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Media Communique

Date: August 22nd, 2006 - Rajab 28, 1427       Volume: 9     Issue: 128

Islamic Congress Urges Government To Take Hezbollah And Hamas Off 'Terrorist' List


The Canadian Islamic Congress is adding its voice to renewed calls for the federal government to review its 2002 decision to place Hezbollah and Hamas on its list of banned alleged terrorist organizations.

Comments by several opposition MPs arising from a recent fact-finding visit to areas of southern Lebanon ravaged by Israeli military strikes, underscored the distinction between Hezbollah's military, political, and charitable branches, which operate independently of one another.

That distinction was formerly recognized by current interim Liberal Leader Bill Graham, who was foreign affairs minister in 2002, but he reversed his position under intense pressure from the pro-Israel lobby.

Meanwhile, the Canadian Jewish group B'nai Brith Canada has been quick to denounce the Lebanon trip by Liberal MP Borys Wrzesnewskyj, NDP MP Peggy Nash and Bloc Quebecois MP Maria Moureni, accusing them of "undermining respect for Canadian law" in calling for a review of Canada's position on groups like Hezbollah and Hamas.

CIC stated today that it endorses the position of other prominent NGOs, such as the Canadian Arab Federation, that placing Hezbollah and Hamas on Canada's banned list, while Israel continues to oppress Palestinians and threaten its Arab neighbors, "is an unconscionable act of hypocrisy and a mockery of justice."

The statement further accused the Harper government of duplicity in supporting Israel, despite the Jewish state's multiple indictments for war crimes, for acting in defiance of numerous UN resolutions, and for continuing an unabated policy of state terrorism against both Palestine and Lebanon for nearly six decades.

"The listing or de listing of political groups as so-called 'terrorist' organizations must be a political decision, made in the best interests of all Canadians, not dictated by special interest groups with agendas that are contrary to peace with justice," the CIC said. "The IRA (Irish Republican Army) peacetime negotiation and co-operation model could work best in dealing with Hezbollah and Hamas, but only if Canada is interested in bringing long-term peace with justice to the people of the Middle East."

Dr. Mohamed Elmasry,
(519) 746-4107 (O)
(519) 498-1350 (Cell)

Mrs. Wahida Valiante,
(905) 771-1023