Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Abra Alghabra

Kathy Shaidle and Lost Budgie are on the hunt for proof that Mississauga-Erindale Liberal candidate Omar Alghabra's made the infamous "victory for Islam" comments.

So far, no one's been able to put those exact words in his mouth, and no one has seen footage of the Rogers Cable tape supposedly contains them.

However, it appears that Markham town councilloe Khalid Osman did take the stage and brag about Islamic power, and Alghabra did not say anything to contradict him.

The fact that this story stayed under wraps for nearly two weeks should have put our suspicions up, especially because the alleged comments were made at a Coptic Church hall. Few people have more reason to suspect or fear Islamic politicians than Coptic Christians, and such a rumour would travel fast in its community.

But if the story is verified, and Alghabra did make those remarks, it will mark the beginning of a frightening new era in Canadian politics.

And it will also show up a significant weakness in the Canadian media--a lack of knowledgable and unbiased reporting about our growing Islamic community and its radicalization.

5 comments:

Question Period said...

How, exactly, will it show up anything about the media?

Ian said...

I just saw an article on it here: http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=48009
It freaks me out. I think it needs to get as much exposure as possible.

Thanks for posting on it.

Conservative Insider said...

Here's what the Liberals have posted ... blaming the Conservatives for creating the controversy.

LIBERAL CANDIDATE TARGET OF ETHNIC SMEAR CAMPAIGN

Group with strong Conservative ties launches unfounded attack against moderate candidate

December 20, 2005

MISSISSAUGA - The Liberal Party of Canada called on the Canadian Coalition for Democracies to apologize for issuing a blatantly false, politically-motivated news release targeting Mississauga-Erindale candidate Omar Alghabra.

The release, issued yesterday, alleges Mr. Alghabra said in his victory speech on December 1, 2005: "This is a victory for Islam! Islam won! Islam Won! ... Islamic power is extending into Canadian politics."

Mr. Alghabra said:

"I categorically deny making this statement, and anyone who says otherwise is lying. I challenge anyone to produce proof that I linked politics and religion."

Reporters who were present for the speech, including reporters for Rogers Television, said they did not hear the statements in question. A videotape copy of the news story, with his acceptance speech, bears that out. The videotape is available for those interested in viewing it.

The organization who issued the release is the Canadian Coalition for Democracies. The executive director is Naresh Raghubeer, a former executive assistant of former Conservative MPP, and Mississauga-Streetsville Conservative candidate, Raminder Gill. The group's board of directors include Michael Mostyn, the Conservative candidate in York Centre, and Georgeanne Burke, the Conservative Party's regional organizer in Toronto. Ms. Burke can be contacted at 416-816-3412, and her email address is georgeanneburke@conservative.ca.

"My reputation has been tarnished, and I am demanding an immediate apology from this organization and from all those who have published this falsehood," said Mr. Alghabra.

One of those quoted in the group's original release is Victor Fouad. Mr. Fouad has been talking about this false issue on internet blogs for two weeks, and he is quoted as saying that he's tried to contact the Prime Minister for his reaction to this allegation. What isn't quoted is his statement with respect to Muslim Canadians:

"Attached is a proven plan to invade the democracy in Canada and to convert it to somewhat NAZI attitude by the MUSLIMS. Please do something before Mr. Martin sells it all to them. Sincerely, Victor Fouad."
http://canadiancoalition.com/forum/messages/11980.shtml

Mr. Alghabra is a well-known voice of moderation in the Canadian Muslim community. The former president of the Canadian Arab Federation, Mr. Alghabra is also a former member of the Toronto Star's community editorial board and a board member for the Canadian International Peace Project, a multi-faith effort to promote peace and understanding in the Middle East. Board members of that group include the National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, Phil Fontaine, and Ontario Progressive Conservative leader John Tory.

"This release does not withstand the most basic test of scrutiny, and legitimate news organizations have rejected this story quickly," said Mr. Alghabra, "but the damage has been done on the internet and in blogs. I am seeking an immediate retraction to ensure smear campaigns such as this do not become the norm in Canadian politics."

Loyalist said...

How, exactly, will it show up anything about the media?

The Liberal nomination race to replace Carolyn Parrish would have been of more than passing media interest. The story was out there for two weeks and no one picked it up, either because they didn't see its importance (in which case, they were incompetent) or because it didn't fit the liberal media template (in which case, they were complicit).

Question Period said...

"So far, no one's been able to put those exact words in his mouth, and no one has seen footage of the Rogers Cable tape supposedly contains them."

"Reporters who were present for the speech, including reporters for Rogers Television, said they did not hear the statements in question. A videotape copy of the news story, with his acceptance speech, bears that out. The videotape is available for those interested in viewing it."

Sounds like the media did what the media is supposed to do to me -- verify a story before publishing it.