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A Liberal fund raising appeal to the Arab community and an Arab activist's passionate response

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  • Tarek Fatah
    Friends, For those of you who don t know him, Mughir Hindi is a prominent Toronto activist; a mild mannered Marxist from the Middle East. This week he received
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 2, 2006
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      For those of you who don't know him, Mughir Hindi is a prominent Toronto
      activist; a mild mannered Marxist from the Middle East.

      This week he received a fund raising appeal from an Arab group asking him to

      The sender of the email invoked tribal ethnic patriotism in his fund
      raising. He appeals:
      "It is important to show that credible Canadian Arabs can get elected and
      win campaigns. Donating to friendly political candidates is perhaps the most
      important thing you can do to help the Palestinians and Arabs in Canada."

      In his response, Mughir Hindi writes:
      "The demands to support an Arab...just for the mere reason of sending an
      Arab to Ottawa does not make sense, no real issues are being discussed...
      Arabs have had Liberal Arab MP's in Ottawa before, what came out from them?
      NOTHING. They were complete cowards. If we want to look beyond our borders
      to see other Arab Politicians, there are many in the America's. How many
      Arab Congressmen are in the (US) Congress--past and present--what did they
      achieve? Nothing. Palestinians have a Palestinian President in El-Salvador,
      President Sacca. He was the perfect US clown, standing next to Bush last
      month in Argentina. The new leftist President in Bolivia, Evo Morales, is
      still being fought by extreme rich Palestinian businessman, Gabrielle
      Dabdoub, and the head of the powerful Wood industry Cartel, Lebanese Abu
      Saab, in rich Santa Cruz province of Bolivia. Shame."

      Here is an slightly edited version of Mughir Hindi's brilliant response to
      the sender of the Liberal fund raising letter.

      Read and reflect.

      Tarek Fatah


      Couple of sentences in an e-mail that was forwarded to me, forced me to
      write this e-mail about an issue in elections that I chose to be silent at a
      time that is critical for a Liberal Arab candidate under attack.

      Not that my words would change the direction in which Canadian Arab Politics
      have been slipping into for the past couple of years. But frankly, keeping
      silent when such a political charade is taking place is irritating.

      Please do not assume that Arabs and Palestinians have to just support
      blindly any Arab into Parliament for being an Arab.

      This is frankly saddening, to at least some Arabs and Palestinians, to
      speak on their behalf like this, assuming we are to support Arabs with no
      real discussion taking place over what kind of politics or ideas any
      candidate carries, whether himself or the party. Anyhow, these days it is
      the party line rather than the individual candidate that set the election
      slogans and supposed campaign goals.

      It took me last weekend two simple questions to a Muslim Taxi driver in
      Mississauga to make him question why is he voting for a party that will not
      allow his kids to go to University, as he cannot afford high education for
      his kids and with education grants thinning to shameful levels.

      He started by flexing muscles of the Pakistani Community in Erindale and
      their ability to elect Omar in (the nomination battle).

      The taxi driver is an engineer who has to drive a cab, but he is voting in a
      party that is adamant to eradicate any possibility for impoverished
      Canadians to higher education. He actually later figured out later that he
      had better chances for education in Pakistan than his kids now in Canada.

      Discussing issues with him in a ten minute taxi ride saved me 18$ as he
      refused later to make money from me, an atheist Muslim going to celebrate
      Christmas with Christian members of my family. What started with flexing of
      Muslim Power in Erindale ended in a Canadian issues 101,and saving me $18
      (the only achievement that day, as I don't think I can erase decades of
      sectarian tribalism in a ten minute drive, but i can start shaking it).

      Canadians should vote for Politicians according to their convictions and
      political ideas rather than for their ethnic background. Any "Canadian"
      politician, irrespective of his ethnicity, who is true to Human Rights
      values deserves every vote, and should not be replaced by another candidate
      just because we need to prove that we can send "Arabs to Space (Ottawa)".

      To try to make a smear campaign between Liberals and Conservatives as a
      reason for supporting an ethnic candidate is laughable. Omar Alghabra is not
      going to be a champion of issues, when and if he becomes a BACKSEATER
      applauding Paul Martin in the Parliament, for a Party that does not allow
      any criticism within its ranks; the story of Carolyn Parrish is the perfect

      I am confident that Omar Alghabra has enough friends in the Liberal Party, I
      am sure with so many rich liberal friends they can be generous. I am really
      not worried about the funding capabilities of the group, neither anyone else
      should be ;-)

      Pro-Palestinian human rights activists can do better with their money
      especially if we are going to again face a liberal government that is so
      determined to support Israel while Palestinian land is being confiscated on
      a daily basis and people killed and future of a hostage nation forsaken.
      Omar is not the PLO or Arab League candidate in Canada:-), he is the LIBERAL

      Omar Alghabra can have all the WISHES from me for his journey to Ottawa, but
      for FREE.

      The demands to support an Arab, similar to what I have been reading in
      Arabic Newspapers that ask people to support an Arab Candidate just for the
      mere reason of sending an Arab to Ottawa does not make sense, no real issues
      are being discussed.

      What are the values of the Liberal party that puts Arabs in Jails for years
      for Security threats, deports Asylum seekers, deports refugees, arrests and
      deport Students, sends citizens to torture in other countries, and joins
      War efforts with USA ...and Fully supports Israel, overthrows a democratic
      government in Haiti, plunders and occupies that country with US and
      France.!!! It is a party that worries about Israelis being killed more than
      the tens even more than a hundreds of unsolved killings that plagued
      Toronto's marginalized communities.

      In an Arab reception that was expensive to attend for Liberal Ontario Prime
      Minister while Mahjoub was starving to death, when a Canadian Arab attendee
      (Prof Ibrahim Hayani) requested McGuinty to do something for Mahjoub, who
      has not hugged his kids for years, he was interrupted by the current Media
      Advisor for Omar Alghabra in his campaign, who grabbed the microphone and
      told the guests that McGuinty was not there to answer any questions, i.e.,
      she provided him a front "Escape" door with a smile and the excuse to not
      answer any question.

      This was the same day that TASC was not allowed into Queens Park to discuss
      Mahjoub's issue. As McGuinty need not worry, he has the community in his
      pocket, and has gathered them after each one paid $150/- for a reception
      where he addressed them like sheep, and they were not allowed to ask him any

      These are the politics of the current "credible" Canadian Arabs who have
      taken the community hostage to their political aspirations and adventure,
      who think that Politics is about the simple ignorance of innocent Canadian
      Politicians about issues, and the nearer you are to these leaders,
      preferably as close to their ears to whisper rather than loudly speak out,
      the more you are able to influence them!!!

      And the more you put money in their pockets and fund their campaigns the
      easier it is for your words to seep into their ears. God Bless the spirit of
      the Persian poet Ibn Al Muqafaa'a who wrote a whole book hundreds of years
      back, costing him his life and literally being cut into pieces alive, about
      politics thru Animals called Kalila Wa Dumna, he says, if you see the teeth
      of the Lion, don't think that it is smiling. i.e., there will be no
      achievements for any community being imbedded in these Parties that are
      completely manipulated by Massive, heavily-funded, Multinational Interest
      Groups. This is the liberal Party in a few words. Actually the nearer you
      are to the lion, the easier it is for him to eat you.

      This request for money is really very disappointing, very very

      While the liberals are wrecking slowly the state and social system, they can
      still manipulate ethnic groups into Backseats in the Parliament. And those
      people who do the work for the liberals to keep their communities at bay,
      will always be cheaply rewarded.

      It is not strange that the Liberals asked Omar Alghabra to run, as he has
      proven that he can rally Arabs to Ottawa, for a polite discussion, no real
      pressure, and they can still get away with this community after every
      political blunder.

      A member of the parliament this year told her Arab visitors, "why do you
      waste your time, when your President (Omar President of CAF) is known to be
      running for the Liberals, is heading your delegation, do you really think
      any MP will take you seriously when the head of your organization has public
      aspiration for a position in the liberal Caucus." That MP later decided to
      join the Canada-Israel Parliamentarians: If the Arabs are so easily
      manipulated, why should she stand up for their issues, better join the
      winning Lobby.

      If you want to employ someone at work, don't you ask for his/her resume?

      What is Omar Alghabra's political resume and achievements. Zilch. Actually,
      he was later to continue the work of his predecessors at CAF to wreck that
      organization and reduce it to Herding Arabs like Sheep to Ottawa and Liberal
      officials while they shied away from many real issues in the past years and
      actually backstabbed every serious attempt by the community to stand up.

      Not a single penny did we ever see from CAF and the close circle of Arab
      ladder climbers and influential and Ottawa Pilgrims to support some
      initiatives of the community.

      When the Arab Heritage Day that went on for the past 19 years was not funded
      for a few thousands of dollars, CAF and Omar Aghanra did not send a plea to
      the community to fundraise and rescue Arab Heritage event. It was easier for
      them to simply cancel and erase the one and only cultural window for Arabs
      and Canadians into Arabic culture at a time so critical for the Canadian

      Omar Alghabra provided the stage for Canadian Jewish Groups to play the
      victim game when anti Arab Racist graffiti and leaflets were found in
      Ryerson University, of course they are the heroes of human rights issues,
      Omar is so naive to give them the stage to become heroes. And later it was a
      Jewish member of a Jewish Organization who was caught red handed!!!

      What else? Darfur!!!

      Repeated emails were sent to CAF to take leadership on this issue before it
      was hijacked by the Zionists. CAF did nothing!! Actually, I was told that
      one CAF executive said that Sudan is not an Arab Country!!!

      These are, but a few of the "Achievements" of Omar Alghabra and the new CAF
      establishment. Their politics goes as such:

      "We, i.e. Omar and that circle, are the speakers on behalf of the community.
      You, the community, don't have to do anything. You are discouraged at a
      every event of self organizing. The Local Toronto Chapter of CAF was
      illegally closed, and thus CAF kept clean from any critical thinking or non

      This establishement seems to suggest, "We will select from you those who are
      agreeable, take you to Ottawa every year, take photographs and educate the
      MPs... because these MPs are simple, they don't know. They are not
      Politicians like you would think a politician should be, with all the
      resources at his or her hand, and they don't read news and blogs and are
      just the victims of misinformation.

      And what was the result after the Heroic Parliament days this year, a
      catastrophic ugly vote in the UN by Canada in less than a week after the CAF
      visits, and a Prime Minister who sees that Israel and Canada have same

      For God's sake, cannot anyone sense or measure the failures...And only to
      add insult to injury, these Parliament Visits to Ottawa will be advertised
      next year for people to come, pay for their exposure to Politicians, as it
      is really a great opportunity for "Rich Arabs" to come and knit close
      relations to Politicians.

      Do you really want to send someone with this humble list of achievements to
      Ottawa, Why? To extend the damage to the whole of Canada!!!! Just to say
      that we have successfully created an Arab backseater.

      It is the ability to dilute the community's anger and dis-satisfaction, and
      counter manoeuvre its political organizing, the ability to herd people to
      Ottawa for petty theatrics that has convinced the Liberal Party that they
      have an asset in CAF president.

      I really pray, from all my heart that I would be proven wrong, and will
      await and monitor every step that the future Erindale MP will do,
      congratulate on any achievement and scorn him at any mishap. Is that not

      But untill then, please don't ask me to give money. And please, if you want
      to advise others how to spend money, there are many other valid causes to
      spend on. My first advise is to buy some embroidery that we are selling on
      our website, as they are to help Palestinian students cover the cost of
      their expensive medicine books at university in Beirut. I would like to
      assume that you agree that this is a more valid cause. Although we cannot
      give any tax-exemption receipts, but it is still worth every cent.

      Someone should have advised Omar Alghabra and all the other Arab Liberals
      who jumped at the first opportunity to take the place of Parrish that they
      still need a lot of credit and political experience in public politics
      domain, add some experience and more fat and meat to their small political
      muscles, and only then jump into such a field.

      Omar, with all due respect, has no public domain experience. He has jumped
      in what is called the Long Jump in the Olympics. He might have proved a lot
      of efficiency and manoeuvrability in a very short period in reaching
      targets, but has not achieved political results for the community, and
      certainly does not have a solid community enough to enable him to stand for
      the tough issues like War and Palestine and marginalization and
      impoverishment of immigrants and Canadians.

      Change will only come from an organized Community that has the finger on the
      right local social issues, peace and anti-war, and capable to inflict pain
      on the government when needed to punish the Government. Not a community that
      still gets slapped by the ruling party and still votes and feeds it with
      Candidates and votes.

      If Omar and the other Ottawa Pilgrims think that politics is so simple and
      easy, it was because they were swimming in familiar and shallow waters of
      their own political party. Because they have never really posed any real
      challenge to the Govt. Policies. The African American human rights campaigns
      in US did not achieve its targets by mere lobbying or organizing dinners
      with the KuKluxKlan or White House, but by massive mobilizations and
      building a movement from below.

      Arabs have had Liberal Arab MP's in Ottawa before, what came out from them?
      NOTHING. They were complete cowards.

      If we want to look beyond our borders to see other Arab Politicians, there
      are many in the America's:

      How many Arab Congressmen are in the congress, PAST and Present, what did
      they Achieve, Nothing.

      Palestinians have a Palestinian President in El-Salvador, President Sacca.
      He was the perfect US clown, standing next to Bush last month in Argentina.

      The new leftist President in Bolivia, Evo Morales, is still being fought by
      extreme rich Palestinian businessman, Gabrielle Dabdoub, and the head of the
      powerfull Wood industry Cartel Lebanese Abu Saab, in rich Santa Cruz
      province of Bolivia.


      Arabs in Venezuela are part of the rich Oil industry and are a component of
      opposition to President Chavez. Shame.

      And there are many, many Arab past presidents in Latin America, what came
      from them, what did they prove? Nothing. They only proved that there are
      Dirty Politicians who are corrupt irrespective of their ethnic background,

      If we in Canada are to support Arabs who will only become a backbencher, a
      mouthpiece in Team-Martin, then, I prefer to either pack my bag and go live
      in Syria under another similar one party system, or to stand up here against
      manipulation of communities within ethnic boundaries, and fight for
      Canadians and the rest of the world in the Jackals den.

      It is not important to get an Arab to Ottawa, It is important to get a
      Politician who can freely say his/her opinion without fearing the wrath of
      the Party's eliminating sword.

      I do not relate to any of those Arabs, like I do not relate to any Ethnic
      Arab that chooses to align himself to the a Govt that supports the enemy of
      my people, nor a government that is doing its best to increase the gap
      between the poor and rich in Canada rather than reduce it.

      The liberal Party is not a centrist party anymore, the days of Trudeau are
      history, This is now a rightwing party

      It is my opinion the people who trusted Omar Alghabra to lead CAF, and later
      to shift from a very specific non partisan community work, to jump into
      Partisan Politics, hit the biggest blow to the Canadian Arab Federation and.
      This will affect the credibility of CAF for years to come.

      We need to build a solid community, step by step, as long as it will take
      us, even if it is for generations. Our job is not to feed an ever thirsty
      War Chest that we spend on Liberal or Conservative politicians who are
      adamant on crossing every line to Support Israel and the rich in Canada and
      keeping the immigrant communities sidelined and impoverished.

      Happy New Year
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