Justin Trudeau’s decision to address Islamic Revival Conference hurts Canada

By Beryl Wajsman on December 13, 2012

"Allah is our objective; the Quran is our law, the Prophet is our leader; Jihad is our way; and death for the sake of Allah is the highest of our aspirations."

 ~ credo of the Muslim Brotherhoocd

Liberal leadership candidate and Papineau MP Justin Trudeau’s decision to give a keynote address at the “Reviving the Islamic Spirit” conference taking place in Toronto Dec.20-23rd  . is a disappointing one and potentially disastrous for liberalism. His mere prescence will be used to validate some of the most retrograde elements on the political landscape that are associated with this Conference. In that he hurts Canada. Trudeau’s address is scheduled for December 22nd. The Conference’s lead, or “platinum” sponsor (website description), is an organization named Islamic Relief, and  other featured speakers include Tariq Ramadan, Jamal Badawi and Mustafa Ceric. All have significant ties to the Muslim Brotherhood. The Brotherhood’s first elected head of government, Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi, has recently introduced constitutional changes that would give him unprecedented power answerable to no authority not even the judiciary. The past two weeks have seen large-scale demonstrations in Cairo between the secular liberals who drove the Arab Spring and the supporters of Morsi and the Brotherhood who back a system based on adherence to Sharia (Islamic religious law). Sources close to the Conference expect up to 20,000 participants. The Conference website features a video trailer with martial music playing as background to slogans such as “This is our time, this is our moment.”

On Nov. 16 nine people affiliated with Islamic Relief were charged with organizing activities for the group which the Russian Interior Ministry lists as a terrorist organization.

Earlier in November, 18 people were detained under suspicion of being members of Islamic Relief and are accused of possession of explosives, ammunition and weapons.

“Five of the accused are leaders of the Russian and Moscow-based cells of the organization,” the Ministry stated on Voice of Russia. Russia also lists the Muslim Brotherhood itself as a terrorist organization.

On Nov. 8, Niki May Young writing in the London based “Civil Society” website reported that Islamic Relief had “its bank accounts in the UK closed by UBS, and is under constant scrutiny by other banks due to nervousness about counter-terrorist regulations.” The news was delivered by Islamic Relief’s director of finance.I slamic Relief has an annual income  that surpasses £80m.  Haroun Atallah,  a former auditor of Islamic Relief, also reported to Civil Society that UBS has  “not only closed Islamic Relief's accounts, but blocked donations coming from its customers to the charity.” Despite the controversies surrounding Islamic Relief. the president of the board of Islamic Relief Worldwide based in Great Britain, Essam El-Haddad, was recently appointed as one of four Presidential assistants with responsibility for foreign relations and international cooperation by Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi whose official political affiliation is the Muslim Brotherhood.

The "Diamond" sponsor of the event is an organization named IRFAN (International Relief Fund for the Afflicted and Needy). In April 2011 the Canada Revenue Agency revoked its charotable status. The reason for the revocation was that between 2005-2009 alone, INFAR transferred $14.6 million to Hamas.

Tariq Ramadan is an author and lecturer who was banned from the United States for years for “giving material support to a terrorist organization” in the words of the US Department of State. Ramadan’s grandfather, Hassan al-Banna, was the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood. Ramadan’s father Said was a major figure in The Brotherhood and it is believed in intelligence circles that he was the author of "The Project,' a roadmap for installing Islamic regimes in the West by “propaganda, preaching, and if necessary war." Said was thrown out of Egypt by Gamal Abdel Nasser.  Ramadan himself has been just as divisive a figure, known for issuing inflammatory broadsides to Arab audiences and calming words to western ones in relation to the movement of politicizing and militarizing Islam known as Islamism. In a famous debate with Nicolas Sarkozy in France he scandalized the country by defending Sharia law even refusing to denounce death by stoning as provided by Sharia law for some crimes and instead said there should be only a “moratorium on its use” until the issue was studied and discussed in the Muslim world. The former head of the French anti-racism organization SOS Racisme Malek Boutih called Ramadan a “fascist and a small LePen.” He also accused him of having crossed the line of racism and anti-Semitism.


In his book Radical Reform, Ramadan presents current Muslim Brotherhood spiritual guide Youssef Qaradawi as a “prominent scholar” who has outlined the attitudes and the kind of behaviour that Muslims living in the West should adopt. In another book, Ramadan wrote about Qaradawi that he “deeply respect(s) the man and the scholar and that (he) would be the last one to deny it.” The respected Washington based Middle East Media Research Institute has video and translations of talks by Qaradawi promoting the conquest of the West by Muslims, claims that Hitler was “sent by Allah to punish the Jews”, and the endorsement of the killing of those who leave Islam.

In addition to this Toronto visit, Islamic Relief Canada has sponsored Ramadan’s visits to Montreal in 2010 and to Edmonton earlier  this year. Islamic Relief is among the largest Muslim charities in the world. It is active in Gaza and  Israel has accused it of funneling money to Hamas. Islamic Relief Canada (IRC) is an “affiliate” of Islamic Relief Worldwide, according to the  Canada Revenue Agency. The president of Islamic Relief Canada, Hany el-Banna, is the founder of the mother organization based in the UK where UBS closed its accounts.

In spite of its charity status with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), Islamic Relief Canada (IRC) has sponsored fundamentalist Islamists before. As an example, in 2010, Zakir Naik was invited to address the IRC-sponsored Journey of Faith conference in Toronto. A few days before the event, the National Post (June 22, 2010) reproduced passages from his texts and speeches in which he states that “every Muslim should be a terrorist,” that Jews are “our staunchest enemy” and that “if [Osama bin Laden] is fighting the enemies of Islam, I am for him.” For its part, the Toronto Star (June 22, 2010) pointed out to its readers that Zakir Naik promotes the killing of homosexuals and apostates of Islam in his videos and that he explains the rules that a man must follow when he beats his wife.

Another featured speaker at the “Reviving” Conference is Jamal Badawi who was on the Muslim Association of Canada’s board of directors from 2002 to 2006. On its own website the MAC states that it “strives to implement Islam ... as understood in its contemporary context by the late Imam Hassan al-Banna (1906-1949), the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood.” It should be noted that in his 50-point manifesto, Hassan al-Banna promoted the abolition of political parties and the installation of a one-party State, the reform of law so that it will conform to Sharia, an increase in the number of youth groups promoting Jihad, the prohibition of dancing, the censorship of movies and plays and a dress code for all citizens enforced by a religious police. 

Mustafa Ceric will also be speaking at the Conference. Like Jamal Badawi, Ceric is a member of the European Council for Fatwa and Research. The organization is currently led by the Muslim Brotherhood spiritual guide Youssef Qaradawi whom Ramadan so admires. Until 2012 and for nineteen years, Mustafa Ceric was Bosnia’s grand mufti. Because of Qaradawi’s precarious health, observers often present Ceric as his possible successor.

Mr. Trudeau has confirmed his intention to speak, but underlined that he will be speaking alone not in concert with any of the others. Intelligence estimates vary, but it is believed the Brotherhood has a membership of some two million worldwide. 



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