April 18, 2019 Update: Since publishing this article Sarsour has acknowledged that they should have been "faster and clearer in helping people understand our values and our commitment to fighting anti-Semitism." She has also disavowed anti-Jewish and anti-LGBTQ comments from hate preacher Farrakhan and fundraised for the Tree of Life synagogue following the antisemitic terror attack in Pittsburgh.
Controversial progressive activist Linda Sarsour is scheduled to speak at the Carry The Light convention on October 6-7.
To be clear, many of Sarsour’s critics operate in bad faith and some claims against her are based in truth but have been exaggerated – others conflate the separate but converging issues of anti-Zionism and antisemitism.
The Canadian Anti-Hate Network believes Linda Sarsour’s invitation to the Carry The Light convention may cause harm to the relationship between the Jewish/LGBTQ+ and Muslim communities of Canada. Her record demonstrates why.
In 2015, Sarsour spoke at the Justice Or Else! rally organized by antisemitic and anti-LGBTQ+ hate preacher Louis Farrakhan. In 2017 she commented “god bless him” on Instagram.
Her co-organizers of the Women’s March have been more expressive in their support for Farrakhan. Under criticism, the Women’s March offered a denouncement of antisemitism and Farrakhan’s comments. Some were critical that it didn’t outright condemn Farrakhan and therefore say the statement didn’t go far enough.
Farrakhan preaches using classical antisemitic tropes aligning Jews with Satan, suggesting that Jews control banks, media, etc. His group, the Nation of Islam, is listed as an extremist group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. For more on Farrakhan, see: https://www.splcenter.org/fighting-hate/extremist-files/group/nation-islam.
The Canadian Anti-Hate Network is concerned that inviting Linda Sarsour to speak in the absence of evidence that she has distanced herself from Farrakhan's hateful rhetoric is inconsistent with the Carry The Light's goal of "inspiring Muslims to implement the true spirit of Islam in their lives," and contrary to the values consistent with promoting inclusive communities where hatred is clearly unwelcome.
Faith Goldy is a prominent member of the alt-right movement who associates with neo-Nazis and promotes their ideology.
She is running to be Mayor of Toronto, endorsed by the alt-right neo-Nazi movement in Canada, who volunteer for her.
After a campaign by the Canadian Anti-Hate Network, Bell and Rogers made the principled decision not to run her advertisements.
Goldy took Bell to court to try to get an injunction and had her case thrown out, wasting $50,000.
The evidence that Faith Goldy is deep in the alt-right neo-Nazi movement is extensive. For example:
Goldy has said the infamous Fourteen Words on air, a neo-Nazi slogan coined by the neo-Nazi group The Order, which murdered a Jewish radio host. She continues to defend her use of the Fourteen Words.
She appeared on The Krypto Report, a neo-Nazi podcast associated with the Daily Stormer, one of the most popular alt-right neo-Nazi sites which often refers to Jews as “Hooknosed kikes” and is currently running a banner image calling itself the “#1 rape-legalization website.” The leaked style guide instructs authors that “All enemies should be combined into one enemy, which is the Jews.”
She said that the alt-right Charlottesville manifesto, including its position on the JQ (Jewish Question; that Jews don’t count as white people to the alt-right neo-Nazi movement), was well thought out.
David Duke, former Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, tweeted her video on Charlottesville.
She's called for Canada to return to being a 96% white, European country.
As a point of analysis, given the current demographics of Canada, discriminatory birth policies and ending nonwhite immigration isn't sufficient to reach a 96 per cent white country. It would require mass deportations and mass murder.
She's already been banned from the fundraising site Patreon and a number of other platforms for spreading hate.
Her activism also targets the Muslim community, and she has called for another crusade in the Middle East.
She endorsed For My Legionaries, a pro-fascist book dealing extensively with "the Jewish menace" and eliminating the Jews. (She later claimed she never read the book).
She has referred to herself as a "propaganda arm" for the alt-right movement in a livestreamed broadcast with Roosh V, an infamous misogynist.
Updated 2018-10-18 with additional information.
Canadian Anti-Hate Network chair Bernie Farber calls on Doug Ford to renounce alt-right candidate who associates with neo-Nazis.
"On Saturday, Faith Goldy, in the race for Toronto mayor, well-known for embracing and supporting white supremacist views, turned up at the Ford Fest BBQ in Vaughan. Following a photo-op with the premier, a scandal ensued as Ford refused to renounce Goldy, her white nationalist views and support to neo-Nazis when asked to do so in the legislature by the NDP."
"Ford has condemned hate speech but refuses to renounce Goldy by name and her associations. His words do not live up to his actions. Canadians still expect decency and leadership from those we put in office. Ford can still make this right, but not until he fully dissociates himself from those like Faith Goldy and their vile ideas."
The Canadian Anti-Hate Network and the Urban Alliance on Race Relations want answers from Toronto Police
Toronto Police Service officers push through a line of anti-racist activists. Photo credit: Ali Javeed, Twitter @alijaveed_
On Saturday, the Toronto Police Service repeatedly used force to break a line of peaceful protesters in order to permit a march down Bay Street by members of racist and neo-Nazi groups.
The rally, hosted by the anti-Muslim extremist group PEGIDA, was joined by members of the Soldiers of Odin and Northern Guard, groups with demonstrated neo-Nazi ties, and the Proud Boys, who have been responsible for a number of assaults at recent demonstrations.
At the beginning of the rally, the hate groups were separated from anti-racism counter protestors by fencing and police. “The police could have maintained public order by allowing the hate groups to complete their rally where they started. Instead, Toronto Police called reinforcements to force a march by hate groups through peaceful counter-protestors,” said Canadian Anti-Hate Network (CAN) board member and lawyer Richard Warman.
Saturday is only the most recent example, but similar situations have played out several times over the past year. Hate groups will continue to turn rallies into marches to use the police as a weapon against citizens who stand up to their poisonous message if the Toronto Police Service permit themselves to be used in this way.
"The police have a responsibility to maintain order and public trust," said Nigel Bariffe, president of the Urban Alliance of Race Relations. "That public trust is eroded when the police give the perception of being on the side of those who are spreading messages of hate and division."
Unfortunately, this is nothing new, notes Warman.
“In the early 90s I witnessed Toronto Police on horseback use batons against hundreds of anti-racism protestors to clear a path so that members of the neo-Nazi Heritage Front could enter the University Avenue courthouse en masse. This flies in the face of the fact that Canada has repeatedly signed international legal treaties obliging us to counter hate group activity - not protect it."
We are requesting a meeting with the Toronto Police Service to discuss these concerns and find positive solutions to this and other related issues.
"The Munk Debates is inadvertently sanitizing Steve Bannon in inviting him to participate in a debate on -the rise of populist politics in Western societies.' This is a white washing of Bannon’s racist, misogynistic, and white nationalist agenda."
Canadian Anti-Hate Network board members Amira Elghawaby and Bernie Farber take on the Munk Debates decision to invite Steve Bannon in this piece for the Toronto Star.
On Saturday September 8th, PEGIDA is holding a demonstration behind Old City Hall.
PEGIDA, an anti-Muslim group, isn’t militant or physically dangerous itself. However, their rallies tend to attract more militant and violent far-right groups. Assaults, the majority of which are started by members of far-right groups, are commonplace at events of this kind.
Fifty people have RSVPd on Facebook, including members of the Soldiers of Odin, Wolves of Odin, Worldwide Coalition Against Islam, Jewish Defence League, Northern Guard, and several members of the Proud Boys.
Toronto anti-racist and anti-fascist activists are holding a counter-demonstration.
On Sunday September 9th, the Canadian Combat Coalition (C3) is holding a demonstration at Danforth and Logan, which they say is for the victims of terrorism.
The Jewish Defence League has been promoting the event, though fewer than 40 people have RSVPd. The Canadian Combat Coalition has been unpopular among the far-right of late, with groups like La Meute claiming C3 are Nazis because Kevin Goudreau, a neo-Nazi with a swastika tattoo on his chest, has been welcome at their demonstrations.
Toronto anti-racist and anti-fascist activists are holding a counter-demonstration to this event as well.
In the news
A Parti Québécois candidate with alleged ties to anti-Muslim group La Meute won’t be allowed by the PQ to run after a social media post saying Islam should be “banned like pit bulls” came to light.
The Edmonton chapter of the Soldiers of Odin, a militant anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant group founded in Finland by a self-identifying neo-Nazi convicted of racially motivated assault, failed at a public relations stunt to give granola bars and water bottles to the poor in the face of community opposition. For context, doing charitable works to try to improve their image is a common tactic of hate groups. Meanwhile, a labour organization was holding a BBQ and giving out free meals only a few blocks away.
Fredericton shooter alleged to have murdered two police officers and two others holds anti-Muslim views, gets his news online and from Rebel Media.
"As we enter an era of truth and reconciliation with Indigenous peoples, it’s time to reconsider what to do with such symbols from the past," writes co-author Bernie Farber, Chair of the Canadian Anti-Hate Network. "We offer a few arguments in support of the removal of a statue of Canada’s first prime minister, Sir John A. Macdonald, from the steps of Victoria’s city hall."
. . .
"Despite any good that may be attributed to Macdonald, his record of cruelty, barbarism and even genocide should preclude him from receiving any honours, statues included. We cannot change Canada’s past but we can, by working together, change our future for the better."
On August 9th, the first rainbow crosswalk in Burnaby, BC was vandalized. The outline of the graffiti comes from an antisemitic meme and the dot in the question mark is a Star of David. The alt-right neo-Nazis believe in a Jewish conspiracy to promote lgbtq+ rights, which they view as degenerate. In context, this is both an antisemitic and anti-lgbtq+ hate crime.
The Worldwide Coalition Against Islam failed to hold a rally in Toronto on August 12th in the face of a planned counter-demonstration and far-right infighting. Instead, an anti-hate rally was held at Nathan Phillips Square. Coverage of the victory against the WCAI was overshadowed by coverage of an incident during the event in which an anti-racist demonstrator took a photographer’s hat, laying hands on him in the process. That individual has been charged with assault.
Also on August 12th, ID Canada (Identity Canada), a group associated with the alt-right movement with chapters across Canada, did a surprise banner drop over the Don Valley Parkway.
The Soldiers of Odin claimed they would use force to break up a homeless encampment in Nanaimo, BC on August 19th. The SOO were a no show. Some opponents of the camp came to protest anyways, and were outnumbered by anti-racist demonstrators.
The National Citizens Alliance held a 5-person strong demonstration in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia - also on August 19th. They were outnumbered by 60-80 counter-demonstrators.
The NCA warns about what they call ‘extreme multiculturalism’. Its founder, Stephen Garvey, is a regular speaker at anti-Muslim rallies and has stood alongside the Worldwide Coalition Against Islam, which calls Muslims sewage, scum, and has called for their execution.
Toronto’s anti-fascist and anti-racist community held a community BBQ on Sunday to celebrate the 85th anniversary of the riot at Christie Pits. In 1933, a group called the ‘Pit Gang’ unfurled a swastika banner at a baseball game. Jewish and Italian immigrants fought back, reinforcements were called, and the brawl lasted for six hours.
"An important ruling was handed down recently by Ontario Superior Court Judge Shaun Nakatsuru that is sure to have a major impact on hatemongers," writes Bernie Farber, Chair of the Canadian Anti-Hate Network in a piece for the Canadian Jewish News.
"Until this ruling came down, it was unclear if defamation suits could be brought against people who spew racist rants that target an individual, at least in Ontario.
Thanks to one brave Canadian Muslim, Mohamad Fakih, so-called “free-speech” advocates no longer have free reign to spew hateful abuse and then invoke Ontario’s anti-SLAPP (strategic lawsuit against public participation) legislation, as a shield for their racist histrionics."
Convicted criminal and British Columbia resident Arthur Topham has been arrested this week for breach of probation conditions that he stop spreading hate propaganda through the Internet. The probation conditions stem from his 2017 conviction for spreading anti-Jewish hate propaganda that the trial judge described as "vile and degrading" at sentencing.
"Harry Abrams and B'nai Brith have demonstrated great leadership in holding Arthur Topham accountable for his criminal hate propaganda attacking the Jewish community," says lawyer and CAN Board Member Richard Warman.
Warman worked in cooperation with Abrams and B'nai Brith throughout the case and would like to thank the investigating police officers from the British Columbia integrated hate crimes team noting that "even Arthur Topham describes them as polite and professional - high praise from a criminal hatemonger you're arresting."
Len Rudner, another part of the Canadian Anti-Hate Network team, acted as an expert witness at Topham's trial.
For more on the original case, see: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/curfew-and-internet-ban-for-b-c-man-who-promoted-hatred-against-jewish-people-online-1.4022817