For many weeks in Quebec, large groups of students have not only refused to attend their classes but they have prevented others from doing so. They protested against tuition hikes decided by the Charest government in March 2012.
On May 18, 2012, the provincial government reacted to the illegal closings of colleges and universities by boycotting students with the adoption of bill 78. The bill is officially referred to as the Act to enable students to receive instruction from the postsecondary institutions they attend.
Bill 78’s main articles are as follows:
The right to demonstrate does not include the option of intimidating others in order to prevent them from attending their classes. In these circumstances, it is unclear why the government needed a special law to enforce the right of students who wanted to attend their classes to do so.
Tasha Kheiriddin (National Post – May 10, 2012): Democracy + entitlement = mob rule
George Jonas (National Post – June 6, 2012): Quebec students don’t want free tuition, just someone else to pay it
Ehab Lotayef, a pro-Hamas organizer based in Montreal reacted to Bill 78 by writing a poem entitled '78 Lashes' in which he calls it a “fascist law”. It is worth mentioning that Lotayef, who is closely associated with the Muslim Brotherhood leadership in Quebec, chose to publish his text in the pro-Iranian Montreal-based Sada Almashrek rather than in the Muslim Link or any other Muslim Brotherhood publications in Canada. The Muslim Brotherhood leadership had been rather silent about the Quebec student boycott until Lotayef made his statement.
On the other hand, the Sada Almashrek has recently reproduced an article from the Iranian agency Press TV describing the student boycott in Quebec as a part of a global fight against neo-liberalism. The Iranian agency has published numerous articles about the Quebec student boycott in recent months.
Point de Bascule (June 21, 2012): Iran gives an extensive and favourable coverage to Quebec student boycott while fearing that the PQ will benefit from it
Laura-Julie Perreault (La Presse – July 11, 2012): Iranian media report about the Maple spring (Les médias iraniens s'intéressent au printemps érable)
Steven Edwards (Ottawa Citizen – July 10, 2012): Iranian embassy recruiting expats
Steven Edwards (Ottawa Citizen – July 16, 2012): Politicians warned of Iranian Embassy ‘call to arms’ weeks ago
NOTE: The expression “Maple spring” comes from the French “Printemps érable” that sounds almost like “Arab spring” in French (“Printemps arabe”). The boycott leaders were trying to establish a connection between both events.
In 2007, the pro-Iranian Sada Almashrek found itself in the middle of a controversy when it published a poem by Haydar Moussa portraying non-Muslim women as having spent their youth being drunk and going “from one male to the next.”
JihadWatch (February 15, 2007): “You have neither faith nor law”
http://www.sadaalmashrek.ca/modules.php?name=Pdf&issue=244&pdf=01.pdf (June 12, 2012 – p. 19)
Canadian boat to Gaza
According to Tsar Publications, the editor of one of his book, Ehab Lotayef was born in Cairo in 1958. He moved to Montreal in 1989 and writes poetry in English and Arabic. One of his plays was produced by CBC Radio in 2005. He currently works as an information technology engineer at McGill University.
In 2010-2011, Ehab Lotayef organized a campaign to send a Canadian boat to Gaza. In November 2011, Ehab Lotayef was on a boat that tried to force a blockade imposed by the Israelis to prevent arms from being smuggled into Gaza. In recent years, in spite of the blockade, lots of rockets have been fired from Gaza and have reached various points in southern Israel.
Québec solidaire (QS), a small left-wing coalition with one elected MNA at the Quebec National Assembly gave its support to the Canadian Boat to Gaza. Manon Massé, an already chosen QS candidate for the next provincial election, and Ehab Lotayef were identified in a June 2011 press release as spokespersons for the Canadian Boat to Gaza.
The main name of the organization behind the Canadian boat to Gaza is Aide humanitaire Île de la tortue (Turtle Island humanitarian aid). It is listed in the Quebec Registry of enterprises (File 1166779273).The name Canadian boat to Gaza and many other variations have also been registered by the organizers in the same file. Ehab Lotayef is listed as its administrator, David Heap as its president and Scott Weinstein as its vice-president.
In 2010, Salam Elmenyawi, one of the main Muslim Brotherhood leaders in Montreal, had expressed reservations about the wisdom of spending money to send a boat to Gaza:
Cheryl Cornacchia (The Gazette – July 20, 2010): 'Money should be for aid, not controversy'
Based at McGill University like Lotayef, Elmenyawi is MSA-McGill chaplain. Elmenyawi praised Lotayef in the past, notably when he went on a mission in Iraq in 2005.
Katherine Wilton (The Gazette – December 8, 2005): Montreal envoy helps seek release
In 2004, Elmenyawi hinted that he had a direct access to Youssef Qaradawi, the Muslim Brotherhood spiritual leader, as he was setting up a sharia Council in Quebec. At the time, Elmenyawi mentioned that his council was planning on getting advices directly from Qaradawi (al Kardaoui) in the future.
Mounia Chadi (Le Devoir – December 11, 2004): Pressure on the Quebec government for an Islamic court (Pressions sur Québec en faveur d'une cour islamique)
When Lotayef’s boat was intercepted by the Israelis in November 2011, the Globe and Mail reported that he was questioned in port by Israeli police and immigration officials and then sent back to Canada. According to Muslim Link, a Muslim Brotherhood publication in Ottawa, after Ehab Lotayef returned to Canada, he held a press conference at the Canadian Parliamentary Press Gallery to talk about his experience with the Israelis.
While these events were taking place, Hamas prime minister, Ismail Haniyeh, congratulated Lotayef and other activists on the Canadian boat: "Your message has been delivered, wheter you make it or not," he said.
Patrick Martin (The Globe and Mail – November 5, 2011): Israel intercepts Canadian, Irish boats off Gaza coast
Hamas’ ambitions not limited to Gaza
In its charter (article 2), Hamas describes itself as “one of the wings of the Muslim Brotherhood.” Like other Brotherhood leaders in the past, Hamas leaders have reminded the world on many occasions that their ambitions are not limited to Gaza.
On October 28, 2011, Hamas founder Mahmoud al-Zahhar stated that his ultimate goal is to impose sharia on the whole planet:
On May 25, 2012, a dean of the Hamas-controlled Islamic University of Gaza called for the conquest of Andalusia (Spain) and Rome.
François Berger (La Presse – February 24, 1995): The Quebec government investigates an Islamic tribunal (Québec enquête sur un tribunal islamique)
Said Fawaz from the Al-Ummah (al-Oummah) mosque in Montreal was also among the organizers of the Islamic tribunal identified by La Presse in 1995. In another article published by the same paper in 1992, it was revealed that Fawaz was sent to Montreal in 1982 by the Saudi Muslim World League and that he was paid by the Saudis to introduce sharia in Canada:
Richard Hétu (La Presse – February 1, 1992): Quebec’s Muslims – Islam’s avant-garde (Les musulmans du Québec – L’avant-garde de l’islam)
The Saudi Muslim World League was founded in 1962, notably by Said Ramadan (Tariq’s father) and Syed Maududi (1903-1979), a Muslim Brotherhood close ally from the Pakistani Jamaat-e-Islami.
In an ad published on the al-Oummah mosque’s Facebook page in 2011, Said Fawaz was still identified as a Muslim World League representative in Canada.
MNA Fatima Houda-Pepin talked about the role of Saudi Arabia in implementing sharia in North America when she introduced her anti-sharia proposal at the Quebec National Assembly in 2005.
In October 2004, after a wave of negative reactions against the set-up of a sharia tribunal in Canada, Tariq Ramadan criticized Muslim leaders operating in Canada for their “lack of creativity” in an Egyptian periodical. He told the newspaper that “for the time being”, it would be preferable not to talk openly about sharia and introduce it gradually by using the actual Canadian legal framework. This is what led to the so-called “reasonable accommodations” approach.
Point de Bascule (April 19, 2012): Tariq Ramadan and Salah Basalamah on sharia, reasonable accommodations and citizens’ agoras
In November 2011, Foudil Selmoune, an imam based at a Muslim Brotherhood-controlled mosque on the south shore of Montreal did not get on with Ramadan’s program and openly promoted sharia (with its amputations and all) on the French CBC TV network. After he was criticized at the Quebec National Assembly, the Muslim Brotherhood leadership in the Montreal area (including Said Fawaz who had openly promoted amputations in earlier years) came to his rescue, pleading that Selmoune had not been advocating sharia but that he had only been explaining it.
The Umdat al-Salik, an important sharia manual endorsed by the Muslim Brotherhood, condones deception and lying and as acceptable methods to further the implementation of sharia.
Leader of the Muslim Brotherhood in Quebec
Besides his involvement in the set up of a sharia tribunal in Montreal in 1995, in recent years Ehab Lotayef joined other Muslim Brotherhood leaders in various activities.
On February 14, 2007, Lotayef went to Ottawa with other Muslim Brotherhood leaders to meet federal politicians and express his opposition to the certificate of security.
On November 21, 2007, he signed a collective letter with other Muslim Brotherhood activists and organizations during the Bouchard-Taylor Commission on reasonable accommodations.
On August 14, 2010, Lotayef joined the Muslim Association of Canada, Rachid Boudjarane, Mohamed Zrig, Mohamed Habib Marzouqi (Marzougui) and many other individuals associated with the Muslim Brotherhood infrastructure in Canada and sent a message of praise to Bloc Québécois leader Gilles Duceppe for his 20 years as an MP in Ottawa.
http://www.sadaalmashrek.ca/modules.php?name=Pdf&issue=244&pdf=01.pdf (June 12, 2012 – p. 19)
– Point de Bascule (June 28, 2012): Québec solidaire divided on its stance regarding Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria (Québec solidaire divisé sur le sort à réserver au régime de Bachar el-Assad en Syrie)