Report: Canada’s Arabic-Language Publications Contribute to Antisemitism Spike
Antisemitism hit a record-high in Canada in 2016, with a 26 percent increase in anti-Jewish incidents from the previous year, according to B’nai Brith Canada’s Annual Audit of Antisemitic Incidents.
During 2016, more than 1,700 antisemitic incidents were reported across Canada.
Incidents of Holocaust denial, a particularly dire form of antisemitism, significantly increased last year. Holocaust denial comprised 5 percent of total reported antisemitic acts in 2015, but skyrocketed to 20 percent of total incidents in 2016.
“The Audit also highlights the emergence of a new and frightening trend in Canadian antisemitism: incitement against Jews in mass media, especially in Arabic-language publications,” B’nai Brith reports. While the organization “was successful in exposing and removing many of the most egregious examples [of antisemitism], the lack of response from law enforcement and government paints a worrying picture of this phenomenon going forward.”
The audit also found that the antisemitic incidents in Canada declined during the months surrounding the US presidential election compared to previous years. These findings suggest that the increase in Canadian antisemitism is a “made-in-Canada” issue.
This year, two Canadian imams attracted media attention for their past incendiary and antisemitic sermons.
In one case, Ryerson University in Toronto announced that it had fired Ayman Elkasrawy from his teaching assistant position following reports that he prayed for Allah to “purify” Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque “from the filth of the Jews.”
He also prayed that anyone who “displaced” Muslims should be destroyed: “Count their number; slay them one by one and spare not one of them, O Allah! Purify Al-Aqsa Mosque from the filth of the Jews!”
In another case, the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) posted videos showing an imam in Montreal, Sheikh Wael Al-Ghitawi, denying Jewish roots to Israel.
“Jews do not have any historical right to Palestine,” Al-Ghitawi said in the 2014 sermon. He falsely asserted that “for long periods of time, there was not a single Jew in Jerusalem and Palestine.”
Last year, MEMRI also exposed a sermon by an imam in Edmonton, Alberta, who urged Muslims to “look forward” as “Rome will be conquered.” The imam in question, Shaban Sherif Mady, also glorified the restoration of the “rightly-guided” Islamic Caliphate, mirroring similar calls by the Islamic State’s leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
With the spread of radical Islamism among some Arabic-language publications and imams, it is no surprise that antisemitic incidents are on the rise in Canada.
Click here to read the full B’nai Brith audit.