An Islamic news portal has reported that the US Ambassador to Canada attended the Ottawa Main Mosque upon the invitation of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), the mosque, and a local Muslim women’s organization. According to the Muslim Link report, the US Ambassador announced that the embassy would be cooperating in joint projects with Canadian Muslim organizations:
09 MAY 2013 It was an evening of firsts as the Ottawa Main Mosque welcomed US Ambassador David Jacobson on his first official visit on April 8.
Almost 100 people attended the event titled ‘Strengthening Bridges & Working Together for a Better Future’. Security was discreet and the question period was uncensored which was unusual for a high-profile guest like the ambassador. But a unique set of circumstances had created the space for this gathering. As Ambassador Jacobson explained at the beginning of his speech:
‘On the 14th of December of last year, my country suffered a great tragedy, in Newtown, Connecticut, 27 people lost their lives at the hands of a deranged gunman, and among the 27 dead there were 24 very young children. A few days later, I received a card from Mrs. (Shano) Bejkosalaj (of the Ottawa Muslim Women’s Organization) and it was followed by an e-mail from the Imam (of the Ottawa Main Mosque), and they asked to meet in order to express their sympathy and their support. And so on January 4 this year, the Imam and Mrs. Bejkosalaj and Mrs. (Safaa) Fouda came to my office, they came in grief, they came in respect and most importantly of all, they came in solidarity. Because when children die senselessly, needlessly, tragically all of us serve as their parents. And to me that exemplified the connection between us. It wasn’t about national boundaries, it wasn’t about race, it wasn’t about religion. It was about people reaching out to people.’
Subsequently Ambassador Jacobson was invited to visit the Ottawa Main Mosque by the Ottawa Muslim Women’s Organization, the Ottawa Muslim Association (which runs the mosque), and the Council of American Islamic Relations-Canada (CAIR-CAN), to engage in open discussion with the Muslim community.
In his opening speech, the envoy outlined a number of programs and partnerships that his embassy had undertaken with Canadian Muslim organizations. These included helping to fund the Family Honour Project of the Muslim Family Resource Centre in London, Ontario and collaborating with the Association of Progressive Muslims on an exchange for young Muslim community leaders to the US.
Read the rest here.
This is not the first time that Ambassador Jacobson has met with Canadian Islamic groups. In June 2011, he participated in a discussion with ten students during an open house at the new Muslim Youth Centre in northwest Calgary. The event was sponsored by the Muslim Council of Calgary that until last month was featuring highly anti-Semitic material on its website including accusing the Jews of “debauchery and immorality” and citing the notorious Czarist forgery The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. The Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) describes itself as “a grassroots civil rights and advocacy group and as “America’s largest Islamic civil liberties group.” CAIR was founded in 1994 by three officers of the Islamic Association of Palestine, part of the U.S. Hamas infrastructure at that time. Documents discovered in the course of the the terrorism trial of the Holy Land Foundation confirmed that the founders and current leaders of CAIR were part of the Palestine Committee of the Muslim Brotherhood and that CAIR itself is part of the US. Muslim Brotherhood. In 2008, the then Deputy leader of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood acknowledged a relationship between the Egyptian Brotherhood and CAIR. In 2009, a US federal judge ruled “The Government has produced ample evidence to establish the associations of CAIR, ISNA and NAIT with HLF, the Islamic Association for Palestine (“IAP”), and with Hamas.” CAIR and its leaders have had a long history of defending individuals accused of terrorism by the US. government, often labeling such prosecutions a “war on Islam”, and have also been associated with Islamic fundamentalism and antisemitism. The organization is led by Nihad Awad, its longstanding Executive Director and one of the three original founders.
It should be noted Jamal Badawi has been a long-time leader of CAIR-Canada. Dr. Badawi is also a leader in many other of the most important Global Muslim Brotherhood organizations including the Islamic Society of North America, the Fiqh Council of North America, the Muslim American Society, and the European Council for Fatwa and Research. Documents released during the Holy Land Foundation terrorism financing trial indicate that he was (and probably still is), a member of the leadership structure of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood. The Ottawa Muslim Association (OMA), the organization which operates the Ottawa Main Mosque, has featured Dr. Badawi as a guest speaker at its annual dinner as well as sponsoring his talk on “Misunderstood Qur’anic Verses.”