Ottawa Citizen: Saudi Arabia funds radicals in Canada; $1.5 million annually to just one Toronto mosque

Hello all,

Here is a story from the Ottawa Citizen archives. The writer made some specific allegations in 2004 that went unchallenged by those named in the story.

The July 2004 reports says:

“…Saudi Arabia has spent hundreds of millions of dollars to fund 210 Islamic centres and 1,359 mosques around the world, including in Canada. It cites an official Saudi report in 2002 that stated ”King Fahd donated $5-million US for the cost of an Islamic Center in Toronto, Canada, in addition to $1.5-million US annually to run the facility. The Saudi government’s official Web site also said King Fahd provided funds to the Calgary mosque, the Ottawa mosque and the Islamic centre in Quebec. Toronto has numerous Islamic centres and the Saudi embassy in Ottawa refused to say which received millions of dollars from King Fahd.”

For nearly two years ISNA refused to identify itself as the Toronto mosque that recieved the Saudi money until exposed by a Globe and Mail report in Nov. 2005.

Read and reflect.

Tarek Fatah
————–
Friday, July 30, 2004

Saudis fund radicals in Canada
Centre propagating Islamic extremism given millions: U.S.

By Robert Fife
Ottawa Citizen

OTTAWA – Saudi Arabia is funding radical Islamic extremism in Canada, where King Fahd has contributed millions of dollars to a mysterious Islamic centre in Toronto, a U.S. panel on terrorist financing says.

The Saudis have also funded mosques in Ottawa and Calgary and an Islamic centre in Quebec, according to official statements from the Saudi government.

A task force report on terrorist financing by the Council on Foreign Relations, which included former White House counterterrorist chief Richard Clarke and David Cohen, the CIA’s former director of operations, says U.S. strategic interests are threatened by Saudi efforts to extend its brand of extremist Islam to North America and elsewhere.

”Saudi Arabia funds the global propagation of Wahabism, a brand of Islam that, in some instances, supports militancy by encouraging divisiveness and violent acts against Muslims and non-Muslims,” the report said.

”This massive spending is helping to create the next generation of terrorists and therefore constitutes a paramount strategic threat to the United States…. This massive spending is an integral part of the terrorist financing problem. It fosters virulence and intolerance directly at the United States, Christians, Jews and even other Muslims.”

The task force said Saudi Arabia has spent hundreds of millions of dollars to fund 210 Islamic centres and 1,359 mosques around the world, including in Canada.

It cites an official Saudi report in 2002 that stated ”King Fahd donated $5-million US for the cost of an Islamic Center in Toronto, Canada, in addition to $1.5-million US annually to run the facility.”

The Saudi government’s official Web site also said King Fahd provided funds to the Calgary mosque, the Ottawa mosque and the Islamic centre in Quebec.

Toronto has numerous Islamic centres and the Saudi embassy in Ottawa refused to say which received millions of dollars from King Fahd.

CanWest News Service was also unable to determine the identity of the Saudi-financed centre, despite numerous telephone calls to Islamic organizations in Toronto, including the Salaheddin Islamic Centre, which preaches Wahabism and has been a target of investigations by the Canadian Security Intelligence Service and the RCMP.

The Salaheddin centre runs a mosque and a private elementary school where the Khadr family and other radicals linked to Osama bin Laden belong and where the organization’s Web site preaches against Jews and Christians.

”Why do we hate the Jews? We hate them for the sake of Our Lord, we hate them for the sake of Allaah because they slandered Allaah and they killed and slandered His Prophets,” according to one of many statements against Jews and Christians on the Web site.

”The purpose of jihad in Islam is not … to shed the blood of Kaafirs [disbelievers] and take their wealth; rather the purpose is so that all religion will be for Allaah alone, and the religion of Allaah will prevail over all other religions.”

Imam Aly Hindy of the Salaheddin Centre and Toronto director of the Canadian Islamic Congress, a place of worship for 2,500 Muslims, did not return phone calls. The former principal of the Salaheddin school, Mahmoud Jaballah, has been held in detention and is facing extradition to Egypt on suspicion of links to bin Laden’s elusive second-in-command, Ayman al-Zawahiri.

The Islamic Centre of Canada and the Jami Islamic Centre — both based in Toronto — denied receiving any Saudi money.

The imam of the Ottawa Mosque, Dr. Gamal Solaiman, could not say how much money the Saudis provided his mosque, nor did he know which Islamic centre in Toronto was funded by the Saudis.

Dr. Solaiman referred all inquiries about Saudi funding to the mosque’s board of directors, but they did not return phone calls. Hussein Paiman of the Calgary Mosque, whose imam was a professor at Saudi Arabia’s King Saud University, also did not know how much the Saudis had contributed.

The Islamic Centre in Quebec — run by Sheikh Syed Bukhari, a graduate of Madina University in Saudi Arabia, was also unable to discuss Saudi funding.

All three institutions are posted on the Saudi government Web site as receiving an unspecified amount of money from the kingdom, but their individual Web sites do not appear to preach radical Islamic doctrines.

The task force, which also included former deputy U.S. treasury secretary Stuart Eizenstat, said Saudi Arabia is training and sending radical clerics abroad to propagate extremism and said every Saudi embassy has a well-funded branch that provides ”inflammatory materials” to mosques and Islamic centres.

”This spending is fundamentally problematic from the standpoint of U.S. strategic interests. We find that it must be directly, immediately and unequivocally addressed,” the report said.

The task force said Saudi Arabia has recently taken steps to curtail its charities from financing terrorism and money-laundering, but noted the kingdom has not arrested or jailed anyone, even though ”Saudi Arabia has been the most significant source of funds for al-Qaeda.”

”Not only have there been no publicly announced arrests in Saudi Arabia related to terrorist financing, but key financiers remain free or go unpunished,” it said.

The panel also said Riyadh has done little to stop the ”radicalization of millions of Muslims” through the global spread of Wahabism. The report called on the U.S. government to demand an accounting of the support and money the Saudis provide to religious schools, mosques, centres of learning and other religious organizations globally.

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