Speaker at London Vigil Stokes Division with Speech

June 9, 2021

Statement

Last night, thousands gathered at a vigil in London, Ontario to mourn the loss of the four family members murdered in a horrific Islamophobic attack. Jews across Canada have stood in solidarity with the Muslim community in denouncing the attack and vile hatred, which has no place in our country.

During this time of mourning, we have unfortunately also witnessed attempts to manipulate this heinous crime to sow the seeds of division in Canada. Social media has been full of conspiracy theories stating that the perpetrator is Jewish without any evidence to suggest this is true. It has been reported widely that he is a devout Christian.

Disturbingly, at the vigil, in front of political and community leaders and thousands of others, final speaker Dr. Munir El-Kassem used his voice to amplify division and bias, claiming, "Whatever is happening in Jerusalem and Gaza is related to whatever happened in London, Ontario."

The fact of the matter is that the horrific act that took place in London on Sunday is not related in any way to the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas. Such false information perpetuates mistrust and division, not the peace, understanding and inclusion we all seek. We call on Dr. El-Kassem to retract his unfounded remarks.

Our thoughts and prayers remain with the victims' family and the entire Muslim community that will forever carry the pain and hurt caused by this tragedy.

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