01.28.2014 11:27 AM

When you call someone a terrorist

As I mentioned a few days ago, PMO needed to lawyer up. They now see why.

Harper and PMO will lose: falsely calling someone a terrorist is among the most serious libels you can make. They’ll insist on settling with a non-disclose, but if I were advising NCCM – and I am not, and have not – I’d tell them to get stuffed. An apology made in secret isn’t one.


  1. steve says:

    Who will pay the bill if the PMO loses, I suspect it will be the taxpayer. If thats the case this could be another wedge issue and the lawsuit just more red meat for the base.

  2. Matt says:

    I’m not a lawyer, nor do I play one on the internet, but the quote from the PMO was:

    “We will not take seriously criticism from an organization with documented ties to a terrorist organization such as Hamas,”

    They never called the NCCM organization terrorists. The PMO said they had documented ties to a terrorist organization.

    Are the two consdered the same under the law?

    • SherryBellamy says:

      Well, Rob Ford never said the “P” word, but he sure as hell apologized. Twice. Interesting point, though….is insinuation enough in this instance? “Documented ties”? What were they insinuating?

      • Ottawa Civil Servant says:

        The PM’s assistant wasn’t insinuating anything. He was stating, in clear terms, that NCCM, which recently changed its name from the Council on American Islamic Relations (Canada), otherwise known as CAIR-CAN, was in some way linked to Hamas.

        The name change was to differentiate them from their parent American organization. Which, BTW, had been found in court to have links to Hamas and lost its tax exempt status for excessive lobbying and failure to file.

        Check it out on Wikipedia: under criticism.

        I don’t think the PMO is sweating this one at all. But it was bright for the CAIR-CAN people to file the suit. It equals lots of press and attention. And donations from the dupes.

        • Ridiculosity says:

          I’m guessing the PMO is “sweating this one”. Big time. And it’s probably giving Jason Kenney arrhythmia.

          A big part of Harper’s Take Back Toronto effort is directed at Muslim voters – one demographic they can’t afford to piss off – but they have. Big time.

        • Attack! says:

          No, not the “parent” – they’re completely different organizations, their Executive Director explained on CBC Power & Politics today: no affiliation.

    • Tiger says:

      They’ll have to show how these ties are documented, and what they meant.

      If it stands up, they get off, but if it doesn’t, they’re either going to have to dance a jig to satisfy the group (apology, unqualified withdrawal, etc.) or pay damages.

      The group sounds pretty confident, so the apology request may even go off the table if the PMO doesn’t play ball soon.

    • Judy Torrance says:

      I don’t think there’s any question that the public would consider a statement that an organization has “documented ties” to a terrorist group to be defamatory.

      We’re in a weird McCarthy-ite world. What does “documented ties” mean? By commenting on this subject, does Warren now have “documented ties” to Hamas?

      • smelter rat says:


        • david ray says:

          McCarthy indeed. Now that Harper et al want the public sector to sign agreements to not disclose political intentions how many degrees of separation are we from another McCarthy era.
          I re-read Pete Seegers testimony before the McCarthy committee and what a brave soul he was. To think he was blacklisted AND sentenced to a year in jail is almost beyond belief..
          How many would hold out against that much pressure today. It’s a long read but what an insight to the man.

  3. Rich says:

    But the PMO didn’t say they were terrorists – they said they have links to terrorists. And CAIR, the head office of CAIR-CAN (now the NCCM) was listed by a US court and the Attorney General’s office as an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Terror financing trial. I don’t think the PMO has a lot to worry about with this one.

    • smelter rat says:

      Whistling past the graveyard.

    • Attack! says:

      No, not the “head office” – a completely different organization, their Executive Director explained on CBC Power & Politics today.

      • CaligulaJones says:

        I guess the ED, scrupulously unbiased as he is, didn’t read his own press replease:

        “(Ottawa, Canada – July 6, 2013) The Canadian Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR.CAN), a prominent national Muslim civil liberties organization founded in the year 2000, today proudly unveiled its new name and logo.

        “As of July 6, 2013, CAIR.CAN will be known as the National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM) or the Conseil National des Musulmans Canadiens (CNMC). This change represents a natural evolution for the organization. Our new name better reflects the Canadian heritage and focus of the organization as well as its ongoing vision to be a leading voice that enriches Canadian society through Muslim civic engagement and the promotion of human rights,” says NCCM Board Chair Kashif Ahmed.

        “In thirteen short years, CAIR.CAN has developed from a fledgling organization into one whose professionalism and accomplishments in the fields of civil liberties, media engagement, advocacy and outreach have positioned it as a leader in promoting civic engagement and mutual understanding between Canadian Muslims and their fellow citizens. We are proud to move forward from strength to strength under our new name,” says NCCM Vice-Chair Khalid Elgazzar.

        “We remain the same organization our constituents and partners have come to rely on to represent a broad and diverse spectrum of Canadian Muslims. Our vast body of work is a matter of public record and of which we are very proud. Under our new name, we will both continue and widen our work as successful advocates for civil liberties and champion the role of diverse communities in upholding Canadian pluralism,” says NCCM Executive Director Ihsaan Gardee.”

        I would imagine that “CAIR.CAN will be known as the National Council of Canadian Muslims ” and “we remain the same organization” will pretty much mean the same thing to a judge as it does to anyone above a third grad reading level…

        • m2-north says:

          “We remain the same organization our constituents and partners have come to rely on to represent a broad and diverse spectrum of Canadian Muslims” – that’s the whole sentence in the context of the whole paragraph. So they rebranded, but their organization does the same advocacy work their “partners & constituents have come to rely on”.

          You’re bumped down to grade 1 and you would certainly fail the LSAT.

        • Attack! says:

          “imagine” is the operative word, here. You seem to think this announcement rebranding the fledgling CAIR-CAN org. as NCCM 13 years later has some relevance to establishing that CAIR[-USA] was somehow its “head office” — but it doesn’t, in the least.

  4. bigcitylib says:

    Tarek Fatah might have to lawyer up.

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