Given the clear link between antisemitism and radicalization to violence, now more than ever we must be vigilant in confronting those who promote hatred of Jews.
I am pleased to share an important development.
Today, we received reports   that an upcoming conference in Toronto would feature Tawfeeq As-Sayegh, a Bahrain-based imam with a history of antisemitism. Among other disturbing comments, As-Sayegh has allegedly called for the mass murder of Jews on multiple occasions. According to a translation we received, he once went so far as to declare:“[Killing] is the solution for the Jews. Only killing them is the solution and exterminating them from the face of the earth in accordance to Hitler’s philosophy in case it was real.”
While awaiting independent translation of this sermon (which we have since received), we immediately contacted leaders in the local Muslim community to express our grave concerns. I am pleased to let you know that we quickly received confirmation that As-Sayegh will no longer be attending the conference.
While it is deeply unsettling that someone who had allegedly expressed such horrific views would be invited in the first place, we appreciate the responsiveness of Muslim community leaders who took appropriate action when his disturbing history was revealed.
Antisemitism is not the domain of any religious or political movement. It exists on the Right and the Left. It is present among parts of the Muslim community as well as among adherents of other religions. Wherever it exists, we must confront it by working in partnership with leaders in those communities – making a strong case for why there must be no room for antisemitism.
This is just one modest step forward, but one I thought important to share.
Vice President, Greater Toronto Area
The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA)