Beth Tikvah Synagogue in Toronto was planning on renting their space to the organization ‘Canadians for the Rule of Law’ for a conference entitled ‘The New Taboo: Respect for the Rule of Law in Canada’ to discuss topics of radicalism within the Canadian community. Their topics are to cover 1/ the radical left; 2/ radical Islamists; and 3/ the radical right within the following framework:
- TAKE ACTION AGAINST PROPAGATORS OF MISINFORMATION IN THE MEDIA
- HATE SPEECH
- RELIGION IN THE “PUBLIC SPACE”
- DISCRIMINATION IN ENFORCEMENT OF LAWS – PARTICULARLY “HATE CRIMES”
- TERRORISM AND PUBLIC SAFETY
- LAWFARE: SUCCESSFUL APPROACHES ELSEWHERE
- REGISTERED CHARITIES AND NON-CHARITABLE/ILLEGAL ACTIVITIES
- ACTIONS AGAINST BDS
This conference was to take place March 17, 2019 in Beth Tikvah Synagogue.
The conference would feature speakers from the Jewish community, as well as anti hate activists such as Donald Carr, who sits on the board of CFTRL, David Matas, legal council for B’nai Brith and Anita Bromberg, executive director for Canadian Race Relations Foundation. The issues arose when it was revealed that purported ‘alt-right’ speakers would be included in the lineup, some of the more notable being Charles McVety, president of Canada Christian College, Toronto, who has hosted Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilders and Christine Douglass-Williams, formerly of Canadian Race Relations Foundations, now a writer for among other venues, Jihad Watch, a news source that focuses on Islamism.
The synagogue has since decided against hosting this conference after correspondence from Karen Mock, president of the progressive Jewish group JSpace Canada. She argued that there would be much negative media attention due to “the Islamophobia and bigotry associated with some of these groups and individuals.”
Rabbi Jarrod Grover of Beth Tikvah stated that the decision to pull out was to avoid a media circus, not to stifle free speech. He reiterated that his was a religious institution, not a political venue.
Religious institutions, at their discretion, regularly rent their space to the public, and of course, they have the right to choose who they rent to and who to refuse.
In this case, was the synagogue pressured to rescind their contract due to public pressure? Are we feeling the chilling effects of M103?
On the other hand, Salaheddin Islamic Centre recently hosted a conference that was to include radical Imams, Imams that have publicly voiced their hatred for non Muslims, and most specifically, the Jewish community.
Even though there were articles revealing radical imams scheduled to speak, the Salaheddin Islamic Centre went through with their conference, minus one of the Imams after pressure from various sources, including letters being sent to government officials about the Imam in question.
As far as we know, there was no public outcry about the above conference at the mosque. There has been no public outcry about radical Imams regularly being guest speakers at this mosque.
It’s speaking out against Islamic radicalism that seems to be verboten. M103.
‘Canadians for the Rule of Law’ will still hold their conference March 17, 2019 in a venue yet to be announced.