“Terrorist front group?”

“…in my opinion, there is nothing in their activities to contradict the notion that the MCC is a media-hungry pressure group fronting for Muslim terrorists by crying “racism!” whenever Canada tries to protect itself, and its citizens, against infiltration and the threat of terrorist violence.” 

Jeff Goodall, “Fight Back”: Canada Free Press, September 1st, 2003.

The Muslim Canadian Congress (MCC) is an obscure group of dubious legitimacy and a disturbing agenda that is playing some very dangerous games. For example, Amina Sherazee is an MCC member who describes herself as a “civil rights lawyer.” She is quoted in the August 28th Toronto Sun as demanding that the RCMP apologize for the “racist” detention of 19 Pakistanis suspected of having terrorist connections. She accuses the RCMP of ‘racial profiling’, and accuses Canada of ‘creeping fascism’ in connection with the detentions and ongoing investigations. Her allegations are receiving a great deal of media play, and they are infuriating and offending thousands, if not millions, of Canadians.

‘Muslim Canadian Congress’ is an inclusive and official-sounding name, which could easily be construed as that of an umbrella group representing hundreds of thousands of members of the various Muslim organizations in Canada. But, a quick trip to its web-site would seem to indicate otherwise. For a start, the homepage introductory paragraph tells us that “The Muslim Canadian Congress is a grassroots organization that provides a voice to Muslims who are not represented by existing organizations”, (Emphasis added), which organisations are described as being “sectarian or ethnocentric, largely authoritarian, and influenced by a fear of modernity and an aversion to joy.” Interestingly, the MCC also includes the Canadian Charter of Rights and the Canadian Human Rights Act, along with the Holy Qur’an and the Prophet Muhammad, among their inspirations and guiding principles.

The Muslim Canadian Congress web-site lists sections headed Home, About, What’s New, Contacts, and Links. Of these, About, What’s New, and Links are under construction. Contact just has a phone number and an e-mail address. No names, no list of officers, no street address, not even a post office box number. “Home” consists of one page only, headed “What is the Canadian Muslim Congress?” giving basic background, beliefs, and principles. Links are provided to member’s articles and letters, including three items that have appeared in the presumably fawning Toronto Star.

As the MCC doesn’t advertise who its officers are, a little research is necessary. Enter MCC supporter Irshad Manji, who frequently targets the Canadian Islamic Congress (CIC) for criticism. The CIC is a news media contact that is often asked to speak on behalf of Canada’s quarter-of-a-million Muslims. However, according to her op-ed piece in the May 8th, 2002 National Post, Ms. Manji sees it as keeping Muslims “stuck in patterns of self-pity” or “enfeebling habits of victim-hood.” However, she sees the Muslim Canadian Congress as the necessary salvation: “Here’s a group that interprets Islam as a progressive, liberal, pluralistic, and democratic religion. If the (Muslim) teens and 20-somethings disclosing their religious struggles to me are at all representative, these kids could enter Canada’s mosques as honest, curious, and intellectually innovative imams.”

Writing of the National Post article, Peter Stock, in his Report news-magazine article of June 10th, 2002, has this to say: “Ms. Manji’s piece leaves out some salient personal points. These include her career as a lesbian activist, most notably as host and producer of Queer TV. In addition, Ms. Manji recently admitted to the Jewish World Review that she disavowed her Islamic faith when she was nine. Furthermore, she told Herizons magazine in 1995 that she had only somewhat re-identified herself with the faith through SALAAM, a homosexual advocacy group for Muslims. Peter Stock quotes Canadian Islamic Congress Vice-President, Wahida Valiente, as saying that Manji is not a valid voice for Islam. “She doesn’t know Islamic history, and she only has the most basic knowledge of the faith. She brings in her anti-Islamic views because she feels rejected by mainstream Islam.”

Amina Sherazee, and her inflammatory statements made at Queen’s Park, were supported by comments made by fellow MCC member Jehad Aliweiwi. Against the background that all 19 suspects obtained their student visas by fraudulent means, he took great exception to the accusation that one of them took flying lessons over the nuclear power plant at Pickering. “Are we, as Muslim students and foreign students who happen to be Muslim, allowed to take flying lessons? If we are, then we’re bound to fly wherever the school flies.” This totally ignores the fact that two of the students had been apprehended by security guards on a secluded beach near the same nuclear plant, in the small hours of the morning, with no satisfactory explanation for their presence. A confusion over visiting hours, perhaps?

I think it’s significant that Jehad Aliweiwi is an executive director of the Canadian Arab Federation, and Amina Sherazee is the legal counsel. The President of their Toronto Chapter is Ali Mallah, of whom I have written before. The Federation describes its mandate as being to “empower the Arab-Canadian community by serving as the ‘voice’ of Arab-Canadians.”

On its web-site, the Muslim Canadian Congress tells us “We believe that fanaticism and extremism within the Muslim community is a major challenge to all of us.” That may be so, but is the MCC affirmation of this a sincerely held conviction, or is it simply intended to provide a veneer of responsibility and good intentions? Because in my opinion, there is nothing in their activities to contradict the notion that the MCC is a media-hungry pressure group fronting for Muslim terrorists by crying “racism!” whenever Canada tries to protect itself, and its citizens, against infiltration and the threat of terrorist violence.

Jeff Goodall worked for the Metro Treasury and City Finance Departments for 25 years, and served as a member of the CUPE Local 79 Executive Board for 14 of those years.

See original here.