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Canada's Islamist Seat By: Charlotte West
FrontPageMagazine.com | Tuesday, January 31, 2006


Despite the Conservative victory in Canada, the Liberals can boast a new member of parliament, Omar Alghabra from the suburban Toronto riding of Erindale-Mississauga. Even before his election, Alghabra’s nomination victory made news because of the Islamic supremacist statements made then.

The event featured declarations such as "This is a victory for Islam! Islam won! Islam won! ... Islamic power is extending into Canadian politics!" as reported by Arab attendees, even those who had voted for Alghabra. Many said that Alghabra’s key supporter, councilor and Liberal party member Khalid Usman who came from Markham, took the podium with Alghabra, announcing, "We have the East, we have the West, and now we have Mississauga!" Outgoing Liberal MP Carolyn Parrish confirmed she heard several pro-Islamic remarks from Usman, that "made it sound like [Muslims] were taking over. It was extremely inappropriate." A Liberal party official, Elias Hazineh, heard Usman say, "this is a victory for Muslims". Usman onstage crowed to the crowd "although Mr. Hazineh (the riding president) keeps telling me he is a Christian I am telling him that he better be a Muslim," one witness reported. The Toronto Star reported that Alghabra supporters came from outside the riding and some were urging people to "vote for the Muslim, not the infidel."

When it remained unverified that Alghabra had personally made any of the statements, he vehemently denied any involvement, protesting that he did not agree with mixing politics and religion. He and the Liberal Party then threatened to sue anyone who said otherwise and the story was hushed up, suggesting that as long as Alghabra himself said nothing, no problem exists.

Maybe. But maybe not. Seems prudent to find out who Omar Alghabra is.

His official Liberal bio reveals he is an unmarried 36-year-old, Saudi-born Syrian who came to Canada at age 19 alone (his family remained in the Middle East), got an engineering degree from Ryerson University, and an MBA from York University. Some of his community work is mentioned - he sat on the Toronto Star’s unpaid community editorial board in 2003–04 and was president of the Canadian Arab Federation in 2004-05.

But some community work is left out: He was not only a member of, but a speaker for Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights, a radical campus network urging corporate "divestment" from Israel. This organization also circulated anti-Jewish ‘bioweapon conspiracy" literature which helped incite the Concordia University riots in 2002. SPHR, which supports the "right of resistance" without denouncing suicide bombing, remains a group Alghabra defends in his writings and  supports. Although many characterize the swastika-employing SPHR as more hate group than human rights group, and their members and activities are often barred from campuses, Alghabra invokes the right of "free speech" to pave their way.

He is also involved with the Islamic Society of North America. Upon his nomination victory, attendee Galal Abdelmessih noted that Alghabra thanked the Islamic Society of North America for supporting him. ISNA is being investigated in the United States for ties to terrorism. Its Toronto elementary school in 2004 received SR 1.03 million (about $350,000 Cdn.) from Saudi Arabia’s Islamic Development Bank, known for funding radical Wahabbiism.

Alghabra’s record also contains troubling elements: In 2002 the Canadian Arab Federation stated it did not consider Hamas, Hezbollah, or Islamic Jihad terrorist organizations and strongly pressured the Canadian government against criminalizing them. It lost and Ottawa did outlaw Hamas, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad and Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade. As CAF president in 2004, however, Alghabra still defended terrorist groups, to the point of condemning CanWest media as "biased" for calling them "terrorist."

Asked if he would specifically denounce suicide bombers, Alghabra would not comment, but complained that he was being "trapped." His name appears on an August 2004 listing of Canadians who openly support terrorism. Yet Alghabra maintains that racist discrimination is the sole reason why since 2003 he has been denied U.S. entry unless he passes a security check which includes finger printing.

Alghabra denounced as "offensive" Bill C-7, the Public Safety Act to impede terrorist activities, calling security concerns a "pretext" to suspend rights. He charges it would use "shoddy intelligence" to support "power abuse" providing as example the 21 Muslims questioned upon returning from a Toronto conference. However, U.S. Customs and Border Protection Assistant Commissioner, Kristi Clemens, explains: "We had ongoing, credible intelligence that conferences such as this one in Toronto had been used, are being used, and will be used by terrorists to transmit fraudulent documents, to fundraise, and also to mask the travel of terrorists. Based on that information, we decided to have individuals verify they were who they said they were."

Although Alghabra smoothly says, "universities should be responsible when dealing with potentially confrontational and provocative issues," he contradicts himself in practice. When programs featuring accused Holocaust deniers or groups seeking Israel’s elimination trigger administrative delays, room changes, or extra security costs, he likens Canada to "dictatorial regimes" and charges universities with "muzzling" free speech.

Alghabra strongly denounces Canadian Security Intelligence Service and Royal Canadian Mounted Police practices as discriminatory, demanding ever more "safeguards" against what he calls their "mistakes and biases". However, CSIS is already one of the most open and accountable security intelligence organizations in the world.

Alghabra supported the Niagara Palestinian Association in their Formal Policy Complaint against an Ontario Provincial Police Chiefs’ terror prevention and management skills exchange trip to Israel. The complainants denigrated Canada’s recognition of Israel’s world renown in terror management and demanded the OPP learn from the Palestinians too. NPA president, Burhan Azzeh, was arrested when co-workers reported his threatening at work: "Maybe it’s time to blow up some Jews". His wife, NPA co-president Susan Howard Azzeh, organized a 2003 march against the Jewish state and its leader, featuring the swastika and Hitler.

Alghabra says he finds "any mixing of religion and politics offensive" yet supported the application of sharia in Canada, lamenting in Arabic that "the problem was ... we [Muslims] who were divided among ourselves and disunited in our ranks."

Alghabra claims to be "puzzled" that the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission requires that broadcaster Al Jazeera be edited to conform to Canadian hate laws, while allowing Fox News into Canada unrestricted. He insists the CRTC must grant the same privileges to a broadcaster routinely breaking Canadian laws by airing material that CRTC chairman Charles Dalfen said exposed people to "hatred and contempt on the basis of religion", as one that does not.

Alghabra has denounced numerous Canadian organizations or their practices including those of the RCMP, CSIS, the OPP, the CRTC, CanWest media, Canadian university administrations, the Public Safety Act, and government officials that are in place to fight terrorism and keep Canadians safe. Still he won’t denounce suicide bombers. Instead, he relentlessly demands freedoms for terrorist organizations, extremist groups, campus intimidations, and anti-Semitic media. He positions himself as a moderate; indeed, he speaks like a moderate, yet he consistently subordinates Canadian security norms and values to individual freedoms in order to advance militant Islam’s standard positions and causes.

It’s little wonder his supporters babbled with glee that Islamic power is extending into Canadian politics.

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