News East West
TORONTO: A Canadian Muslim group has filed a notice of libel against the Prime Minister’s Office for its communications director making allegedly defamatory remarks against it.
In its libel notice, the National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM) has demanded “an unequivocal apology and retraction of the defamatory words” by Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his communications director Jason MacDonald for his remarks made in an interview with the local Sun News Network on January 16.
The NCCM had objected to the inclusion of Rabbi Daniel Korobkin in the Canadian prime minister’s official delegatio to the Middle East this month.
The NCCM objected to the rabbi’s inclusion on the grounds that he had supported American activists Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer, who have founded Stop Islamization of America, during their visit to Toronto last fall.
When Mcdonald was asked about the objection of the NCCM to the rabbi’s inclusion in the prime minister’s delegation, he had said, “We will not take seriously criticism from an organization with documented ties to a terrorist organization such as Hamas.”
Hamas is one of the many outfits that have been banned as terrorist organizations by Canada.
In its libel notice, the NCCM says MacDonald’s words “were meant or were understood to mean that NCCM is, gives material support to, and/or is affiliated with a criminal terrorist organization. These words are defamatory per se.
“The defamatory words were stated maliciously in order to discredit and insult an organization that did nothing other than exercise its constitutional right to freedom of expression to criticize a decision made by the Prime Minister.’’
If “an unequivocal apology and retraction of the defamatory words” is no forthcoming from the prime minister and his communications director, the NCCM says its libel notice could become a formal libel lawsuit, and then it will “seek damages, interest and costs against you.’’
A PMO spokesperson refused to comment, saying, “this matter may be the subject of litigation.”