Tom Quiggin, who was a leader for the freedom convoy, has authored several reports that espouse anti-Islamic views, and the CRA has used some of his work. Muslim leaders and organizations have sued Quiggin multiple times for defamation, and his credibility has been questioned by academics.
Quiggin’s work was used to bias auditors against MAC by suggesting a pre-determined outcome that MAC was connected to the Muslim Brotherhood and that MAC not trustworthy.
Tom Quiggin’s research on the Muslim Brotherhood and the connections between Canadian organizations and the group has been utilized by RAD to advance its comprehension of the subject matter.
RAD’s audit referral and desk review have relied on a polarizing report authored by Quiggin. Additionally, MAC’s audit team has provided the report for auditors to read during their onboarding process. While not explicitly referenced in the AFL, the terminology and presentation used in the AFL’s depiction of the Muslim Brotherhood align with the principles presented in Quiggin’s research.
Who is Quiggin?
Tom Quiggin is a far-right agitator and media personality. His work is blatantly Islamophobic, and it is difficult to imagine that anyone takes his writings seriously (although apparently RAD did so).
In 2014, Quiggin published a report called “The Muslim Brotherhood in North America” which the CRA references. In it, Quiggin alleges widespread links between Canadian Muslim civic organizations, including charities, and terrorist organizations around the world.
Reputable Canadian media (Maclean’s magazine) calls the Quiggin report “far-fetched” and notes that it “risks vilifying an already at-risk community”. Under cross- examination, a member of the RAD’s audit team, Marika Farant, acknowledged that she was given the report to read when she was onboarded and also conceded Mr. Quiggin’s posts were racist and Islamophobic.
- In 2017, in the aftermath of the Quebec City mosque massacre, he published a despicable blog posting which seemed to insinuate that the mosque attacked had terrorist links and that the massacre may have been an “inside job” by a member of the Muslim Brotherhood.
- In 2018, he was quick to claim that the April 2018 Toronto van attack was an act of “Islamist terror”, and specifically blamed it on the Muslim Brotherhood. He claimed that the Toronto Star and CBC have ties to “Islamist terror networks” and that CBC “willfully promotes Islamist extremism/terrorism”.
- Quiggin has also claimed that there are only two types of Muslims, “extremist” and “not yet extremist.”
- He has claimed that “Justin Trudeau supports terrorist front groups” and is “politically accountable & responsible for Islamist terror attacks.”
- He claims that the January 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol had an “entrapment element”.
- He has tweeted, “Justin Trudeau is found dead in his bed, strangled with a pair of Halal socks, given to him by Cabinet Minister Omar Alghabra.”
Quiggin is also a former military intelligence officer most recently known as one of three named leaders of the Truckers Convoy in 2022.
Quiggin is a writer and speaker at the Manning Centre, the Gatestone Institute, and the Mackenzie Institute. He writes for the blog site Globalbrief.ca. In general, Quiggin focuses on fear-tactics in his reports with his audience of a possible Islamization of Canada.
Lorenzo Vidino has links to multiple anti-Muslim think tanks in the US and Europe and has written for several anti-Muslim publications. He was paid to disseminate false information about the Muslim Brotherhood to discredit Muslim organizations.
Vidino’s work was utilized to support the CRA’s argument that the Muslim Brotherhood had connections to terrorism and that MAC was untruthful about its associations.
During the CRA audit of the MAC, the RAD team turned to Lorenzo Vidino early on in their audit process to develop their understanding of the Muslim Brotherhood. In fact, the RAD team referenced Vidino’s work in their audit referral and desk review.
However, in the AFL the CRA relies most on Vidino’s work on the Muslim Brotherhood and its alleged connections to violence and extremism. In this report, Vidino was cited extensively as the key expert in shaping the CRA’s perspective on the Muslim Brotherhood.
Who is Vidino?
The CRA has heavily relied upon the testimony of Lorenzo Vidino is connected to numerous anti-Muslim think tanks in the United States and Europe, and has published in various anti-Muslim outlets. Most of his publications are with anti-Muslim institutions, with a history of producing anti-Muslim research and promoting voices supporting anti-Muslim legislation.
In November 2005, Vidino gave an interview to the far-right, anti-Muslim website FrontPage Magazine. In late 2005, Vidino published an article titled “The Muslim Brotherhood’s Conquest of Europe” in the Middle East Quarterly (MEQ), which is published by Daniel Pipes’ anti-Muslim Middle East Forum (MEF). MEF is a research institute bankrolled by wealthy right-wing donors and MEF itself financially supports right-wing leaders and their activities.
The CRA references a report published by Vidino called “The Muslim Brotherhood In Austria”. This report was financed by Austria’s domestic intelligence agency—the Office for the Protection of the Constitution and Counterterrorism (Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz und Terrorismusbekämpfung)—as well as the Austrian Integration Fund (Österreichischer Integrationsfonds), which has a history of producing anti-Muslim research and promoting Muslims who support anti-Muslim legislation.
Vidino’s report served as a catalyst for the Austrian government’s anti-Muslim policies, and particularly the drive against “political Islam” and the “Muslim Brotherhood” in Austria. The report effectively elevated the Muslim Brotherhood’s threat level to that of terrorist groups such as al-Qaeda and ISIS. Following this, the Austrian police launched “Operation Luxor” against a Muslim Brotherhood network, leading to dozens of arrests after a former ISIS sympathizer killed four people in Vienna.
This has had devastating consequences for the Muslim civil society and human rights groups currently challenging Islamophobia in Europe.
In August 2021, an Austrian court ruled that the Muslim Brotherhood is not to be regarded as a terrorist organisation in the country and that the raids carried out were unlawful.
In a recent New Yorker investigation based on leaked emails, Vidino was exposed as a paid tool for smear campaign against Muslims, to the point where other academics are now refusing to be associated with him and apologised to the Muslim community.