Liberal MP Iqra Khalid was warned about the radical views and terrorist sympathies of a speaker prior to the April 14th ‘Land Day’ event, the True North Initiative has learned.
Controversy erupted this week after details emerged of the Land Day event in Mississauga, where Khalid introduced two divisive figures: Palestine House’s Amin El-Maoued, and Archbishop Attallah Hanna, a friend and apologist for Syrian dictator Bashar al Assad.
Land Day is an annual day observed by Palestinians to protest the result of the Six Day War – a swift war started by Arab aggressors, won by Israel. As a result, Israel took control of strategic land to protect its borders – land that Palestinians insist belongs to them.
Land Day often results in violence and terrorist attacks in Israel.
In Mississauga, Khalid gave Amin El-Maoued a warm introduction and then presented him with an award on behalf of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
“Today, on behalf of myself and the Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, I would like to recognize the great work that brother Amin has done,” said Khalid in a video recovered by the True North Initiative. The video had been posted to El-Maoued’s Facebook page, but after significant media blowback, the video was deleted.
El-Maoued's organization, Palestine House, lost all federal funding in 2012 for what the government at the time called a “pattern of support for extremism.”
Khalid also introduced the keynote speaker of the event – a notorious Palestinian Archbishop named Attallah Hanna.
Hanna has defended Palestinian terrorists and suicide bombings. He also unabashedly praises Syrian dictator Bashar al Asasd. The two met last summer, and Hanna insists that Assad is neither a war criminal nor a butcher.
“A week after the gassing of Syrian children, Liberal MP Iqra Khalid brought greetings to one of Assad’s worst apologists on behalf of Justin Trudeau. Canada needs an answer why this happened,” said Conservative Senator Linda Frum on Twitter following the event.
Khalid claimed she didn’t know the controversial pasts of the speakers, claiming “We've never discussed his views on international affairs.”
But according to an email shared with the True North Initiative, Khalid was warned on April 12th in an email from Pegida Canada.
“We have learned that Palestine House is hosting Archbishop Atallah Hanna for their Land Day event on April 14, and we have grave concerns about this gentleman,” said the email sent to Khalid’s parliamentary email address and dated April 12.
“He is on record as having terrorist sympathies. We trust that you will look into this” said Jenny Hill of Pegida Canada, sharing a link to a story about Hanna.
Pegida Canada is a controversial organization too, but as an Member of Parliament, Khalid claimed that she engages with all types of people, even those with whom she disagrees.
“Like any MP, I engage with a diverse array of individuals, stakeholders and groups in my community – many of them I don't agree with,” she wrote on Twitter responding to this controversy.
If that’s truly the case, Khalid and her staff should have read this email from Jenny Hill, and known in advance that she was sharing a stage with despicable extremists.