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Chrétien: Hamas Isn't a Terrorist Group By: Stephen Brown
FrontPageMagazine.com | Monday, August 26, 2002

It was another shameful Canadian moment.

Canadian Liberal Prime Minister Jean Chrétien added to his dismal record in the war on terrorism when his government just recently published a list of seven outlawed terrorist organizations in Canada. The murderous Hamas organization was not among them.

Hamas is the terrorist group responsible for the suicide bombings in Israel that have killed hundreds of innocent people. Its twin brother in murder and mayhem, Hezbollah, also didn't make the banned list.

The opposition conservative Canadian Alliance Party, to its credit, immediately attacked the Liberals for the scandalous omissions, as well as for taking so long in coming out with the list of illegal groups after 9/11. The Alliance is demanding that both Hamas and Hezbollah be proscribed immediately. The Party's foreign affairs critic, Stockwell Day, stated that there is no reason for Hamas to be allowed to raise funds and conduct other activities in Canada, especially in light of a recent terrorist attack against Israel.

This is the wacky world of leftist Liberal Canada. Common sense action is a rarity in government here. So it should come as no surprise that, while the United States has designated Hamas a terrorist organization and shut down its fundraising branches, Chrétien, to his shame, has refused to do so.

The Prime Minister has excused himself by saying that Hamas has a charitable wing that runs schools and hospitals in the Gaza strip and West Bank; only its military wing, he says, should be sanctioned.

Canada's leader naively believes that, with the money it raises in Canada, Hamas will buy books instead of bombs once the cash reaches the Middle East.

Chrétien's inexcusable failure to ban Hamas from Canadian territory is in keeping with the lukewarm support America has received from its northern neighbor in its war against radical Islam. This is the same Prime Minister who slighted our American cousins by turning up so late at ground zero in New York to pay his condolences, despite Canada's close proximity to the United States both in historical relations and geography.

Moreover, after 9/11, Chrétien denied there were any terrorist groups operating in his country until his own security organization went to the media and contradicted him, saying there were 50 such groups on Canadian soil.

The Prime Minister also snubbed the World Trade Center tragedy when he refused to have an official memorial service for the almost 40 Canadian citizens who died in its rubble.

One of Chrétien's most cowardly acts since last September was his recent withdrawal of the 800 Canadian troops from Afghanistan in the middle of the fight, abandoning our friends and allies on the battlefield.

As if having to deal with the Canadian government's disgraceful actions isn't enough, Canadians now also have to live with the shame of Hamas's bragging that Canada is a great place to do business. An FBI electronic eavesdropping operation of a secret meeting at a hotel in Philadelphia in 1993 recorded members of Hamas boasting to other Islamic radicals about their money-raising efforts in Canada. This was demonstrated by documents filed in a Washington court and revealed last week. Business in Canada was so good for Hamas, according to the FBI report, that the terrorist organization's members "...encouraged more fundraising activities in Canada."

Twenty-five Islamic extremists from Washington, Virginia, New Jersey, Mississippi and Canada attended the Philadelphia meeting. Sixteen hours of recorded conversation included information that one Islamic organization in Canada collected $214,000 in only six months in 1993. Another collected $167,000 in 1992, while still another took in $189,000 the same year.

With Canada serving as such a lucrative cash cow, Hamas must undoubtedly look to the Liberal government with feelings of gratitude and relief. Its money-raising operations, after all, are safe here in this country. Those helping this murderous organization to raise "charitable" funds will not face the maximum 10 years in prison they would receive for helping any of the recently banned groups.

Hamas, in any form or shape, poses a real threat to Western civilization. It is driven by the same dangerous ideology as the other radical Islamic groups. It is a grave error to leave Hamas's operations unimpeded anywhere.

Nonetheless, thanks to Canadian Prime Minister Chrétien, one of the Middle East's most notorious terrorist organizations can still serve as a forward base for Islamic extremism in at least one part of North America.

Stephen Brown is a contributing editor at Frontpagemag.com. He has a graduate degree in Russian and Eastern European history. Email him at alsolzh@hotmail.com.

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