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SIGN OUR PETITION: Canada Must Enforce Its Existing Hate Crime Laws

Imam Sayed al-Ghitawi (Source: YouTube Screenshot)

Dear Friends,

The time has come for Canada to finally get serious about addressing antisemitism and hatred against its Jewish community.

Over the last few years, several clear instances of antisemitic hate crimes have occurred throughout the country, though appropriate charges were never laid. B’nai Brith Canada has been diligent in reporting these hate crimes and demanding that the perpetrators be brought to justice. However, lawmakers have been silent when it comes to prosecuting these promoters of hatred and antisemitism.

In fact, as far as B’nai Brith can verify, Arthur Topham (who was convicted of promoting hatred against the Jewish people after a B’nai Brith volunteer reported him) is the only person in recent memory who has been tried and convicted of the willful promotion of hatred against the Jewish community.

In February of 2016, B’nai Brith exposed an editorial in al-Forqan, an Arabic language newspaper in Windsor, which described attacks against civilians in Israel as a “sacred duty of jihad.”

No charges were laid.

In August, B’nai Brith filed a police complaint against Mississauga teacher Nadia Shoufani, who praised Palestinian terrorists as martyrs at the al-Quds Day rally, glorifying the murder of an Israeli child and calling on those present to resist ‘Israeli occupation’ by “any means necessary.”

No charges were laid.

In October, B’nai Brith alerted Calgary police to a Facebook post calling on users to “Kill All Jews Now!”

No charges were laid.

For months, B’nai Brith has spoken out against Alfred Schaefer for online videos in which he glorifies Adolf Hitler, describes Jewish people as “parasites,” and accuses them of conspiring to eliminate “the European race.”

No charges were laid… in Canada. Authorities in Germany, where Schaefer resides part of the time, have acted and laid charges this week against Schaefer after B’nai Brith alerted German officials to his activities. Which poses the question: why do we have to go all the way to Germany to see justice done?

When will the Canadian government finally take hate speech against the Jewish community more seriously?

Perhaps now is the time. Earlier this week, footage came to light of an imam at the al-Andalus Islamic Center in Montreal calling for the destruction of the Jewish people. (page doesnt exist)

During his sermon, Sayed al-Ghitawi asks Allah to “destroy the accursed Jews” and to “make their children orphans and their women widows.”

While an investigation into al-Ghitawi is ongoing (B’nai Brith swiftly filed a complaint with Montreal police last week), we are not at all confident, as history has shown us, that the imam will be charged with a hate crime. Furthermore, we were disgusted by the mosque’s official statement in response to his actions.

Rather than unequivocally condemn his statement, al-Andalous instead justified al-Ghitawi’s sermons, saying that his calls to “destroy the accursed Jews” were taken out of context, and that the publication of both videos by CIJNews  (page does not exist) was “a shameless attempt to revive polemics against the Muslim community.”

Should anyone be satisfied with such a response, one that does not even extend an apology for the hateful remarks one of its imams made? Will al-Ghitawi face charges for encouraging death and destruction against the Jewish community?

If you agree that the time has come for Canada to finally take hate crimes against the Jewish community seriously, please sign our petition.



Michael Mostyn
Chief Executive Officer
B’nai Brith Canada

P.S. I will be testifying on behalf of B’nai Brith Canada and the grassroots Jewish community before the Justice Committee on Bill C-305 – an act to amend the Criminal Code (mischief). If you have any suggestions or concerns that you’d like to relay to me in advance, please send an email to [email protected].