As if we needed it, yet another reason to love the Prime Minister of Canada, Steven Harper.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
NCCM has initiated a Notice of Libel against the Prime Minister’s Office for a “false, offensive and defamatory” statement made about NCCM by Jason MacDonald, the PMO’s Director of Communications, in an interview with Sun News on January 16th. (See video below)
Both MacDonald and Prime Minister Stephen Harper are named as parties in the legal notice. The PMO’s statement was issued in response to concerns NCCM raised in an earlier public letter to the Prime Minister.
Joined by allies at a news conference held today on Parliament Hill, NCCM Executive Director Ihsaan Gardee said in a statement:
“Rather than responding to our legitimate concerns, the PMO’s Director of Communications attacked us and attempted to smear our name by claiming NCCM had ‘documented ties to a terrorist organization such as Hamas.’ Nothing could be further from the truth.
“NCCM will not let the PMO’s false statement stand. To say that our organization has illegal affiliations is deeply offensive to us and to Canadians of all faiths and backgrounds, and only serves to reinforce ugly stereotypes about Canadian Muslims.
“By maliciously attacking NCCM instead of addressing the substance of our legitimate concerns, the PMO is trying to intimidate and silence dissenting voices. It is undemocratic and goes against everything Canadians expect from a responsible government.”
Describing MacDonald’s remarks as a “bullying tactic”, NCCM said the PMO was promoting suspicion about Canadian Muslims and demanded the PMO “immediately, publicly and unreservedly retract its false statement and apologize”.
The National Council of Canadian Muslims said it objected to the presence of Toronto Rabbi Daniel Korobkin on the trip, but Jason MacDonald, the prime minister’s director of communications, slammed the NCCM for even making the suggestion. “We will not take seriously criticism from an organization with documented ties to a terrorist organization such as Hamas,” MacDonald said.
The NCCM rejected MacDonald’s statement as “absolutely false” and says it is neither associated with any terrorist group nor is it anti-Semitic. (HAH!)