I have been writing a series of articles about a four-page article, October 22, 2017 by the Toronto Star, dedicated to an attempt to exonerate Ayman Elkasrawy, an imam at “Masjid Toronto” mosque, from anti-Jewish and anti-infidel prayers during Ramadan 2016.
The reporter, Jennifer Yang, believed that the Imam had been misunderstood and so she met with him to talk about the supplication he had made in the Majid Mosque in which he may have said the “filth of the Jews.”
I have sent several media inquiries to the Publisher, John Boynton; Bob Hepburn media inquiries; Kathy English and Jennifer Yang.
In this article I am again going to take you back to Elkaswary’s social media posts. On July 25, 2017 Lt.Col. (Ret.) Jonathan Halevi sent an email to the reporter Jennifer Yang:
“Ayman Elkasrawy’s posts on social media may help you a great deal in your research.”
The Toronto Star either refused to read them when the suggestion was made or they chose to ignore them. If the social media posts were ignored, the question that needs to be asked is “Why”?
Yang had written in her October 2017 article:
“Elkasrawy says he agreed to speak with the Star because “I have nothing to hide.”
Yang emphasized: “[The] context is key in determining the appropriate translation [of Elkasrawy’s prayers].” Yet it appears that Yang did not include the context-that came from the social media posts.
How would a reporter verify views and thoughts, today? Social media posts can help analyse views; they reflect “context” that was so important to Jennifer Yang and the public editor Kathy English.
Today I am writing about Elkasrawy’s posts about ISIS. From the article:
“Elkasrawy says he invoked it [“slay them one by one”] on behalf of Syrian people killed and tortured by the government regime or by Daesh (ISIS) terrorists.”
It appears that he is attacking ISIS.
Ayman Elkasrawy’s social media posts dealt with ISIS (a.k.a. Islamic State, ISIL, Daesh, Caliphate) and the jihad against the enemies of Islam and/ or the Muslim nation. Here are some of his Facebook posts on these issues and others:
July 20, 2016 – Ayman Elkasrawy posted the following (originally in Arabic): “With regard to the Libyan brothers who equate between the group of the traitor and criminal [Khalifa Belqasim] Haftar [commander of the armed forces loyal to the elected, internationally backed legislative body, the Libyan House of Representatives] and the nobles of Libya. How are you now? Is asking assistance from the French is a natural thing? And if not should we sit [idle] and say ISIS and not ISIS and this nonsense.Regarding France, I don’t know why they are yet again become upset when they get slapped on the neck [attacked] in their own country. Blessed are the hands of those who shoot down their plane.”
Between December 2014 and July 2016 France had experienced a wave of terrorist attacks. The latest major attack took place a week before Ayman Elkasrawy published his post. On the evening of 14 July 2016, a 19 tonne cargo truck was deliberately driven into crowds of people celebrating Bastille Day on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice, France, resulting in the deaths of 86 people and the injury of 458 others. The driver was Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel, a Tunisian resident of France. The attack ended following an exchange of gunfire, during which Lahouaiej-Bouhlel was shot and killed by police. ISIL [Islamic State a.k.a ISIS, Daesh] claimed responsibility for the attack, saying Lahouaiej-Bouhlel answered its “calls to target citizens of coalition nations that fight the Islamic State”. On 15 July, François Molins, the prosecutor for the Public Ministry, which is overseeing the investigation, said the attack bore the hallmarks of jihadist terrorism… French President François Hollande called the attack an act of Islamic terrorism.”
July 19, 2016 – Ayman Elkasrawy posted the following (originally in Arabic): “Look what [Turkey’s President] Erdogan’s position on using Incirlik [air] base to kill Muslims? Allah never forgets [or Allah gives the wrongdoers a chance but He doesn’t ignore what they’re doing]… And the divine punishment will inevitably come !!!” In a comment to his post Elkasrawy wrote: “On the Day of Judgment, Erdogan will be held accountable for this [allowing the US army to use Turkish military bases “to attack Muslims in Iraq and Syria”. He added, “personally I wish he [Erdogan] will be innocent before Allah Exalted be He from this great sin.”
Two days earlier, on July 17, 2016 the Pentagon Press Secretary tweeted: “UPDATE: After close coordination with our Turkish allies, counter-ISIL coalition air operations in Turkey have resumed.” On the same day Time reported that the U.S. resumed its anti-ISIS airstrikes from Turkish Incirlik airbase.
August 5, 2016 – Ayman Elkasrawy shared a YouTube video featuring Jabhat Fateh al-Sham’s attack in Aleppo adding (originally in Arabic):
“O Allah, let them hit their targets.”
CBC reported that “[Jabhat] Al-Nusra changed its name to Jabhat Fateh al-Sham(Front for the Conquest of the Levant)”.
On November 7, 2013 Jabhat Al-Nusra was designated by Canada as a terrorist entity. Public Safety Canada states:
“According to the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, Jabhat Al-Nusra is an Al Qaida affiliated Sunni militant Islamist group in Syria. Jabhat Al-Nusra aims to overthrow Syrian President Bashar Al Assad’s Ba’athist regime, establish an Islamic state and expel the minority Alawite and Christian communities from Syria. Jabhat Al-Nusra has claimed responsibility for nearly 600 attacks-such as ambushes, kidnappings, assassinations, Improvised Explosive Device attacks and suicide bombings-in major city centers including Damascus, Aleppo, Hamah, Dara, Homs, Idlib, and Dayr al-Zawr. During these attacks numerous innocent Syrians have been killed.”
May 27, 2015 – Ayman Elkasrawy retweeted the following message byمحمد منتصر @montaseregy (originally in Arabic):
“This is our religion and these are our scholars. Egypt is calling, we will not go back. Being loyal to the Zionist aggressors, supporting and protecting them and being hostile to the Palestinian resistance/ struggle/ fight [muqawamah] and conspiring against it, and imposing a siege on it by destroying Sinai [Peninsula] and displacing its people, is a betrayal of the religion [Islam] and the homeland [Egypt].”
U.S. Department of State’s report (2016) on the terrorism originating from the Sinai Peninsula states the following: “In Egypt, terrorists conducted numerous deadly attacks on government, military, and civilian targets throughout the country. Several high-profile attacks at the end of the year indicated the threat level remained high despite a focus on counterterrorism by the government. ISIS continued its terrorist campaign in the Sinai through the local ISIS-affiliate, ISIL-Sinai Province (ISIL-SP, formerly Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis). The Egyptian Armed Forces conducted a counterterrorism campaign against ISIL-SP in North Sinai, known as Operation “Right of the Martyr” starting in September 2015 through 2016.”
December 15, 2016 – Ayman Elkasrawy shared شبكة رصد’s video accompanied with the following caption (originally in Arabic): “Graphic pictures! of the Umayyad Mosque in Aleppo before and after it was destroyed by Assad forces and Russia.” In this context Elkasrawy posted the following comment (originally in Arabic): “The impure [anjas] rejectionists [“rawafid” – derogatory manner by Sunni Muslims to describe the Shiite Muslims].”
December 7, 2015 – Ayman Elkasrawy posted the following comments on 2015 San Bernardino terrorist attack (originally in English):
“Both victims were found dead in handcuffs. Are we supposed to believe that they initiated a gun battle with police while wearing handcuffs and shooting through rolled-up windows?! It seems that the two patsies were handcuffed, set in place for execution according to a scripted plan, and summarily shot dead.”
On December 2, 2015, 14 people were killed and 22 others were seriously injured in a terrorist attack consisting of a mass shooting and an attempted bombing at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino, California. The perpetrators, Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik, a married couple living in the city of Redlands, targeted a San Bernardino County Department of Public Health training event and Christmas party of about 80 employees in a rented banquet room. Farook was a U.S.-born citizen of Pakistani descent, who worked as a health department employee. Malik was a Pakistani-born lawful permanent resident of the United States. After the shooting, the couple fled in a rented sport utility vehicle (SUV). Four hours later, police pursued their vehicle and killed them in a shootout, which also left two officers injured.
December 13, 2016 – Ayman Elkasrawy shared Dar Al-Tawheed Islamic Centre’s photo featuring an ad inviting the public to attended a lecture by the “renowned scholar from Egypt” Shaykh Nash’at Ahmad.
According to Al Jazeera Center for Studies, Shaykh Nash’at Ahmad is affiliated with the Egyptian Salafi movement which was subjected to security restrictions and even arrest and trial in various cases related to fatwas, or Islamic edicts, urging the support of Mujahideen (Muslims who engage in jihad) in Palestine and justifying the 9/11 attacks. Shaykh Nash’at Ahmad is also known for his anti Jewish sermons (“O Allah, destroy the Jews and whom they ally with… count their number; slay them one by one and spare not one of them”; “O Allah, destroy the Jews and all others who support them in countries around the world;”
“O Allah, purify the Muslims lands from their filth and squalor, O Allah liberate the imprisoned Al-Aqsa [mosque]”; “ Allah, destroy the aggressors who are the Jews and those who support them”; “O Allah don’t give the infidel or the oppressor a way to overcome us… Destroy the Jews, the Christians, the Americans, the Europeans, the Shiites, the Communists, the Russians, the Hindus, the traitors, the oppressors and the criminals”; “O Allah, return the Muslims countries to the Muslims and purify [the Muslim lands] from the filth of the infidels and the polytheists [also identified by Muslim scholars as Christians].”
August 30, 2016 – Ayman Elkasrawy shared an article written by Jamal Abdul Sattar, a professor at al-Azhar University and the Secretary General of the Association of Sunni Scholars, summarizing its main points: “a killer, a rapist and a person who attacks property of people and their dignity, regardless of his identity whether he is the ruler or the governed, has no sanctity [the sanctity of his blood does not apply to him] and has no protection. Islam made it permissible to spill his blood and it is a duty to punish him [in accordance to his actions].”
December 19, 2016 – Ayman Elkasrawy posted the following (originally in Arabic): “The ambassador of the butchers was annihilated [smiley face emoticon].”
Andrei Karlov, the Russian Ambassador to Turkey, was assassinated by Mevlüt Mert Altıntaş, an off-duty Turkish police officer, at an art exhibition in Ankara, Turkey on the evening of 19 December 2016. The assassination took place after several days of protests in Turkey over Russian involvement in the Syrian Civil War and the battle over Aleppo.
August 8, 2016 – Ayman Elkasrawy posted the following (originally in Arabic):
“O Allah do not defer [it] to this butcher and criminal [Egypt’s President Abdul Fattah Sissi] and his soldiers… O Allah avenge… remove their kingdom.”
Here are other Facebook posts by Ayman Elkasrawy on political matters:
October 8, 2016 – Ayman Elkasrawy posted (originally in Arabic): “… The Malaysian Muslim is closer to me than the Egyptian Christian…”
October 20, 2015 – Ayman Elkasrawy (originally in English): “Yeaaaaay, the bigot PM Stephen Harper is finally out. Bye Bye Mr. Harper. Welcome Mr. #Trudeau #anyonebutharper”
October 19, 2015 – Ayman Elkasrawy (originally in English): Just voted ☺Let’s kick Harper out of office. Vote Harper out #anyonebutharper #strategicvoting — feeling hopeful.
October 7, 2015 – Ayman Elkasrawy posted: “Vote for the strongest opposition candidate in your riding! #anyonebutharper”
Ayman Elkasrawy” from Toronto signed (Feb 24, 2015) a petition entitled “Stop Graphic Revisions to Ontario’s Sex Education Curriculum.”
Screenshots of Ayman Elkasrawy’s social media posts are available here.
These are the questions I sent to the Toronto Star. I received SILENCE in return. AGAIN.
Ayman Elkasrawy told the Toronto Star that he invoked the “Slay them one by one” prayer “on behalf of Syrian people killed and tortured by the government regime or by Daesh (ISIS) terrorists.” A few weeks later he criticized Turkey’s President for allowing the US to use Incirlik airbase for attacks in Syria and Iraq (against ISIS). Do you think Ayman Elkasrawy was sincere and truthful?
Toronto Star quoted Ayman Elkasrawy’ “I have nothing to hide.” Why didn’t the Toronto Star challenge this statement and demand an explanation from Elkasrawy why he deactivated his Facebook account a few days after Lt. Col. (Ret.) Jonathan Halevi’s article was published?
Why did the Toronto Star’s Public editor, Kathy English, refuse to allow Jonathan Halevi and B’nai Brith Canada to publish a response to Yang’s defamatory article? Does this decision reflect the Toronto Star’s journalistic standards and ethics?
My investigative articles debunked many of the foundations of Yang’s article and brought forward new information. Why does the Toronto Star refuse to answer any of my questions or correct errors found in the article in question? Does such an approach reflect the Toronto Star’s journalistic standards and ethics?
I also sent an email inquiry to Ayman Elkasrawy: He, too, responded with SILENCE. AGAIN.
You told the Toronto Star that you invoked the “Slay them one by one” prayer “on behalf of Syrian people killed and tortured by the government regime or by Daesh (ISIS) terrorists.” A few weeks later you criticized Turkey’s President for allowing the US to use Incirlik airbase for attacks in Syria and Iraq (against ISIS). Were you sincere and truthful in your statement to Toronto Star?
Did you post the following: “Regarding France, I don’t know why they are yet again become upset when they get slapped on the neck [attacked] in their own country”? Did your Facebook post refer to ISIS attack in Nice?
Why did you oppose the American use of the Turkish airbase for attacks in Syria and Iraq?
Please explain your Facebook posts that deal with ISIS and the jihad.
You told the Toronto Star: “I have nothing to hide.” Why did you deactivate your Facebook account a few days after Jonathan Halevi’s article was published? Why did you remove all “Likes” from your YouTube account? Why did you change your Twitter account to “protected”?
From the Ethics of the Fathers: “Rabbi Tarfon used to say, it is not incumbent upon you to complete the task, but you are not exempt from undertaking it.”