FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 29, 2016
Time to investigate extremist organization for hateful targeting of York University human rights activists, Syrian refugees and Muslim Canadians
Never Again Canada (NAC), a far-right wing Islamophobic organization, hosts a Facebook page where it incites hatred, with its supporters threatening violence against Palestinian human rights activists at York University, as well as Arabs and Muslims across Canada.
NAC has been very critical of a mural at York University showing a Palestinian with rocks behind his back while an Israeli bulldozer demolishes a Palestinian’s olive tree on occupied land. Claiming the mural is “anti-Semitic,” the group is threatening to launch a lawsuit against York University for refusing to take it down.
“Using the charge of anti-Semitism is the repeated method used by groups such as Never Again Canada, Friends of the Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies and Hasbara@York to silence legitimate dissent towards Israel’s illegal behaviour,” said Tyler Levitan, spokesperson for IJV.
“Never Again Canada’s Facebook post on the issue is itself a form of incitement to hatred—in this case against Palestinians and Muslims. The Palestinian cultural garb, the keffiyeh, is described by the group as a ‘terrorist scarf’, while the outline of historic Palestine is described as representing ‘Islamic terror against Jews’,” said Levitan. “This organization believes Arabs and Muslims to be inherently violent.”
Never Again Canada recently posted an article on its Facebook page about the York controversy entitled “Crisis: Islam has invaded our Schools”, and accused York of being a hotbed of anti-Semitism that has resulted from the president’s Egyptian and Muslim background. One of the commenters on this post wrote—in reference to those in the York community sympathetic to Palestinian human rights—“They’ll all die soon enough.”
According to Levitan, “Daily threats of physical violence are made against Syrian refugees and Muslim Canadians on this Facebook page, so we shouldn’t be surprised that student supporters of Palestinian human rights are now being threatened. It’s very frightening.”
The Facebook page for NAC has over 35,000 “likes” and is quickly growing in popularity. The worst examples of incitement to hatred and threats of violence are documented by the anonymously run tumblr page “Exposing the Racists of Canada”.
NAC appears to be closely aligned with the Jewish Defense League of Canada, the Canadian offshoot of what the FBI in the United States has deemed a “right wing terrorist group.”
“We are concerned with the rising tide of racism, specifically anti-Arab sentiments and Islamophobia in Europe, the US, Israel and now Canada,” said Levitan. “Describing all Muslims, Syrian refugees and supporters of Palestinian human rights in Canada as ‘terrorists’, Never Again Canada’s incitement to hatred and threats of violence from their supporters should be immediately investigated by Canadian authorities.”
For more information contact:
Independent Jewish Voices Canada
Independent Jewish Voices Canada (IJV) is a national human rights organization whose mandate is to promote a just resolution to the conflict in Israel and Palestine through the application of international law and respect for the human rights of all parties. There are currently ten chapters of IJV in cities across the country, in addition to a growing number of student chapters on major university campuses. IJV is the only national Jewish organization in Canada endorsing equal rights for both Jewish-Israelis and Palestinians, in addition to supporting the right of Canadians to criticize and challenge the current laws and policies of the State of Israel.
RELATED LINKS: http://ijvcanada.org/