Mohamad Hisham Khalifeh (محمد هشام خليفة), a Canadian of Lebanese descent, the founder, CEO and Editor in Chief of Al Forqan Newspaper (جريدة الفرقان) printed in Windsor, Ontario and distributed in Windsor, London and Detroit, was suspended from his position with the Windsor Multicultural Council.
The Windsor Multicultural Council is a body that receives funds from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada and is intimately connected with the welcoming and resettlement of Syrian refugees.
Following CIJnews report on Khalifeh’s editorial lauding the Palestinian knife attacks aimed Israeli Jews as a “sacred duty of jihad”, the Jewish human rights organization B’nai Brith Canada urged the Ontario government to “launch a full investigation of the paper and particularly the offensive editorial.”
“This is a positive first step by the Multicultural Council while it investigates Mr. Khalifeh’s writings,” said Michael Mostyn, CEO, B’nai Brith Canada. “However, it calls into question how he was originally vetted for his position. To ensure that Syrian refugees are not exposed to radical Islamist ideology in Windsor, it would be prudent for the Council to re-examine the backgrounds of all of their staff and volunteers.”
When asked by the Windsor Star (March 3, 2016) to comment on his controversial editorial, Khalifeh was quoted as saying the following: “That’s not correct. It wasn’t said in that phrase. The editorial was saying we support Palestinians resisting the Israeli occupation. That’s the main thing… We don’t support any terror attacks on civilians,” Khalifeh said. “But we do support all kinds of resistance.”
Mostyn noted that the term “all kinds of resistance” used by Khalifeh is “is doubly concerning as in Jihadist parlance, the current campaign of so-called ‘resistance’ against Israel explicitly means murder and violence against innocent civilians.”
According to the Palestinian al-Quds Center for Research, from October 2015 to February 2016 Palestinians murdered 33 Israelis and injured 440 Israelis in 120 stabbing attacks, 90 shooting attacks, 29 car ramming attacks, 1,121 explosive charges and firebombing attacks and 3,321 rock throwing attacks. In addition, 50 stabbing attacks were thwarted.
“We encourage all concerned Canadians to contact their local Member of Parliament and demand that the Government ensure that the resettlement of 25,000 refugees not be tainted by those who espouse support for terror,” added Mostyn. “Al Forqan is not the only Arabic language newspaper to publish content which praises violence and ‘resistance’. Syrians escaping the ongoing violence must not be subjected to hatred and radicalization as they attempt to start a new life in a free and multicultural Canada.
Khalifeh’s editorial (originally in Arabic)
“The Duty of Jihad
“Everyone carries out the jihad in his/ her way, that what said to me one of the pilgrims [in Mecca] and this summarizes the course of events in our Arab and Islamic countries, armies and parties, weapons and munitions, rockets and [fighter] jets… and the Palestinian teenager is [standing] alone wielding a knife in his hand, defending the honour and dignity of every Arab and every Muslim, and moreover every person. He [the Palestinian teenager] does not accept the injustice in the face of the Zionist usurper.
“The Knife Intifada, initiated by the sons of al-Quds [Jerusalem] who scarified their souls, exposed the falsity of the allegations made by those who espouse the duty of jihad and fight in Syria and Iraq and everywhere but not in Beit al-Maqdis [Jerusalem]. The executions of Jerusalemites (children, women and elders) did not move the manhood in the heads of the leaders of the Arab and Islamic nation! The violations against the holy site in al-Quds [Jerusalem] have not affected those who protect the holy shrines! [Note: the killing of the Palestinian terrorists during attack by Israeli forces is portrayed by the Palestinian Authority and Hamas as “executions”]
“The Knife Intifada was born orphan from the womb of a bereaved mother, but the sons of this sacred place with the determination of the heroes will be mentioned in history of this nation that in the midst of the current events there was a group which recognized the right of the sacred duty of jihad!
“Unlike the one who claims everyday that he is defending al-Quds [Jerusalem] and draws on a map the way towards it. You would see them in all countries but Palestine, such as Hezbollah [in Lebanon],
ISIS [in Iraq and Syria], the fundamentalist jihadists [in the Muslims countries], the Houthis [in Yemen], Boko Haram [in Nigeria], Popular Mobilization Forces [in Iraq] etc., all of them want to liberate al-Quds [Jerusalem] but they lost the compass!!!
May Allah forgive those who truthfully knew the way to al-Quds [Jerusalem]. May Allah forgive the Caliph Umar ibn al-Khattab [who conquered Jerusalem in 635] and the leader Salahuddin Al Ayyub [who conquered Jerusalem in 1187]. I’m asking Allah to give victory to the youths of Palestine and every freeman who does not accept injustice and shame.”
Khalifeh’s poem urging Palestinian mujahideen to launch armed attacks on Israelis
Khalifeh is known of his open support of the Palestinian armed struggle against Israel. On November 12, 2012 he posted a poem spurring the Palestinians to launch armed attacks on Israelis, liberate Palestine and destroy the State of Israel. The Israelis, namely the Israeli Jews, are portrayed is Khalifeh’s poem as “infidels” and “morally corrupt people.”
Khlifeh recorded himself reading the poem and embedded the audio file in a video clip featuring armed operatives of the Palestinian terrorist organization Hamas firing rockets from Gaza aimed at Israel and training to launch attacks on Israeli targets.
On November 18, 2012, posted the video on his Facebook page accompanied with the following caption: “The grandsons of [Omar] al-Mukhatr [conqueror of Jerusalem] – a poem dedicated to the mujahideen of Gaza and Palestine. We ask Allah to help them, to plant their feet firmly. I hope you like it.”
The following is the transcript of Khalifeh’s poem “Gaza” (originally in Arabic), which appears on Khlifeh’s official YouTube channel:
Fire [at Israel]
Fire because you are courageous
Fire because you are the typhoon
Show them your bravery, raise your head, show them the descendants of the [Caliph Omar] al-Mukhtar [ conqueror of Jerusalem]
Break your shackle, show your sword, destroy the siege imposed on you
Destroy the brutal Zion [Israel]
Destroy the foundations of the morally corrupt people
Destroy the hostile enemy
Shake the thrones of the infidels
O Palestinian, do not compromise
Remove the disgrace of your [Muslim] nation
O Palestinian, O fighter
You are a freeman made of steel
Fire because you are courageous
Fire because you are the typhoon
Show them your bravery, raise your head
Show them the descendants of the [Caliph Omar] al-Mukhtar [conqueror of Jerusalem]
Khalifeh’s Facebook postings on the “sacred” jihad against Israel (originally in Arabic)
July 26, 2013 – “…Let’s say: blessed Friday to the mujahideen in the land [Quds, meaning Jerusalem] which with the surrounding area [Palestine] are blessed by the Most Merciful [Allah].”
July 12, 2014 – “The Palestine resistance carries out its promise by once again attacking [by rockets] Israel’s heartland.” Yes, O the sons and the mujahideen of Gaza. You are the fulfilled promise [of Allah], the rumbling sound and those who have the sacred jihadist duty!!!…”
“August 20, 2014 – “#We_are_all_Hamas. A new poem dedicated to the sons of Gaza and Palestine [entitled] “Launch a rocket”
“We will never surrender, we will never bow
“Launch a rocket O Qassam [Al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas], remove the injustice off our [Muslim] nation…
“Launch a rocket O Qassam, enter the bedroom of the Zionist…
Launch a rocket O Qassam, remove the injustice of our [Muslim] nation…”
November 18, 2014 – “They are the heroes, not you. They are the men, not us. They increased the dignity of all of us with a solid faith which does not bend .What the arms of the heroes in al-Quds [Jerusalem] and Palestine are doing to the Zionist enemy has the essence of dignity which others who are fighting outside the oppressed land of Palestine have lost, and those are calling themselves the Islamic State in Syria, Hezbollah in Lebanon or kings and presidents in other countries. May Allah help you. May Allah support you, O the sons of the stone [meaning Palestinians who fight against Israel even with stones]!!!”
January 12, 2015 – “When the one-eyed Antichrist appears in our time he will not be in need to mesmerize the people as the people are already mesmerized and will award him the biggest sash for his war on terror. Here they were yesterday in Paris [international solidarity with France after ISIS attacks in Paris] lead by his [Antichrist’s] loyal student [Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu and his slaves who belong to our own people like Kings and Presidents.”
July 11, 2015 – “ISIS, Hezbollah, the jihadist fundamentalism, the Houthis, Boko Haram, the Popular Mobilization Forces etc. All of them want to liberate al-Quds [Jerusalem], but they cannot find the way on the map!!! May Allah have mercy on those who know very well the way to al-Quds. May Allah have mercy on Omar [Al-Khattab, the conqueror of al-Quds] and Saladin [the conqueror of Palestine].