigrants may have been escaping from that radical ideology. But others might be importing it.
As an example, Harris noted 20,000 new permanent residents from Egypt, where a recent Pew poll found overwhelming support for Islamic law tenets such as the death penalty for adultery and for converts from Islam, and 20 percent support for al-Qaida.
"Does extremism travel well?" asked Harris, who now directs the International and Terrorist Intelligence Program for INSIGNIS Strategic Research. "A 2007 Environics poll says 12 percent of Canadian Muslims could justify a Toronto-18 type plot calling for mass-casualty attacks in Canada, including invading Parliament and beheading the prime minister. That means that between 49,000 and 119,000 Canadians could justify making war on fellow Canadians."
That isn't helped by two organized Islamist groups in Canada: the Muslim Association of Canada, which openly declares allegiance to Muslim Brotherhood founder Hassan al-Banna, and the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)-Canada, which Harris said is "known for its divisive, poorly documented insistence that Muslims are subject to broad-ranging persecution in Canada."
His concerns, he said, are shared by moderate Muslim groups in Canada. See the entire testimony here.
Meanwhile, reports indicate that the U.S. and Canada are about to unveil significant changes regarding border and security cooperation between the two countries.

Jean-François Revel about the difficulty for open societies to defend themselves against an internal enemy

In his essay How Democracies Perish (1983), the French philosopher and political analyst Jean-François Revel (1924-2006) commented on the ability possessed by promoters of totalitarianism to undermine open societies from within by legally using the freedom of expression, the freedom of association and other freedoms guaranteed to them in order to reach their goal.

Although Revel’s remarks were written in relation to nazi and communist totalitarianisms, they are still very valid and relevant for understanding the current offensive led by the Muslim Brotherhood in the West. “The Project”, a document written in 1982 that was seized by police in November 2001 at Muslim Brotherhood financial strategist Youssef Nada’s residence describes such a program of destruction from within. Sylvain Besson has added the document at the end of his book La conquête de l'Occident [The Conquest of the West – Paris, Éditions du Seuil, 2005].

The Muslim Brotherhood spiritual leader, Youssef al-Qaradawi, expanded on the topic when he summarized his text Priorities of the Islamic Movement in the Coming Phase for an audience of Islamic leaders gathered in Algeria in 1990.

Al-Qaradawi examined the military balance of power between the forces of Islam and the West and concluded that it would be pointless, at this stage, to think about Islamizing Europe and North America by force due to a lack of material means on the Muslim side:

"We (Muslims) depend on others for military power. Those against whom we want to launch our offensive jihad are the same people who make all sorts of weapons and sell them to us. But for them, we would be unarmed, defenseless and unable to do anything! "

"That being the case, how can we talk of launching offensives to subject the whole world to our Message, when the only weapons we can muster are those given us by them and when the only arms we can carry are those they agree to sell us?"

Reference: Chapter 3 – A Debate that We Do not Need Today

These are the circumstances in which the Muslim Brotherhood decided to encourage the use of violence in some parts of the world and to discourage it in others. The means that are being chosen must be dictated by conditions on the ground and not by some dogmatic following of a statement from the Koran:

"(Our) Movement, though it is Islamic in source, orientation, principle and objective, adopts such methodologies and means as it sees fit to serve its religion and establish it on the earth, as appropriate to time, place and conditions . Methodologies, means and systems are not as immortal as Islam itself."

Reference: Chapter 3 – The Necessity of Renewal in Means

One year after al-Qaradawi made his lecture, a senior Muslim Brotherhood leader wrote an internal memorandum in which he unambiguously explained the Brotherhood’s mission in North America. The document also contained a list of organizations associated with the Muslim Brotherhood North American network. This second feature explains why the document was eventually produced as evidence, by US government prosecutors, in two trials that took place in 2007 and 2008. After they were found guilty of having organized the financing of terrorist activities in the Middle East from the American territory, five Muslim Brotherhood leaders were sent to jail.

Here's how the Muslim Brotherhood describes its mission in North America:

"The Ikhwan [the Brotherhood] must understand that their work in America is kind of a grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and sabotaging its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and God's religion is made victorious over all other religions. […] It is a Muslim's destiny to perform Jihad and work wherever he is and wherever he lands until the final hour comes."

The original Arabic version of the memorandum and its English translation are archived on the Investigative Project on Terrorism website.

Twenty years after this memorandum was written, the Muslim Brotherhood has developed a large infrastructure in North America and the West in general to indoctrinate young Muslims in often publicly funded schools, to influence politicians, to penetrate information networks and academic institutions and so on.

The following excerpt from Revel’s How Democracies Perish comes from the first chapter titled The End of an Accident. It helps understand the current Islamist campaign:

“Democracy tends to ignore, even deny, threats to its existence because it loathes doing what is needed to counter them. It awakens only when the danger becomes deadly, imminent, evident. By then, either there is too little time left for it to save itself, or the price of survival has become crushingly high.”

(…)

“Totalitarianism liquidates its internal enemies or opposition as soon as it arises; it uses methods that are simple and infallible because they are undemocratic. But democracy can defend itself only very feebly; its internal enemy has an easy time of it because he exploits the right to disagree that is inherent in democracy. His aim of destroying democracy itself, of actively seeking an absolute monopoly of power, is shrewdly hidden behind the citizen’s legitimate right to oppose and criticize the system.”

“Paradoxically, democracy offers those seeking to abolish it a unique opportunity to work against it legally. They can even receive almost open support from the external enemy without its being seen as a truly serious violation of the social contract.”

“The frontier is vague, the transition easy between the status of loyal opponent wielding a privilege built into democratic institutions and that of an adversary subverting those institutions. To totalitarianism, an opponent is by definition subversive; democracy treats subversives as mere opponents for fear of betraying its principles.”

"What we end up with in what is conventionally called Western society is a topsy-turvy situation in which those seeking to destroy democracy appear to be fighting for legitimate aims, while its defenders are pictured as repressive reactionaries."

"Identification of democracy’s internal and external adversaries with the forces of progress, legitimacy, even peace, discredits and paralyzes the efforts of people who are only trying to preserve their institutions.”