Given the current political climate in Canada, it was actually quite surreal to hear Levant run down [former Canadian Islamic Congress chief Mohamed] Elmasry’s record as an extremist (including his statement, on television, that all Israeli adults are fair game for terrorists). Canada’s Conservatives are now so closely allied with Israel and its advocates, and so enthusiastically committed to the battle against any sort of Islamic extremism, that Ottawa now will blackball, and even casually slander, Muslim groups with even the most indirect relationship to extreme co-religionists. Yet not so long ago, when Elmasry was leading the CIC, he was feted by Ottawa and treated as just another voice in Canada’s rich multicultural mosaic. (The same was true of the equally radicalized Canadian Arab Federation.)
This perhaps explains why the naïve Awan, then a law student, felt comfortable joining in with the CIC in their unsuccessful and infamous effort to strong-arm Maclean’s magazine after it had published Mark Steyn’s controversial critique of radical Islam. The CIC had an acronym, and a web site, and the word “Islamic” in it — so by the then-prevalent logic of Canadian ethno-politics, it was a respectable “community voice” to be taken seriously.That makes it sound as though the Canadian Islamic Congress was completely sidelined by the Harper Conservatives, but it was only a few years ago that the CIC shilled for an official Islamic History Month Canada and the Harper Tories went for it. Now, ISHMC, that CIC baby, rolls around every October. Currently, the effort is helmed by Shahina Siddiqui. She's the chick who complained about the B'nai Brith Canada's supposed "Islamophobia" to the Manitoba "human rights" racket, which resulted in a five-year-long inquiry/inquisition. (The move was rather ironic, given that BB remains convinced--mistakenly, I'm afraid--that "human rights"-based censorship is, as we of the tribe say, good for the Jews.) So Kay's contention that all the Elmasrys are no longer taken seriously is--what?--overly optimistic? Completely off the mark?
Yes and yes. Especially when you consider that they have always been--and continue to be--accorded much respect by the CBC and other mainstream Canadian media outlets, and that The Toronto Star, Canada's highest circulation newspaper, is home to Harpoon Siddiqui, that smarmiest and Elmasriest of opiners.
Also, I'm not sure if Awan was ever "naïve." Looking back at his appearance on the Paikin show, "naïve" is about the last word I'd use to describe him. One can't say the same, however, about its applicability it to the consistently inconsistent Mr. Kay.
Then, too, nothing is forever. If and when Justin Trudeau becomes our prime minister, you can bet that the "feting" of the Elmasrys--along with the federal funding of the Canadian Arab Federation and Palestine House, two outfits that the Tories wisely cut loose--will likely return.
Update: Sometimes the Harperites aren't as wised up as you've been led to believe: