Pro-Islamist Words Attributed to Rookie Candidate, Creating Campaign Smear

December 23, 2005

Source: Toronto Star

On December 23, 2005 the Toronto Star reported, "The incendiary words came flying out of an exuberant, cheering crowd, words exalting the rise of Islamic power in Canadian politics. Now they're being called an election smear that involves Islam and might have lasting repercussions for Muslims who have only recently become active in Canadian politics. The fiery phrases, immediately attributed to Omar Alghabra — the rookie candidate who had just won the Liberal party nomination in Mississauga-Erindale — were soon making the rounds on the Internet, then became the subject of a news release from an outspoken group that seeks to expose radical Islam. 'This is a victory for Islam .... Islamic power is extending into Canadian politics,' Alghabra was reported to have said. The problem is that Alghabra and others who were there — including outgoing Mississauga MP Carolyn Parrish — insist he didn't say them. A Toronto Star reporter covering the event also heard no such thing. But the damage has been done, Alghabra believes. And the contentious words, he said, are a dirty political smear attacking his background. 'It's very emotional for me,' said Alghabra, a self-described secular Muslim. 'The closest thing I can think of is rape. It's the closest thing I can imagine. Where people are allowed to say things that are completely lies, offensive and outrageous, I can't believe it.' His campaign is pondering legal action."