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Canadian Muslims to sue PM and spokesman over terrorism slur

27th Jun 2014
Canadian Muslims to sue Prime Minister over terrorism slur
The National Council of Canadian Muslims has filed defamation law suit against Prime Minister Stephen Harper (left) and his spokes man, Jason Mac Donald

 

Elham Asaad Buaras

A Canadian Muslim civil rights group has filed a defamation lawsuit against the country’s Prime Minister.

The National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM) announced on May 26 that it launched the suit after Prime Minister Stephen Harper failed to apologise for linking it with the Palestinian group Hamas, outlawed as terror group in Canada back in 2002.

Also named in the suit is Harper’s spokesman, Jason MacDonald.

In January, NCCM asked Harper to reconsider allowing Rabbi Daniel Korobkin of Toronto to be part of an official delegation to Israel. The group claimed Korobkin, a Toronto Rabbi, had spoken warmly of two prominent anti-Islam activists, Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer.

MacDonald responded by saying: “We will not take seriously criticism from an organization with documented ties to a terrorist organization such as Hamas.”

NCCM Executive Director, Ihsaan Gardee, called MacDonald’s statement a “false accusation.”

In a statement to The Muslim News, Gardee said, “On January 28, the NCCM held a news conference on Parliament Hill announcing that it had initiated a libel notice against the Prime Minister’s Office for defamation. Unfortunately, the statement remains on the public record and no retraction was made.”

“This false accusation against the NCCM is of the most serious kind imaginable and was made in an attempt to discredit the NCCM and undermine its ability to conduct its public work. In order to uphold its good name, the NCCM has no choice but to issue a Statement of Claim for defamation against Mr MacDonald and the Prime Minister,” said Gardee.

“As a long-standing Canadian organization, the NCCM has an exemplary public record including participating in major commissions of public inquiry, intervening in landmark cases at the Supreme Court of Canada, and working with security agencies to promote public safety. We are confident the NCCM will obtain a judgment that upholds its good name and reputation,” added Gardee.

Jeff Saikaley, lawyer for NCCM, said. “The Prime Minister’s Office could try to prove ties to Hamas, in which case they’d have to bring evidence.”

The Prime Minister’s Office declined to comment on the suit.

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