Justin Trudeau, the leader of the Liberal Party and the most widely touted name to be the next Prime Minister of Canada, is at the center of a controversy this week for a 2011 visit to the Al-Sunnah Al-Nabawiah mosque in Montreal, which was identified by U.S. intelligence officials as a site where “known al-Qaeda members were recruited, facilitated or trained.”
Steven Blaney, Canada’s minister of public safety and emergency preparedness, declared: “It is completely unacceptable that Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau would associate with a group that allegedly radicalizes Canadians to join al-Qaeda and engage in acts of unspeakable violent extremism. Now he is pandering for votes amongst religious extremists in our own communities. It is clear that Justin Trudeau cannot be trusted to keep Canadians safe.”
Trudeau dismissed the controversy: “I think I’ve probably been to every single different mosque in my riding. I know a number of people who have been listed by the U.S. government on a no-fly list and we in Canada have our own determinations for those sorts of things because the U.S. is known to make mistakes from time to time; are there any other questions?”
Canada’s Leftist media establishment hit back hard. Jonathan Kay, who for years has been trying to efface all signs of his previous opposition to jihad terror, sneered in the National Post that the whole controversy had been cooked up by the conservative Sun TV network, “and since many Sun viewers already suspect that Trudeau was born in Kenya along with Barack Obama, its Muslim Menace programming presumably plays well to the network’s base.”
Then Kay pounced:
In fact, the network botched the story: In the clip that Sun News had loaded on its web site as of 2pm on Thursday, the host reads out an old statement from the U.S. government, declaring that the mosque is among nine institutions where “known al-Qaeda members are recruited, facilitated or trained.” But the statement actually didn’t say “are.” It said “were.” (You can actually see the text in the printed version of the U.S. memo, which appears on the screen as the Sun host misquotes the key word.) As this CBC report from 2011 indicates, the reference relates to several jihadis who passed through Montreal in the late 1990s.
Warren Kinsella piled on in the Toronto Sun: “The Conservative kids in their dark suits are all ecstatic. After Trudeau visited the mosque – note that word, AFTER – a U.S. intelligence report came out and said that some men had passed through the mosque a decade earlier.”
The U.S. report came out after Trudeau visited the mosque! And it just involved information about “some men had passed through the mosque a decade earlier”! The title of Kinsella’s piece summed up the liberal response: “Tory attack on Trudeau mosque visit backfires.”
There was just one problem with this: it didn’t backfire, but actually raised important questions about Justin Trudeau’s awareness of the jihad threat, as well as his resolve to resist it. Sun News explained in an editorial that the problem with the mosque didn’t just involve some people who “passed through,” but some who lingered. One was “an admitted member of al-Qaida, who swore bayat (oath of allegiance) to Osama bin Laden” and “was the imam at the mosque during the month of Ramadan one year.”
What’s more, even if the U.S. report came out after Trudeau visited the mosque, in July 2011, three months after Trudeau’s visit, the mosque’s website still featured this: “We hold that whoever claims that there is, besides Islam, a religion in existence today that is acceptable to Allah - whether it be the religion of the Jews, Christians or others - is an unbeliever (kaaﬁr). His repentance should be sought; if he refuses to repent, he is to be killed as an apostate (murtad) because of rejecting the Qur’an.”
Did the Al-Sunnah Al-Nabawiah Mosque suddenly become “extremist” in the immediate aftermath of Trudeau’s visit? Or did the heir presumptive, pandering for Muslim votes, carelessly visit a mosque without first making any effort to determine whether or not it taught hatred of Jews and Christians and such inconvenient Islamic doctrines as the death penalty for apostates?
It wouldn’t have been the first time Trudeau had angled for Muslim votes in ways that made it seem as if he was oblivious to the jihad threat. In a mosque visit in 2013, he donned a jalabiya and participated in a prayer that included the shahada, the Islamic profession of faith. In 2012, he spoke at the Reviving the Islamic Spirit conference, despite the fact that one of its sponsors (until Trudeau’s appearance created so much controversy that it dropped out) was IRFAN-Canada, a group that was later banned for its ties to Hamas. In 2011, he criticized a Canadian government report for calling honor killings “barbaric.”
Stephen Lecce of Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s office accused Trudeau of “trolling for votes among religious extremists in our own communities,” and added: “First, Justin Trudeau refused to condemn the horrific bombing of the Boston Marathon — instead he tried to rationalize the actions of evil individuals. It’s clear that Justin Trudeau cannot be trusted to keep Canadians safe.”
In light of this track record, it seems abundantly clear that Justin Trudeau’s visit to the Al-Sunnah Al-Nabawiah Mosque was no aberration, and even if he had known of the mosque’s terror ties and Islamic supremacist views before his visit, it is not at all clear that he would have dropped his plans to visit.
If he becomes Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau is likely to be Canada’s Barack Obama: a leader who panders to Islamic supremacists, appeasing and accommodating them at every opportunity. Such are Western leaders these days – which is why the West is heading for disaster.
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