During her appearance at Reviving the Islamic Spirit convention in Toronto on December 22, 2017, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne said that the Muslim community “has had a challenging year with rising Islamophobia in Canada and the world”.
“This afternoon I celebrated the Islamic spirit with Ontario’s Muslim community. With Islamophobia on the rise, we must say no to anyone who seeks to divide us. I’m working to build a province where love is stronger than hate & compassion trumps discrimination”, Wynne wrote on her Twitter page.
However, official Canadian statistics contradict Wynne’s statement that “Islamophobia” is on the rise.
According to a hate crimes report released by Statistics Canada on November 28, 2017, hate crimes against Muslims actually declined from 159 instances in 2015 to 139 instances in 2016.
In contrast, during the same period hate crimes against Jews grew from 178 to 221 incidents, an increase of more than 20% from the previous year.
According to the Toronto Police Service 2016 Annual Hate/Bias Crime Statistical Report, the Muslim community was the least victimized group, behind Jews, members of the LGBT community and the Black community.
In 2016 Jews, who comprise approximately 1% of the population, were disproportionately targeted in 29.7% of all hate crimes, while Muslims, who make up over 3% of the population, were targeted in 15.2% of hate crimes. In other words, Jews were targeted in 43 of the 66 hate/bias occurrences, while Muslims were targeted in 22 out of 66 occurrences.
In the past four months alone, dozens of anti-Semitic incidents took place Canada. In September, a large graffiti was sprayed at a Vaughan highway overpass which said “Hitler was right”. A Toronto Jewish day school was targeted with a Swastika.
Dozens of students from the anti-Israel group “Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights” at McMaster University are currently under review by the university administration after they were exposed on social media praising Hitler and calling for death to Zionists.
In November, an article appearing in Meshwar, a bi-weekly Arab-language newspaper distributed across Southern Ontario, blamed Jews for the Holocaust and promoted anti-Semitic conspiracy theories.
A few days later, during a rally in Mississauga’s Celebration Square, hundreds of people chanted in Arabic, “Remember Khaybar, oh you Jews, the Army of Muhammad will return!,” in reference to an ancient battle in which a Muslim army defeated and slaughtered Jews in the Arabian Peninsula, prompting Jewish human rights organization B’nai Brith to call on the City of Mississauga to enforce its bylaws against protestors who have threatened violence against Jews and encouraged children to engage in terrorism.
Also in November, fliers praising the Nazis as the “true heroes of WWII” were found at the University of British Columbia at the site of the campus Remembrance Day ceremony.
On December 9, in what may have been a first instance of its kind in Canada, demonstrators in Vancouver burned an image of an Israeli flag during an anti-Israel rally. The act of publicly burning a flag of one of Canada’s closest allies was condemned by Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson.
In mid-December least 12 synagogues – including Ottawa, Toronto, Edmonton, Halifax, Kingston and Montreal – received hate mail in which said “Jewry must perish”, with an image of a swastika inside a bleeding Star of David.
During the annual al-Quds hate rally in downtown Toronto on June 24, 2017, a song urging Palestinians to kill Israelis was played and one of the speakers called to kill all those who “oppress” Muslims.
Even though Wynne condemned the “vile” anti-Semitic messages sent to the synagogues in a December 19 tweet, to date she didn’t denounce Islamic Jew hatred by Canadian imams who during sermons at their mosques prayed to Allah to destroy the “accursed” Jews and to kill them “one by one” and called on Allah to “purify the al-Aqsa Mosque from the filth of the Jews”.