FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center Says Approval for Antisemitic Rally by Hate Group at Queen’s Park is Offensive to Canadians
Toronto, August 8, 2012 – Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies (FSWC) is deeply disappointed to learn that approval has been given by Ontario’s Sergeant at Arms for the virulently anti-Israel, pro-Iran al Quds Committee to hold an anti-western, antisemitic hate rally at Queen’s Park later this month.
“Allowing this Committee to import the hateful dogma of the despotic Iranian regime to the grounds of the Ontario legislature is an insult to all Canadians, who are offended by a group of fanatics who pervert our cherished ideal of free speech to spout venom and to promote a profoundly anti-western, anti-democratic theology,” said Avi Benlolo, President and CEO of FSWC. “It is truly unfortunate that the principles of tolerance and inclusion do not extend to the target of their unbridled hatred – Canada’s Jewish community, which remains astonished that such groups are welcome in our public spaces.”
Sergeant at Arms Dennis Clark refused to discuss the antisemitic hate speech so clearly in evidence at last year’s Queen’s Park rally, when anti-Israel speaker Zafar Bangash shouted “”Inshallah I see that day when we, the Muslims, will march on Palestine and liberate Palestine . .. under Islamic law,” nor would he list the conditions by which the rally organizers must abide.
FSWC considers the endorsement of hate to be a matter of public safety and will continue to monitor the situation and pressure police, media, politicians and community leaders to review the laws that permit hate and the support of repressive Iranian-style shariah law free reign in Ontario’s public spaces.
“This is no longer a debate about free speech vs. hate speech,” said Mr. Benlolo. This is an insult to all Ontarians and a simple matter of right and wrong.”
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Stacey Starkman, Communications Manager
Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies
416.864.9735 x 32 (office)