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Responding to a demand from a Muslim lobby group, the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce apologized for remarks by a top executive and promised he would undergo “sensitization training regarding Muslims and Arabs.”
Jeff Rubin, chief economist and chief strategist of the bank’s World Markets’ Economic and Strategy division, offended the Canadian branch of the Council on American-Islamic Relations in an article in the April 5 issue of the Monthly Indicators.
Rubin wrote: “The first two oil shocks were transitory, as political events encouraged oil producers to seize full sovereignty over their resources and temporarily restrict supply. This time around there won’t be any tap that some appeased mullah or sheik can suddenly turn back on.”
CAIR-CAN Executive Director Riad Saloojee wrote in response: “We are gravely concerned that Mr. Rubin is promoting stereotyping of Muslims and Arabs in a CIBC publication & we request that Mr. Rubin and CIBC World Markets issue a letter of apology and undergo sensitization training regarding Muslims and Arabs.”
CIBC World Markets Chairman and CEO Brian Shaw replied to Saloojee, “First, let me state that we take the concerns expressed in your letter very seriously. While the comments were in no way intentional or meant to offend anyone in the Muslim or Arab community, we agree that, in hindsight, the comments were insensitive.
“We have taken immediate steps to address this issue. We have reviewed all aspects of the matter with Jeff Rubin and we will be providing him with training to ensure that this situation does not occur again in the future. In addition, Jeff has withdrawn the research report from the World Markets website, redrafted the paragraph in question and reposted the amended report back to the website.”
The Council on American-Islamic Relations, based in Washington, D.C., is a spin-off of a group described by two former FBI counterterrorism chiefs as a “front group” for the terrorist group Hamas in the U.S.
Several CAIR members have been convicted on terror-related charges. As WorldNetDaily reported, a founder of the Texas chapter of the group was found guilty last week of supporting terrorism.
Ghassan Elashi, along with two brothers, was convicted in Dallas of channeling funds to a high-ranking official of the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas, Mousa Abu Marzook.
Elashi was the third CAIR figure to be convicted on federal terrorism charges since 9-11.
Others are Randall Todd “Ismail” Royer, a former communications specialist and civil rights coordinator, and Bassem Khafagi, former director of community relations.
Royer was sentenced to 20 years in prison on charges he trained in Virginia for holy war against the United States and sent several members to Pakistan to join Lashkar-e-Taiba, a Kashmiri terrorist group with reported ties to al-Qaida.