TORONTO, Aug. 15, 2012 /CNW/ - The Canadian Race Relations Foundation (CRRF) expresses grave concerns regarding the upcoming "Al-Quds rally" scheduled to take place at Queens Park on August 18, 2012.
The Al-Quds rally is a day originally proclaimed by Iran in 1979 in order to extend its influence and ideology. Canadians must be concerned that at a previous Al-Quds rally, invited speakers spouted virulently antisemitic rhetoric labeling Israel "a cancer" and the Zionists as "parasitic" and "blood-suckers" – language which is reflective of the antisemitic and dehumanizing slogans of the Nazis and others. One does not need to look far into the past to see that this same language has been used previously to promote hatred against Israel, "Zionists" and the democratic West. The framework for attacks against Israel and Zionists is replete with phrases found in similar Neo-Nazi and antisemitic attacks against Jews.
Indeed, to claim that the call to eliminate Israel is not genocide is a disingenuous rhetorical ruse, given that half of the world's Jews live there.
Free speech is an enshrined and cherished value in Canadian law and society; in fact it is a value that separates our country from many others. However, the line from free speech, to hate speech is easily and often crossed. Thus vigilance against using free speech as a pretext for the promotion of hate must be maintained.
"Such use of public, government property to promote hatred against an identifiable group is contrary to Canadian values, and should not be allowed", stated Albert Lo, Chair of the Canadian Race Relations Foundation. "Hateful words and propaganda lead to violent acts. The vandalism of the Khalsa Community School in Brampton, Ontario this July, and the deplorable recent attack against the Sikh community south of the border are just two vivid examples."
"A civil society must neither acquiesce to, nor tolerate the exploitation of legal loopholes and disregard for democratic values in order to promote hatred against any persons or identifiable group of persons, irrespective of their racial or ethnic backgrounds", Lo added.
The CRRF appeals to the Ontario Government to reconsider the permission that has been given to hold this rally.
The Canadian Race Relations Foundation's mission is to provide independent, outspoken national leadership, and act as a resource and facilitator in the pursuit of equity, fairness and social justice for all Canadians.