Anti-Palestinian Racism Widespread in Canada

Empowering Weak & Oppressed

Crescent International

Jumada' al-Ula' 28, 1445 2023-12-12

Daily News Analysis

by Crescent International

Source -

Anti-Palestinian racism is widespread in Canada.

This is the conclusion of a report released by the Montreal-based organization, Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME), on December 7.

The CJPME report provides 500 detailed examples of anti-Palestinian racism (APR) in Canadian society.

This comes on the heels of a Senate report released in October 2023 that showed that Islamophobia has risen alarmingly in Canada.

As expected, the CJPME report received scant or no coverage in the corporate mainstream media, either in Canada or elsewhere.

One can imagine the reaction if this had related to any other religious or even racial group.

There would be screaming headlines and endless debate about how the scourge of racism has to be stamped out.

It must be pointed out that the CJPME report relates to incidents of anti-Palestinian racism in 2022, a full year before Israel’s current genocidal onslaught on Gaza that Canada and almost all western regimes have fully supported.

Readers are strongly recommended to read the entire CJPME report to understand the depth and systematic nature of APR in Canada.

There is one aspect of CJPME’s report which requires broader analysis.

The point that stands out the most relates to suppression of free speech when discussing Israel’s occupation of Palestine, especially if the sentiment is pro-Palestinian.

CJPME states that “although there is no official statistic, since October 7 [2023], many people in Canada have been warned, suspended, investigated, or fired by their employers due to the expression of their views on Palestine. The Maple published an article highlighting a sampling of cases that included educators, physicians, pilots, journalists, politicians, bureaucrats, and restaurant staff.”

As officials of many other NATO member regimes, Canadian officials also keenly project the country as a beacon of free speech.

Canadian media and politicians frequently paint a fairy tale picture of how the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (CCRF) protects people’s rights.

They further argue that it is one of the most brilliant legal documents in the world.

What is the reality?

Many people in Canada are not free to express an opinion about a global event without facing serious repercussions like losing their job or being suspended and investigated by their employers.

Restrictions on free speech are legitimized via legal instruments.

This is little different from countries that western officials lecture about on the importance of free speech and expression.

In common language, it means there are legal loopholes to circumscribe people’s rights in Canada.

According to a blog by Nelligan law, in Canada “free expression (and all Charter rights) only applies to government actions that limit those rights. In other words, if you work for a private corporation the Charter does not apply to your employer’s actions. If you work for the government, then you may have a right to express yourself; however even that has limits. So, unless you work for the government, you are not being denied a Charter right if you are fired for voicing an opinion.”

While the phenomenon of repressing pro-Palestinian sentiment is not new in Canada, due to the ongoing Israeli genocide in Palestine, such repression has gone into overdrive.

Borderline criminalization of pro-Palestinian speech in Canada will have negative repercussions beyond the Canadian Muslim community.

Canada is one country where people from many different parts of the world have come to live.

It is only natural that they will have divergent views on many global issues.

The job of Canadian institutions, both state and non-state, is that they should provide space for such expressions rather than use legal instruments or the state machinery to favor one segment over another.

Heavily politicized and state driven favoritism in Canada, as manifested by Ontario Premier Doug Ford can easily lead to unnecessary internal frictions and instability.

Ironically, some of those peddling anti-Palestinian propaganda are those who are on the right spectrum of Canadian politics and portray themselves as being pro-free speech.

These are the same voices who were screaming for freedom of speech when anti-COVID protestors brought Ottawa to a standstill.

It should be kept in mind that demonization of the Palestinian cause and those who support it is a product of decades old systemic propaganda against Muslims and Arabs in NATO member countries.

This demonization did not begin with 9/11 or with the rise of yellow journalism outlets like Rebel News or Breitbart.

It was actively peddled by the so-called mainstream media.

Decades before 9/11, prominent expert and Columbia University professor, Dr. Edward Said, began informing the global public about the prevailing hostility displayed towards Islamic activism and Islam in the corporate western media.

Said’s epic book, Covering Islam, published in 1981, was far ahead of its time.

If Said’s classic had alerted the world to a disturbing phenomenon 40 years ago, CJPME’s recent report has touched on the continuing problem.

In addition to highlighting the problem, the CJPME report has proposed specific and detailed steps on how Canada can eliminate or reduce APR.

Will Canadian officials take note of such recommendations or continue to pander to the demands of the loud and pushy pro-Israel lobby?

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