HonestReporting Canada sent the following letter to Waterloo Record Editor-in-Chief Lynn Haddrall on January 8 expressing our disappointment that this newspaper gave Mohamed Elmasry a platform considering that he should have been persona non grata for arguing that any Israeli man or woman over the age of 18 was a legitimate target for terrorists:
On October 19, 2004, then Canadian Islamic Congress (CIC) President Mohamed Elmasry appeared on a panel discussion on The Michael Coren Show on the topic “What is a terrorist?.” Elmasry was asked whether any Israeli over the age of 18 is a valid target of Palestinian attacks. Elmasry replied: “Anybody above 18 is part of the army.” Host Michael Coren offered Elmasry an opportunity to clarify, asking: “Anyone in Israel, irrespective of gender, over the age of 18 is a valid target?” “Yes, I would say,” Elmasry responded.
Under investigation for hate crimes, Elmasry reiterated his position telling the Globe and Mail that: “Israel has a people’s army and a draft and therefore they should be considered legitimate targets. They are part of the occupying power, and Palestinians consider them targets for suicide bombers as well as other means.” Elmasry’s employer, the University of Waterloo, had at the time issued a statement calling his comments “unacceptable” and “abhorrent”. Elmasry was reported to have apologized saying that he regretted “that my comments were misunderstood and, as a result, caused offence.”
In uttering these repugnant statements, Elmasry disqualified himself as a credible spokesperson for Canadian Muslims and as a reliable source of information on issues pertaining to the Arab-Israeli conflict. With this in mind, the Waterloo Record showed poor editorial judgment in giving Elmasry a platform considering that he should have been persona non grata for arguing that any Israeli man or woman over the age of 18 was a legitimate target for terrorists because they are not innocent.
In a National Post column entitled “A Muslim leader worth ignoring”, Ezra Levant remarked that “By treating Elmasry as a legitimate participant in our national discussion, the media shores up radical Muslim voices like his.”
Elmasry is a disgraced terror apologist who should be treated as a pariah, not a credible media source.
If you would like to send your considered and courteous comments to the Waterloo Record, please email Ms. Lynn Haddrall at: email@example.com.