That damnable “foreigner music” blaring from the outdoor speakers sent images of the Turkish prison from Midnight Express through my brain as I parked at 1380 Stouffville Rd in Richmond Hill last night. I, Kuffar, was on a mission in enemy territory. My destination – The Islamic Society of York Region – the house that Bangash built.
A ticket purchased, I entered the Bangash Banquet Hall, its decor a reflection of Zafar’s own banality. I chose a seat near the back at an empty table. A glance to my right brought me face to face with the newlywed Khurrum Awan, lead sockpuppet for Elmasry’s failed Maclean’s lawfare jihad, furiously scribbling notes, a glance to my left fell upon Zafar himself. Ali Mallah, Canadian Arab Federation VP also crossed my path. The evening was off to a promising start.
Though I had arrived a half hour after the scheduled start time of 6 pm the room was at best only half full and the evening had yet to receive its official kickoff. Apparent family groupings seemed to comprise the majority of those attending. What struck me was the notable absence of young people, aside from the presence of a dozen or so small children, the 20’s and younger crowd was in short supply, then again this was a Saturday night, even I had better things to do, however duty called. So there I was, mission proceeding according to plan, seated amidst a middle aged assembly of the local Muslim community. I supposed this demographic to have been a good thing from a fundraising standpoint.
Nervously, Khurrum Awan introduced himself as the evenings MC. Stumbling but brief in his remarks, he outlined the events schedule – it was his only official appearance. A lawyer this ill at ease speaking in public should be a concern to any potential client.
Elmo followed, his opening remarks were also brief consisting of the usual thank you’s and a request for a round of applause for Sister Ridley, the nights feature act. For all his years as a lecturing professor and leader of the Canadian Islamic Congress Elmo proved himself to be no podium firebrand. The crowd was dutifully uninspired in its response.
What followed was a near death by dvd. We had to accompany us during the dinner hour a showing of Sister Ridley’s Waldoian epic – her hunt for the Grey Lady of Bagram – Prisoner 650. My summation – Ridley seeks her here, she seeks her there and distorts the facts near everywhere. Why didn’t she just listen to the guy who told her Prisoner 650 was terrorist Dr Aafia Siddiqui?
That said, I will commend the House of Bangash on its choice of caterer. The authentic cuisine offered was far superior to the rubber chicken served up by Palestine House during my dinner with the Mufti and proved a welcome distraction during the showing of Ridley’s distorted opus.
Let the fundraising begin. Dinner and the indigestible dvd finished, Elmo took the floor and spoke of Canada’s crying need for his new magazine. As if we need yet another venue for “progressive” left of centre anti-zionists, Jihadists and 9/11 troofers. He showed a slide of a letter from then National Post owner Conrad Black advising Elmo that he had choices and if he didn’t approve of the Post’s coverage of Muslims he should start his own magazine. Elmo is obviously a slow learner, had he taken Black’s advice to heart when first offered Macleans and Mark Steyn would never have been dragged through the morass of Canada’s Kangaroo Human Rights Kourts.
Then the evening took an almost pathetic turn. Elmo began his fundraising effort in earnest. He asked the crowd, which numbered possibly 200 at most; Who would be the 1st to pledge Ten Thousand Dollars? An awkward and prolonged silence was met by a revised supplication. Who would be the 1st to pledge Five Thousand Dollars? Barely a murmur was heard. Plaintively Elmo asked; Who would be the 1st to pledge One Thousand Dollars? At this point I hung my head in a sense of almost empathetic embarrassment.
On to the auction. This segment fared somewhat better. A series of paintings by Hamilton resident Dr. Ibrahim Shalaby did bring in some revenue with one piece going for $2500.00, another for $1500.00 and third for around a grand. Only half of the paintings offered sold, with a possible sale, at a reduced rate, for a 4th at evenings end.
Was the fundraising a success? I have no idea how much was donated privately via the envelopes provided, most of which were left behind, unused, at the nights end. I suspect Elmo’s hopes were dashed. I saw no mass scribbling of cheques and of the few made out Elmo was forced to remind the crowd that they should be made payable to his not for profit Canadian Voices Corporation and not the Canadian Charger itself.
Sister Ridley then took the the stage. At this time I was joined by two gentleman who had assisted at the auction. They introduced themselves and I informed them of my evenings identity. We had a lively discussion on the subject of corporate concentration in the media.
Ridley described herself as being wrongfully portrayed as a Taliban apologist. She then proceeded to apologize for the Taliban throughout her address. Her talking points? Obama is worse than Bush and is behind the genocide taking place in Pakistan’s Swat Valley. She thanked Allah for allowing her to be captured by the Taliban and not the USA. The bescarfed Ridley spoke also of Islam’s commitment to women’s equality. She railed at the western media for its wrongful portrayal of Muslims selectively citing the example of Pakistan’s Red Mosque Girls efforts to close down a local brothel – Why anywhere else these girls would be lauded for their civic mindedness she declared, uh huh. And on and on it went until her talk was divinely interrupted by the call for Magreb prayer. A welcome smoke break for this Kuffar. Her diatribe ended shortly after our return.
Ridley was not the incendiary speaker I had expected, in fact hoped for. No overt Jew Bashing only the the usual vilification of the “Zionist State”. Of note she did pointedly announce that if any members of the “mainstream media” were covering this event that she would be happy to clarify any remarks she may make leading me to suspect she had been advised to keep her comments in check. I base this suspicion also on her comments regarding a “Palestinian Return Key” she offered for auction. The Key is symbolic of the right of return to “occupied lands”. In describing the keys provenance Ridley stated that she had been advised by Elmo not to reveal who had given her this gift. When the Key failed to attract significant bids she broke her silence informing us that it was in fact a gift from the democratically elected President of Palestine – I assume she was referring to Mahmoud Abbas.
There you have it, my mission debriefing. On a side note while in need of the facilities I couldn’t help but notice that the Islamic Society of York Region is not in compliance with proper Islamic washing rituals – No Wudu for you, yet these facilities are being forced on Canadian institutions – in the name of Human Rights of course.
Spooky Khurrum – This photo may be evidence that Khurrum Awan is posessed by a djinn, look at those eyes! He did manage to utter a truth, accidentally I’m sure, stating that he and Elmo had “demanded” Macleans publish their rebuttal to some 20 articles “defamatory” of Muslims.
And which media organization are you with? Ans. I’m Trevor from the International Socialist Worker Ms. Ridley.
Elmo pre-auction and in better spirits. Will the Canadian Charger be applying for publication funding through Heritage Canada? Ans. That is a possibility.
The “Key to Jerusalem”, discussed earlier, which lead me to suspect Sister Ridley had been advised to mind her comments. It fetched $1000.00 dollars after she let the cat out of the bag, despite warnings not to – It had been a gift bestowed upon her by the democratically elected President of Palestine – read Hamas terrorist.