Archive for May 4, 2017

Mahmoud Abbas is personally responsible for the high salaries to terrorists

May 4, 2017

Mahmoud Abbas is personally responsible  for the high salaries to terrorists, Palestinian Media Watch, Itamar Marcus, May 4, 2017

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer noted yesterday that President Trump brought up the issue of salaries to terrorists in his meeting with PA Chairman Abbas:

“The president raised concerns about the payments to Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails who have committed acts of terror and to their families and emphasized the need to resolve this issue.” [https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2017/05/03/press-briefing-press-secretary-sean-spicer-532017-44]

As international pressure is mounting on Mahmoud Abbas to stop payments to terrorists prisoners, it should be recognized that Mahmoud Abbas himself is personally responsible for the high salaries that terrorists receive. In 2010, Mahmoud Abbas amended the Palestinian Prisoners Law, dramatically raising salaries to terrorist prisoners. Prior to that, salaries ranged from 1000-4000 shekels a month; now they start at 1400 shekels and can reach as high as 12,000 shekels each month.

In 2014, the PA transferred responsibility for payments to prisoners from the PA to the PLO in order to hide the PA responsibility for payments from the international community. At the time, Deputy Minister of Prisoners’ Affairs Ziyad Abu Ein again stressed that Abbas himself was personally responsible for the sharp rise in salaries to prisoners:

Deputy Minister of Prisoners’ Affairs Ziyad Abu Ein: “Who else has elevated the cause of the Palestinian prisoners other than President Mahmoud Abbas? All the laws, the tenfold increase of the budget of the Ministry of Prisoners’ [Affairs] – [all this] was done during the tenure of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and according to the wishes of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas…

If we go back to the source, which is the PLO, which will take care of the [prisoner] issue… we eliminate the international pressure and the attempts to tamper with this issue, so sensitive and holy to our Palestinian people. The [Palestinian] leadership wants to keep this holy issue away from the influence of the donor countries, the interference of the donor countries, and the occasional negative influence of the donor countries, by giving it [the prisoner issue] its holiness and assigning it to the leadership of the struggle of our Palestinian people. Who is the leadership of the struggle of our Palestinian people? The PLO… All the authority, all the laws, the budget, the officials and staff will be a part of the Prisoners and Released Prisoners’ Commission, which will belong to the PLO, to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and to the Executive Committee of the PLO.

[Official PA TV, June 1, 2014]

Click to view 

Not only is Abbas personally responsible for paying salaries to terrorists, by his own admission he is responsible for sending terrorists to kill Israelis. Abbas told official PA TV in 2005, right after the PA’s five-year terror campaign (i.e., the second Intifada) had ended, that all the terrorist prisoners must be freed because they did not murder of their own volition but were sent to murder by the PA:

Mahmoud Abbas: “I demand [the release of] prisoners because they are human beings, who did what we, we, ordered them to do. We – the [Palestinian] Authority. They should not be punished while we sit at one table negotiating… This is war. One (i.e., Israel) ordered a soldier to kill, and I ordered my son, brother, or others, to carry out the duty of resistance (i.e., PA euphemism for terror). This person killed and the other person killed… He [the Palestinian prisoner] is a fighter just like any other fighter. We were in a state of fighting. When a truce is reached, in any country in the world, the past is forgotten… [If prisoners are not released] the ordinary citizen will ask me: ‘What did you get me? You ordered me – you are responsible for me.'”[Official PA TV, Feb. 14, 2005]
Click to view

Abbas indicates that, as the person who “ordered” the terrorists to kill, he is just as responsible as the killers in prison. Because of his direct responsibility for sending the terrorists, it is unlikely that Abbas will agree to stop rewarding them financially.

Abating Abbas

May 4, 2017

Abating Abbas, Power LineScott Johnson, May 4, 2017

Palestinian Arabs lack a civic culture that would support a healthy regime and their political culture is, not surprisingly, sick. On the one hand, we have the colleagues and descendants of Yasser Arafat in Fatah. On the other hand, we have the genocidal maniacs of Hamas. As George Wallace might have put it, there’s not a dime’s worth of difference between them.

Although Fatah and Hamas are themselves profoundly undemocratic, they seem roughly to reflect Palestinian public opinion. Thus the depressing survey data that Daniel Polisar has recounted at Mosaic in recent essays here and here.

Khaled Abu Toameh is the respected Arab Israeli based in Jerusalem (and certainly the bravest journalist I have ever met). As he put it in a column for the Gatestone Institute: “Palestinians: The message remains no and no.”

One symptom of the sickness that permeates their politics: under Palestinian laws passed in 2004 and amended in 2013, Palestinian and Israeli Arabs who are convicted of attacks in Israel (“participation in the struggle against the occupation”) are entitled to monthly “salaries” commencing with their arrest (and continuing for life for men who serve at least five years and women who serve at least two), along with additional cash grants and priority civil-service job placements upon their release.

Thane Rosenbaum summarizes the arrangements in a good Washington Post column:

In this lethal logic, the longer a prison sentence — really, the more deadly an attack — the more profitable the payout. Even toward the lower end of the scale, the salaries are more lucrative than most West Bank jobs. In accordance with Palestinian Authority Government Decision No. 32 of 2010, those imprisoned for three to five years, for instance, get $570 a month. And those committing crimes that result in prison sentences of at least 30 years receive salaries of more than $3,400 a month — 20 times the per capita income in the West Bank. Of course, some prisoners are sentenced to multiple life terms and will never be released. But those who are can expect a lump-sum payment of as much as $25,000 — like a bonus for bad behavior.

Palestinian officials show little compunction defending these practices. Killing Israelis is part of the popular resistance, and those who serve as “martyrs” should be compensated for their sacrifice. A spokesman for the Palestine Liberation Organization’s Commission of Prisoners and Released Prisoners’ Affairs, Hassan Abd Rabbo, said that “it is the right of all of the prisoners and martyrs who have struggled and sacrificed for Palestine to receive their full salaries from the PA.” The Palestinian prime minister, Rami Hamdallah, has stated that inmates are “prisoners of war” and that “their cause is the cause of all of us.”

Rosenbaum’s column goes into more detail on the legal incentives offered for the terrorist murder of Israelis.

What kind of a regime makes such arrangements? It is sick, sick, sick.

Rosenbaum comments: “[I]incentivizing the murder of civilians is barbarism, and it happens to offer a career path for ardent and enterprising Palestinians. The ‘lone wolves’ who perpetrate stabbings, shootings and car-rammings are not really acting alone — they are a people’s army recruited to kill by their government.”

Can we all get along? Answer: no.

Taylor Force is the former U.S. Army officer who was murdered while in a Vanderbilt University tour group last year in Jaffa. The terrorist attack that took his life left 10 others wounded. Rosenbaum’s column supports the Taylor Force Act that would put an end to American foreign supporting the Palestinian murder program. Along with Rosenbaum, Doug Feith and Sander Gerber support adoption of the bill in a NRO column that makes you wonder why it hasn’t happened long before now.

Foreign aid to the Palestinian Authority of course supports the murder program. As it has threatened their funding, Fatah officials have used their creativity to spring to its defense. At Palestinian Media Watch, Itamar Marcus reports: “Fatah is now arguing that donor countries should welcome the PA’s paying salaries to terrorists with their money, since this practice promotes peace by keeping the Palestinian terrorists from joining ‘ISIS or any other extremist party… [We] say to the donor states [whose money goes to terrorists] that your donations help the PA bring peace to the Middle East.’”

The antiwar movement fostered the slogan “kill for peace” as a gibe against the Pentagon back in the day. With a straight Palestinian spokesmen now offer a variant in support of their murder reward law.

UPDATE: As of this morning Itamar Marcus has added more here.

Into the heartland

May 4, 2017

Into the heartland, American ThinkerLloyd Marcus, May 4, 2017

While fake news media would like us to believe they have successfully killed traditional American values, wholesome values are alive and well in the heartland.

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Rumors of my death are exaggerated. The reason my wife Mary and I dropped off the face of the earth is because we have not had internet for almost a week, which as y’all know feels like an eternity. We drove up from Florida to close on our new home in a tiny West Virginia town, population 500. Why?

To move close to our parents and family.

The drive up from Florida was quite interesting. The number of Trump signs on display in yards, rooftops, and billboards tells me Trump has connected with everyday Americans like no other president before him.

It seemed that every time we pushed the search button on our radio another faith-based station came up. While fake news media would like us to believe they have successfully killed traditional American values, wholesome values are alive and well in the heartland.

My wife’s brother-in-law said when it snows, his neighbor plows out the road for everyone with his tracker. Mail is delivered at a central location for his group of neighbors. The mailboxes and poles were in need of repair. A neighbor took it upon himself to repair and refresh the mailboxes. Another neighbor fills potholes in their road. All these things were done without ridiculous paperwork, meetings, or government.

How small is this town, you ask? The internet company cannot hook us up until May 23rd. We can make calls on our phones, but they do not work as a hot-spot. I’m on-line at the library which is open limited hours on different days; closed from noon to 1pm for lunch with parking for 7 cars. I keep telling myself, take a deep breath and embrace the solitude.

There is no home mail delivery. When we went to the post office to sign up for a P O box, the cheerful clerk said, “Are you the Marcuses? Y’all bought the white house.”

We had to pay a $200 cash deposit at the Town Hall to get our water turned on. The clerk said, “Are y’all the people who called the other day? Y’all bought the white house.” The pleasant clerk said she would call “the” maintenance man to turn us on. One hour later, he showed up and turned on our water.

Most expressive were seniors Virginia and her husband Daniel who greeted me with big smiles when I walked into the library. “Welcome!” Virginia gave me the scoop. “Lunch at the Senior Center is $2. Today is hot dog day.” Virginia filled me in on all the churches, concluding that anyone we choose will be fine. Virginia said they are all good friendly people.

As a black guy, not once have I felt a twinge of the stereotypical racism attributed to the south — quite the opposite. Everyone has been warm and friendly.

The only store in town is Dollar General. Walmart, Home Depot and Lowes are over 20 miles away.

Mary and I stopped into “the” bank. “Y’all bought the white house.”

Yes, I am experiencing culture shock, but the people are nice and I think it is going to be fun.

Canada: Sold to the Highest Foreign Bidder

May 4, 2017

Canada: Sold to the Highest Foreign Bidder, Gatestone InstituteShabnam Assadollahi, May 4, 2017

(Please see also, Iran’s Forward Operating Base against the U.S. — DM)

In April, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that ISIS supporters have the right to defend their freedom, and was reported to have referred to Evangelical Christians as the “worst part of Canadian society.” These remarks came after is after he remained silent when Jewish centers received bomb threats, and despite Canada’s imams regularly calling for the annihilation of Jews.

Even more disturbing is a technical loophole in the Canada Elections Act. The law allows foreign entities to make contributions to Canadian candidates. This means that players such as Iran or Saudi Arabia will be able to further their agendas through a particular politician, as long as they pump him with funds for six months and a day prior to his official bid for office.

A journalist was taken to task recently for calling Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau an inelegant name during a press conference. In response, Josh Sigurdson justified his behavior in a YouTube video:

“The state-run media got to ask [Trudeau] questions — pre-screened ones, at that… How is it journalism to ask pre-selected questions of a politician? Restricting opposition, restricting free speech… pretending to stand for women while sending money to governments and dictatorships who stone women to death for driving and kill gays … that is the definition of scumbag.”

Although many might not have used that exact word to describe Trudeau, one might sympathize with the sentiment behind it.

As a Canadian citizen who was born in Iran and watched my country come under the Islamist regime of the Ayatollah Khomeini, it is not hard to spot a tyrant. It is not hard for Trudeau, either, apparently. Three years ago, as head of the opposition, he told a group of women in Toronto: “There is a level of admiration that I actually have for China, because their basic dictatorship is allowing them to turn their economy around on a dime…”

More recently, last November, Trudeau issued a statement about the death of Fidel Castro; he called the former Cuban dictator “remarkable” and a “larger than life leader who served his people.”

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said three years go: “There is a level of admiration that I actually have for China, because their basic dictatorship is allowing them to turn their economy around on a dime.” In November, he called Fidel Castro “remarkable” and a “larger than life leader who served his people.” (Image source: U.S. Air Force)

After taking over the leadership of the country, Trudeau not only withdrew Canada’s participation from the U.S.-led bombing of ISIS strongholds in Iraq and Syria, but months later — a day after the March 22, 2016 Brussels suicide bombings that left 32 innocent people dead — he announced that Canada was “not at war with ISIS.”

This April, Trudeau said that ISIS supporters have the right to defend their freedom, and was reported to have referred to Evangelical Christians as the “worst part of Canadian society.” These remarks came after is after he remained silent when Jewish centers received bomb threats and when the country’s imams regularly call for the annihilation of Jews. Trudeau, in March, slammed a video posted to YouTube that offered a $1,000 reward for recordings of Muslim students at schools in a district of Ontario that were “spewing hate speech” during Friday prayer. “Canadians have understood that our differences are a source of strength, not a source of weakness,” Trudeau said at a press conference, after the release of the video. Prime Minister Trudeau has been supportive of Muslim prayers in the secular school board, where prayers and students preaching and will be unsupervised.

Prime Minister Trudeau has also been trying to change the rules of the Commons to fit his schedule and strip the opposition of its power to hold him accountable, interim leader Rona Ambrose charged. Apparently he has been trying to limit the ability of the opposition to debate him in Parliament prior to the passage of proposed bills.

Even more disturbing is a technical loophole in the Canada Elections Act, now being brought to the fore by Trudeau’s camp. The law allows foreign entities to make contributions to Canadian candidates. This means that players such as Iran or Saudi Arabia will be able to further their agendas through a particular politician, as long as they pump him with funds for six months and a day prior to his official bid for office.

With the entrance into the country of thousands of illegal immigrants and asylum-seekers with criminal records — thanks to the increasingly dictatorial policies of Trudeau and his Liberal Party strongmen — this legal loophole leaves Canada wide open to extreme political change, and not for the better.

Potemkin universities

May 4, 2017

Potemkin universities, Washington Times

(Are we doomed? — DM)

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

College campuses still appear superficially to be quiet, well-landscaped refuges from the bustle of real life.

But increasingly, their spires, quads and ivy-covered walls are facades. They are now no more about free inquiry and unfettered learning than were the proverbial Potemkin fake buildings put up to convince the traveling Russian czarina Catherine II that her impoverished provinces were prosperous.

The university faces crises almost everywhere of student debt, university finances, free expression, and the very quality and value of a university education.

Take free speech. Without freedom of expression, there can be no university.

But if the recent examples at Berkeley, Claremont, Middlebury and Yale are any indication, there is nothing much left to the idea of a free and civilized exchange of different ideas.

At most universities, if a scheduled campus lecturer expressed scholarly doubt about the severity of man-caused global warming and the efficacy of its government remedies, or questioned the strategies of the Black Lives Matter movement, or suggested that sex is biologically determined rather than socially constructed, she likely would either be disinvited or have her speech physically disrupted. Campuses often now mimic the political street violence of the late Roman Republic.

Campus radicals have achieved what nuclear strategists call deterrence: Faculty and students now know precisely which speech will endanger their careers and which will earn them rewards.

The terrified campus community makes the necessary adjustments. As with the German universities of the 1930s, faculty keep quiet or offer politically correct speech through euphemisms. Toadies thrive; mavericks are hounded.

Shortchanged students collectively owe more than $1 trillion in student-loan debt — a sum that cannot be paid back by ill-prepared and often unemployed graduates.

Test scores have plummeted. Too many college students were never taught the basic referents of liberal education. Most supposedly aware, hip and politically engaged students can’t identify the Battle of Gettysburg or the Parthenon, or explain the idea of compounded interest.

Many students simply cannot do the work that was routinely assigned in the past. In response, as proverbially delicate “snowflakes,” they insist that they are traumatized and can only find remedy in laxer standards, gut courses and faculty deference.

“Studies” activist courses too often are therapeutic. They are neither inductive nor Socratic, and they rarely teach facts, methods and means of learning without insisting on predesignated conclusions. Instead, the student should leave the class with proper group-think and ideological race/class/gender fervor of the professor — a supposed new recruit for the larger progressive project.

Universities talk loudly of exploitation in America — in the abstract. But to address societal inequality, university communities need only look at how their own campuses operate. Part-time faculty with doctorates are paid far less than tenured full professors for often teaching the same classes — and thus subsidize top-heavy administrations.

Graduate teaching assistantships, internships and mentorships are designed to use inexpensive or free labor under the protocols of the medieval guild.

One reason that tuition is sky-high is because behind the facade of “trigger warnings,” “safe spaces” and “culture appropriation” are costly legions of deputy associate provosts, special assistants to the dean, and race/class/gender “senior strategists” and facilitators (usually former faculty who no longer teach).

Few admit that a vastly expanding and politically correct administrative industry reflects a massive shift of resources away from physics, humanities or biology — precisely the courses that nontraditional students need to become competitive.

One of the great mysteries of American life is nontransparent university admissions. No one knows quite how alumni legacies, deference to college athletics, or poorly defined affirmative action and haphazard diversity criteria actually operate.

At the California State University system — the nation’s largest — nearly 40 percent of incoming students need remediation in math and English after failing basic competency tests. Universities are now scrambling to offer university credit for what are, in truth, remedial high school courses, apparently to prevent eager (but entirely unprepared) students from hurt feelings when they butt up against the reality of college classes.

Careerist university administrators more often make the university change to accommodate the student rather than asking the incoming student to prepare to accommodate the time-honored university.

The results are watered-down classes, grade inflation — and student frustration and anger upon learning that entering college is not quite the same as graduating from college.

The way to ensure student confidence and self-reliance is not through identity-politics courses that emphasize racial, sexual and religious fault lines. Instead, only classes ensuring that students are well trained in writing, speaking, computing and inductive thinking will give assuredness of achievement — and, with it, self-confidence.

Apart from the sciences and the professional schools, campuses are a bubble of unearned self-congratulation — clueless that they have broken faith with a once-noble legacy of free inquiry and have lost the respect of most Americans.

The now melodramatic university has become a classical tragedy.

Muslim Brotherhood in Desperate Campaign in US

May 4, 2017

Muslim Brotherhood in Desperate Campaign in US, Clarion ProjectRan Meir, May 4, 2017

U.S. Capitol building (Photo: JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

Lectures, discussions and events are being held in prominent American universities, including Harvard and Georgetown, about the “constructive contribution” the Brotherhood has made to Egypt since the Arab Spring began.

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CLICK HERE to Tell Your Members of Congress to Designate the Brotherhood as a Terror Organization

The Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt is mounting a desperate campaign in the U.S. to avoid being designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organization, according to The Seventh Day, one of Egypt’s largest news outlets.

The political winds have changed in Washington and the Brotherhood is running scared. U.S. President Donald Trump has made clear his support of Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, announcing he stands with the Egyptian president in his fight against terror and extremist groups that are threatening one of American’s key allies in the Middle East.

After tens of millions of Egyptians took to the streets to protest the abuse and power grabs of former Egyptian president Mohammed Morsi (a member of the Brotherhood’s political party) in the summer of 2013, El-Sisi and the military took control of Egypt. He was elected president in 2014.

El-Sisi’s recently successful meeting with Trump in Washington set a Brotherhood plan in motion to gain support of members of Congress and academia to block a move to designate the organization as terrorists.

See Clarion Project’s Fact Sheet about the Muslim Brotherhood and its links to terrorism.

Lectures, discussions and events are being held in prominent American universities, including Harvard and Georgetown, about the “constructive contribution” the Brotherhood has made to Egypt since the Arab Spring began.

For example, speaking under the title “The Nobility in Justice,” Mahmoud a-Sharkawi, a Brotherhood official in Washington, lectured about the “positive” role the Brotherhood has played in Egypt since January 25, 2011 (the date marking the beginning of the Arab Spring in Egypt) in a conference at St. John’s University in New York.

The group is also reaching out to members of Congress, trying to re-brand the way it is perceived in Washington after al-Sisi’s successful visit.

Testifying in Congress, Tarek a-Zimer, head of the Building and Development Party, the political party of the Egyptian Brotherhood, urged Americans to change their views about the organization. Other officials of the Brotherhood who attended the hearing used their presence to incite against el-Sisi and the current Egyptian government.

Writing in a blog, A-Zimer asked, “Have the Americans internalized the lesson and fully understood the danger of the current situation to their interests?”

Sources close to the Brotherhood say the purpose of the campaign being waged on American university campuses is to put pressure on Trump in light of the negative opinions about the Brotherhood that are now prevalent in Washington due to the change in administrations.

What they fear most is a decision by the administration to designate the Brotherhood as a terror organization.

Hisham a-Naggar, an Islamic scholar, agreed. He said the purpose of the Brotherhood campaign is to confront the new negative shift in American opinions toward the Brotherhood. These opinions include support for el-Sisi and allying with him against terror – positions that include a crackdown on Brotherhood activities.

Formerly, having the support of the West (and the American president) was the Brotherhood’s “ace in the hole” – the most important card the group could play in its multi-faceted moves to take over Arab countries and their current regimes. Now that support has been taken away, and the group is reeling.

Tarek al-Bashabishi, a former Brotherhhood official who now works against the organization, commented that ever since the Brotherhood lost power in June 2013, it’s been been inciting various Arab countries and international institutions against Egypt to weaken el-Sisi so the Brotherhood can return to power.

Al-Bashabishi added that after Trump was elected, a huge political shift occurred. The U.S. administration is now against the Brotherhood and in support of el-Sisi’s fight against them. Now, he says, the Brotherhood’s only option is to try to bribe Trump’s rivals in Congress so they can be used as mouthpieces for the Brotherhood.

He said the Brotherhood is engaged in a fight for its life, playing all its cards – including using financial support from Turkey and Qatar and the Brotherhood lobby in America – to avoid being designated as a terror organization.

Al-Bashabishi also noted the same phenomenon in the UK, where he said the Brotherhood is trying to bribe members of the House of Commons to support the anti-Egypt opinions of the Brotherhood.

Iran’s Forward Operating Base against the U.S.

May 4, 2017

by Thomas Quiggin
May 4, 2017 at 4:30 am

Source: Iran’s Forward Operating Base against the U.S.

 

  • Iran’s aim is to use American’s northern neighbour, Canada, as a “forward operating base” for influence operations against the American government.
  • The Trudeau government has shown both a past and present affinity for dictatorial governments. Trudeau himself said he admires the government of the Peoples Republic of China and their “basic dictatorship.” He publicly mourned the passing of Cuban President Fidel Castro. The statement made no note of the 60-plus years of dictatorship, and Cuba’s brutal suppression of human rights.
  • Among its teachings, the Ontario Jaffari Mosque’s school suggested that boys should play sports so they can be “physically be ready for jihad whenever the time comes for it.” Girls, on the other hand, were told that they should “stick to hobbies that prepare them to become wives and mothers.

Iran and its Islamist regime is currently making a major effort to expand its footprint in Canada. Their aim is to use American’s northern neighbour as a “forward operating base” for influence operations against the American government. In a recent video, Hassan Abbasi, a leadership figure in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), was boasting about a “guerilla movement of Iranian agents living and working in the United States.” Iran, he says, is leading a clandestine army of potential martyrs within the US.

This does not seem to be an isolated event. Iranian diplomat Hamid Mohammadi said in 2012 there were many Iranian-Canadians “working in influential government positions” and called on others to “occupy high-level and key positions.

Given Iran’s history of exporting violence and terrorism, that Iranians on both sides of the border are discussing how they are infiltrating North America should be of concern.

Iran has been forced to recalibrate its efforts during the past decade due to the shifting views of Canadian and American governments. The Obama Administration (2009-2017) gave virtual free rein to Iranian agents of influence. They were supported by a variety of Administration insiders such as Valerie Jarrett. When the Iranian Navy seized ten US Navy sailors and photographed them in humiliating positions, Vice President Joseph Biden described this as “just standard nautical practice“. Predictably, Iran forced a US Navy female sailor to wear a hijab , possibly as a way of showing male dominance over an American female.

The government of Canada had earlier allowed Iranian agents such as Faisal Larijani to build infrastructure and support. This included the Center for Iranian Studies, located in Toronto at 290 Sheppard Ave. W., which was incorporated in January 2008.

When Prime Minister Harper (2006-2015) was elected, governmental support for Iran quickly dropped, culminating in the shuttering of the Iranian Embassy in 2012, using, as the leverage to remove them, the newly enacted “Justice for the Victims of Terrorism Act“.

The current situation has now reversed itself. The newly elected Trump Administration appears to be taking a much harder stand against Iran while Canadian Prime Minster Trudeau is committed to outreach to Iran and a possible re-opening of the Canadian and Iranian Embassies.

Today’s Iran

Iran remains listed as one of three global state sponsors of terrorism, along with Syria and Sudan, according to the US State Department. Canada also lists the Qods Force as a terrorism entity and states that it “is the clandestine branch of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) responsible for extraterritorial operations, and for exporting the Iranian Revolution through activities such as facilitating terrorist operations.”

In addition, Iran also has one of the most dismal human rights records of any country. Human Rights Watch and others say that the human rights situation in Iran is “dire.” Under the rule of the Ayatollahs, Iranian women confront serious discrimination on issues such as marriage, divorce, and child custody. Women have been sent to jail for publicly speaking out in favor of equal rights for women.

Canada and the Trudeau Government — Unclear Intentions

According to Canada’s former Foreign Minister Stephan Dion (2015-2016), official talks with Iran on re-establishing diplomatic ties have already begun. This is not a surprise; Prime Minister Trudeau campaigned on the issue of doing just that. Some Canadian sanctions against Iran have already been lifted, as of February 2016. Canada also downgraded its warning against all travel to Iran — despite ongoing arrests and the torture of a variety of Canadians and others.

Trudeau’s interest in re-establishing ties with Iran is not new. In 2014, while a Member of Parliament, Justin Trudeau gave an interview to the Montreal-based newspaper Sada al-Mashrek. This paper is openly known to be Khomeinist in nature and supports Iran (as well as Hezbollah). That Trudeau would speak to such a paper in the year before an election suggests he was already reaching out to Iranian regime support in Canada. During this interview, Trudeau also told the paper that he would have a special immigration program that was more open to “Muslims and Arabs.”

Foreign Minister, Chrystia Freeland, was appointed in 2017. Her views seem slightly more nuanced, but there has been no indication that she will not pursue the re-opening of the Canadian embassy in Iran or that of Iran in Canada. A spokesperson for Freeland put it this way in March of 2017:

“We maintain our firm commitment to the human rights of Iranians. We continue to oppose Iran’s support for terrorist organizations, its threats toward Israel, and its ballistic missile program.”

By contrast, she also stated:

“With these amendments to Canadian sanctions against Iran, Canadian companies will now be able to position themselves for new trade opportunities, but we will also maintain rigorous controls on any exports that raise serious proliferation concerns.”

Liberal Member of Parliament Majid Jowhari hosted a delegation of three members of Iran’s parliament in his home. The delegation included MPs Alim Yarmohammadi, Yonathan Betkolia and Mehrdad Lahooti and Ali Bahraini, who is listed as secretary of a development committee. While Joseph Pickerill, a spokesperson for then Foreign Minister Stéphane Dion, said that the delegation was not an official visit, such a highly unusual meeting raised eyebrows.

Most recently, the Iran Canada Business Council and Export Quebec hosted a meeting on business opportunities in Iran after the lifting of sanctions. Among those invited to participate in this March 28, 2017 Montreal meeting (by Skype) was Medhi Karbasian, Iran’s Deputy Minister of Industry, Mining and Trade. He is also the Chairman of MIDRO (Iranian Mines and Mining Industries Development and Renovation Organization), all of which appear to have commercial ties to the IRGC. Karbasian, has “a longstanding direct involvement in government companies.”

“His resume reads like a sanctions list — at one point he was board member of UN-sanctioned IRISL; a board member of US- and EU-sanctioned NITC; chairs the US-sanctioned Parsian Bank; and, most importantly perhaps, vice-chairman on Kharazmi’s board as representative of Sepehr Energy Co., a recently formed private energy company controlled by Bank Saderat.”

All offices of Bank Saderat worldwide are considered to be IRGC-designated affiliates.

Iran and its Current Khomeinist Representatives in Canada

Imam Rizvi, of the Jaffari Mosque in Thornhill, Ontario, is one of the leading proponents of the Iranian/Khomeinist ideology in Canada. He speaks to support the government of Iran and believes that the Khomeinist interpretation of Shia Islam is to take precedence over all matters. At a 2012 Carleton University conference, he stated:

“Khomeini had proved that Islam is not just a religion of prayers and personal laws that only deals with matters of divorce and inheritance, rather it is a complete code of life that can govern all aspects of society — spiritual, material, as well as personal, social, economic and political aspects.”

The conference had been run to celebrate the anniversary of the death of Ayatollah Khomeini and was titled “The Contemporary Awakening and Imam Khomeini’s Thoughts.

Consistent with his Khomeinist masters, Imam Rizvi also believes and advocates that sex with 9-year-old girls is acceptable, as long as it occurs within munqati’ (temporary) or da’im (permanent) marriage. His book on Marriage and Morals in Islam also says that girls/women can be entered into temporary marriages, apparently from the age of nine and upwards. In the eyes of many, ‘temporary marriage’ or muta is another word for prostitution. These muta marriages may be occurring now at the Jaffari Mosque.

Imam Rizvi, of the Jaffari Mosque in Ontario, is a leading proponent of the Iranian/Khomeinist ideology in Canada. He believes and advocates that sex with 9-year-old girls is acceptable, as long as it occurs within munqati’ (temporary) or da’im (permanent) marriage. (Image source: IslamiCentre video screenshot)

One of three schools run by the mysteriously well-funded Jaffari Mosque was also shut down during a 2012 hate crimes investigation. The teaching materials used by the mosque were from Iran (the Al Balagh Foundation) and from the Mostazafan Foundation of New York, which is identified as an arm of the Iranian government. Among its teachings, the mosque’s school suggested that boys should play sports so they can be “physically be ready for jihad whenever the time comes for it.” Girls, on the other hand, were told that they should “stick to hobbies that prepare them to become wives and mothers.”

Iran and Canada: An Awkward Embrace?

Canada and Iran have an unhappy history with respect to the treatment of each other’s citizens. Iran beat, raped and tortured to death in 2003 Canadian citizen and freelance photographer Zahra Kazemi. Her “crime” was being a woman and having taken picture of a demonstration in 2003 in Tehran. Currently, Iran is holding Abdolrasoul Dorri Esfahani, an Iranian-Canadian. He is a member of the Ontario Institute of Chartered Accountants and a former adviser to Iran’s Central Bank. He was, by all accounts directly involved in the $1.7 billion cash-for-hostages deal. He was indicted on spying charges in early March 2017.

Canada, on the other hand, still has Mahmoud Reza Khavari Ban. He is believed to be responsible for a $2.6 billion fraud case which he helped orchestrated through several Iranian banks. One of the banks involved, Bank Melli, is believed to be an IRGC/Quds Force front and was involved in funding terrorism activities.

Khavari had been a citizen of Canada since 2005 but returned to Iran shortly after getting his citizenship. The fraud in Iran apparently began in 2007, shortly after his return to his native country. This raises the question of whether Khavari sought Canadian citizenship earlier as a means of having a refuge after defrauding Iran. Either way, Khavari fled back to Canada in 2011 after details of the fraud began to emerge. Khavari’s return and his kid-glove treatment by the government of Canada suggest to some that he must have struck some sort of deal with the government, perhaps in exchange for insider information on the government of Iran or its embassy in Canada.

The Iranian embassy in Canada closed in 2012, not that long after his arrival. No concrete links have been drawn between the two events. Iran, however, still has an Interpol “Red Notice” on Khavari and still wants his extradition as of October 2016.

How Prime Minister Trudeau would handle this case in the event of the reopening of Iran’s Embassy in Ottawa is not clear. It would appear to be a major stumbling block to re-establishing normal relations. For Canada to allow extradition, Iran would have to waive the death penalty that is currently hanging over the head of Mr. Khavari. Iran has executed several other senior executives who were involved in the fraud, so this seems unlikely.

Outlook

Iran shows every sign of doing a “full court press” on Canada to increase its footprint in Canada and provide it a forward operating base on the border of the USA. The Trudeau government, for its part, has shown both a past and present affinity for dictatorial governments. Trudeau himself says he admires the Government of the Peoples Republic of China and their “basic dictatorship.” He publicly mourned the passing of Cuban President Fidel Castro in an official government statement describing him as “larger than life leader who served his people for almost half a century.” He also stated that the Cuban people had a deep and lasting affection for “el Comandante”. The statement made no note of the 60-plus years of dictatorship, Cuba’s brutal suppression of human rights nor its systemic persecution of gays.

Trudeau’s brother and political advisor is Alexandre “Sacha” Trudeau. Sacha Trudeau and the Iranian state-owned PressTV co-produced a fawning documentary entitled, “The New Great Game,” which stated that Iran’s nuclear program is for “defensive” purposes only, serving as an effective “deterrent” against Israeli “aggression” and belligerence. In an earlier documentary (“The Fence”), Sacha Trudeau profiled Zakaria Zubeidi, then leader of the terrorist group Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades portraying him as a Robin Hood-like “leader of the resistance.”

Given the history of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and based on his time in office to date, it appears likely that Iran will increase its influence activities in Canada, a dangerous development for the USA as it moves to confront Iran.

Tom Quiggin, a court qualified expert on terrorism and practical intelligence, is based in Canada.