For Immediate Release
August 27, 2017
Ottawa, ON – Today, the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) and more than 50 community organizations united to issue a joint declaration against hate.
Groups representing a broad cross-section of Canadian society signed the declaration, including Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Sikh, Hindu, African-Canadian, Chinese-Canadian, LGBTQ+, and student organizations. The text states that the signatories “refuse to be silent in response to the horrible events that took place in Charlottesville, Virginia, and acts of hate that have been perpetrated here in Canada – including incidents of bigoted graffiti, the dissemination of racist propaganda, and white nationalist rallies.”
Upon release of the declaration, Shimon Koffler Fogel, CEO of CIJA, stated:
“We are humbled by the strong support for this declaration we have received from a diverse range of allies. At this challenging time, those of us who work in human rights and anti-discrimination advocacy must unite and raise our voices against those who peddle hate.
“As we saw in Charlottesville, antisemitism goes hand-in-hand with white supremacy and other forms of bigotry. While we know the vast majority of Canadians reject these toxic ideologies, recent events remind us to be vigilant and assertive in countering hate movements. Building on today’s declaration, we will continue working with our friends in other communities to fight hate – through legal measures, outreach to government, and by exercising our freedom of speech.”
The declaration further states that “all forms of hate are inextricably linked and must be opposed with legal and non-violent means by all people of good will. …An attack against any minority is nothing less than an assault on Canada’s democratic values and a threat to our entire society.” It concludes with policy recommendations for all levels of government, including:
- Establishing uniform guidelines for the collection and publication of hate crime and hate incident data;
- Creating training programs for public, police, and prosecutors that allow for more consistent and effective enforcement of hate speech laws;
- The creation of dedicated hate crime units for all sizeable police agencies; and
- New measures to monitor and counter the spread of hate propaganda, which often serves as a precursor to violent radicalization.
The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) is the advocacy agent of the Jewish Federations of Canada-UIA.
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The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA)