Muslim group to sue Harper over allegations of terrorist links

Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper receives a standing ovation from members of his caucus while...

Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper receives a standing ovation from members of his caucus while speaking during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa January 27, 2014. REUTERS/Chris Wattie

David Akin, Parliamentary Bureau Chief

, Last Updated: 3:49 PM ET

OTTAWA — A Canadian Muslim group wants an apology after Prime Minister Stephen Harper's top spokesman suggested the organization was linked to the terrorist group Hamas.

The National Council of Canadian Muslims said it will sue Harper and his spokesman Jason MacDonald for libel unless they immediately apologize for and retract comments MacDonald made in an interview earlier this month with QMI Agency.

The war of words started on Jan. 16 after the NCCM asked the Prime Minister's Office to boot a rabbi with whom it disagreed out of the official delegation that accompanied Harper to Israel last week.

MacDonald responded to the NCCM saying: "We will not take seriously criticism from an organization with documented ties to a terrorist organization such as Hamas."

The NCCM immediately called that characterization false and, on Tuesday, said it served MacDonald and Harper with a notice of libel, the first step in a potential libel lawsuit.


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