May 2, 2022
TORONTO – B’nai Brith Canada has written to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), demanding that it examine the charitable status of mosques that facilitated the recent al-Quds Day hate-fest in downtown Toronto.
On Saturday, protesters mostly bused in from pick-up locations at mosques near Toronto, gathered downtown to call for the elimination of Israel, the world’s only Jewish state. As they marched around Nathan Philips Square, they chanted “Long live the intifada!” In the Israeli-Palestinian context, an intifada means a violent uprising, and each Palestinian intifada has involved the use of suicide bombings, shootings, stabbings, car-rammings and other attacks against Israeli civilians.
In addition, protesters chanted, “We heed your call, oh Nasrallah!” in reference to Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Hezbollah, a designated terrorist entity in Canada. This came during a speech delivered by Ali Sbeiti, a Montreal-based cleric whose passport was revoked by the Government of Canada in 2014 before being restored the following year.
B’nai Brith has obtained an image distributed by al-Quds Day organizers that lists five mosques located in Southern Ontario as the bus pick-up locations for people travelling to the Toronto rally. Four of the five mosques involved operate as registered charities and some have also had clergy attend and deliver speeches at previous Toronto rallies.
Three of the five mosques have been the subject of prior complaints by B’nai Brith to the CRA over apparent antisemitic or pro-terrorist conduct, yet little or no action has been taken against those Islamic charities.
“The ongoing impunity for religious charities that breach the conditions of their charitable status is unacceptable and against public policy,” said Michael Mostyn, Chief Executive Officer of B’nai Brith Canada. “Canadian taxpayers must not be forced to subsidize the promotion of hatred against Jews or Israelis and glorifying acts of terrorism, via our charities system.”
Al-Quds Day was created in 1979 by the Islamic Regime in Iran and calls for the complete destruction of Israel. Al-Quds Day events in Canada have become a notorious forum for the promotion of antisemitism, terrorism and even calls for genocide. At the 2014 Toronto iteration of the event, Moulana Zaki Baqri called for “Yahoodi,” i.e. Jews, to be “dismantled.” In 2013 and 2016, speakers called for Israelis to be shot.