| Boycott Watch is a citadel of free
speech. We believe that all voices need to be heard, and thus we challenge both
sides of boycotts to prove they are telling the truth, and when one side, any
side, does not tell the truth in a boycott, we publish it. Our reports have
criticized both sides in the Arab-Israeli conflict, and since that topic is so
emotionally charged on both sides, we are starting this story with this
paragraph to clearly state we are not taking sides.
Additionally, this report is not about taking sides
in the Middle East conflict, rather, it is about the reactions of the people
involved. While both sides don't care for the others words, there are a few
facts that separate the reactions of each side to speakers they don't agree
with, and that is what this report is about.
on the Internet will reveal many Jewish and Israeli organizations that support
the Palestinian viewpoint, but we have not been able to find even one Arab or
Muslim organization that supports the Israeli stance. The Muslim speaker in the
following Press Release, Abdul Hadi Palazzi, has made several lectures in the
USA recently. Three Boycott Watch researchers attended one such lecture in
Cleveland, Ohio in mid-February, 2004 because we wanted to hear a his
perspective on Middle-East conflict, unaware that we would receive the press
release below with a request by a Boycott Watch reader to look into it.
Being the only Muslim we have ever heard of who is
supportive of Israel, Boycott Watch asked Palazzi: "Do you have any fears of
retribution from Muslims because of your stance toward Israel?" We were
surprised by his simple and direct response "No."
Palazzi was scheduled to speak in Hamilton, Ontario
Canada weeks later, but his reception was marked with controversy. We were not
surprised by the fact that he had opposition to his views, but rather that the
opposition called for an investigation by the local police, and in particular
the hate-crimes unit of the Hamilton Police requesting that Palazzi's speech be
A press release by Palazzi's
critics about the Hamilton event questions if Palazzi is a PhD. We were
informed that Palazzi is a professor in an Italian university, but have not yet
attempted to verify the information. Palazzi was also advertised as being a
Sheikh. Boycott Watch is not sure if the PhD and Sheikh title concerns are
valid, but we also do not believe it is relevant to what this report is about -
the reactions to a speaker who does not agree with ones views. The PhD and
Sheikh concerns may just be name-calling which is something people do when they
have no material substance to an argument and is one reason we are not
addressing these concerns - Attempts to discredit ones opponent is dirty
politics that does not serve advance any problem solving.
Boycott Watch did not hear any hate words from
Palazzi when he spoke in Cleveland, Ohio, but rather an historical examination
of how the Arab countries were formed and how political lines were created. An
observer in Hamilton, Ontario noted that after the lecture, Palazzi was accused
of many things by his opponents, including that he is not a Sheikh nor does he
have a PhD. The criticism of Palazzi was reported to be centered around him
personally and not around his message. There were also screams from Muslims in
the audience of "You can't be a Muslim - you can't be a Muslim." In essence,
Palazzi's opponents were criticizing the messenger but not the message, or in
this case the history presented - Palazzi's opponents did not challenge the
content of the speech that they called for a hate-crimes investigation against.
Boycott Watch therefore believes that the hate-crimes
investigation call was done just to stifle free speech - the free speech of one
of the few Muslims who do not agree with the standard political line taken by
vast majority of Muslims.
This may be a case of each
side calling the others extremists, true, but the interesting part is that Jews
and Israelis around the world who criticize Israel have many organizations to
choose to join, yet Palazzi virtually stands alone in the Muslim world when it
comes to criticizing Arabs and Muslims regarding their stance toward Israel and
is targeted by his fellow Muslims for a hate-crimes investigation.
|Start of original press release:
| CANADIAN JEWISH GROUPS HOSTING EXTREMIST ANTI-MUSLIM
[The Zionist organizations invite Anti-Muslims and hatred
speakers as Abdul Hadi Palazzi and Irshas Monji to their synagogue and
community centers, than they claim anti-Semite is in raise!!!!!! reality is
they encourage Anti-Muslims and Hatred speeches]
COMMUNIQUÉ THE CANADIAN ISLAMIC CONGRESS March 4, 2004
JEWISH GROUPS CRITICIZED FOR HOSTING EXTREMIST ANTI-MUSLIM SPEAKER
The Canadian Islamic Congress has issued a strongly
critical statement in response to B'nai Brith Canada and other Canadian Jewish
groups (including Betar Tagar, the McMaster University Zionist student club,
and a private foundation called Hadar) for sponsoring the controversial Italian
lecturer Abdul Hadi Palazzi, who was scheduled to speak at Hamilton-area
Palazzi, claiming a Ph.D. of doubtful
origins, is a self-styled Muslim convert who on previous speaking engagements
in this country, asserted that "more than 80 per cent of mosques and Muslim
organizations in Canada [including the CIC] are controlled by extremist members
of the Muslim Brotherhood." He has also directly accused the majority of
Canadian Muslims and their mosque communities of being controlled by active
In response to Palazzi's
continuing allegations, CIC national president Dr. Mohamed Elmasry stated
categorically that "the CIC absolutely has never been, and never will be,
affiliated with or controlled by any group or organization outside Canada."
"I said it before and I'll say it again. These are
very emotionally charged times and many Canadian Muslims and Jews are deeply
affected by what is happening in the Middle East," he continued. "To bring this
known anti-Islam campaigner into our midst is bad enough and tantamount to
hate-crime, but to use synagogues and respected educational institutions to
give him public voice is simply irresponsible. It undermines all efforts to
foster good relations between two significant Canadian faith communities. What
we need now, more than anything, is understanding and sensitivity."
"It would be wise for B'nai Brith to cancel Mr.
Palazzi's Canadian tour," suggested CIC national vice-president Mrs. Wahida
Valiante. "Both Muslim and Jewish communities in our country are going through
difficult times. It is dangerously inappropriate for anyone to exploit such a
The CIC has also informed the
hate crime unit of the Hamilton Police, requesting that Palazzi's speeches in
the area be closely monitored.
Palazzi has been
publicly discredited by a number of European Muslim organizations in recent
years; others have disavowed any association with his viewpoints or activities.
Following his Canadian tour, Palazzi is scheduled to
visit Chicago, Texas, California, New Jersey and Massachusetts, speaking at a
number of American universities.
Dr. Mohamed Elmasry,
(519) 888-4567 Ext. 3753 (O),
|End of original press release: