Imtiaz Popat: Canada's political leaders won't take necessary steps to prevent hate crimes

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      Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has failed to protect Canadians against hate crimes while he congratulates protesters for taking to the streets.

      These white supremacists rallies would not have been allowed to take place across Canada had Steven Harper's government not rescinded section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act when he was prime minister, which prohibited the promotion of hate crimes in Canada. 

      While the Canadian government amended antiterror legislation—passing Bill C-51 to supposedly protect Canadians—it has failed in restoring the Canadian Human Rights Act provisions to protect Canadians from hate crimes.

      As a result, we are seeing law enforcers protect and support white supremacists to promote hate all across Canada. There has been a lack of any political leadership at all levels to calls for stronger hate crime legislation to fill the void left by the Harper regime.

      Law enforcers have also failed to use any other existing provisions to stop white supremacists from promoting hate propaganda.

      As we just saw the Quebec police declare an anti-white-supremacist rally illegal, white supremacist rallies are allowed to go on. Law enforcers have powers within existing legislation to stop these hate rallies, but they won’t use them.

      While law enforcers continue to target Muslim communities and activists under antiterror laws, white supremacists are not viewed as terrorists.  

      And even though Trudeau and Quebec premier Philippe Couillard called the shooting at the Quebec Mosque by Alexandre Bissonnette a terrorist attack, he was charged with six counts of first-degree murder and not under the antiterrorism law.

      After the suspect in the stabbing of a police officer at Flint's Bishop International Airport was charged, Couillard said, "Unfortunately, you cannot disconnect this type of event—terrorism—from Islam in general".

      An increase in incidents targeting the Muslim population drove a five percent rise in hate crimes in 2015, according to a recent Statistics Canada report. Hate crimes targeting Muslims rose from 99 incidents in 2014 to 159 incidents in 2015, the agency said.

      The total number of criminal incidents motivated by hate was 1,362—67 more than the year before.

      “The number of hate crimes presented in this release likely undercounts the true extent of hate crime in Canada, as not all crimes are reported to police,” Statistics Canada said in a note accompanying the recent data release.

      While Canadian lawmakers and enforcers have engaged in surveillance and entrapment of Muslims under suspicion of perceived threats of terrorism, white supremacist groups, including militias, have not been seen as a terrorist threat in Canada.

      Two white supremacist group members linked to the Canadian Navy disrupted an Indigenous ceremony in Halifax during a Canada 150 ceremony. While the navy and the Canadian government reprimanded the individuals, this incident demonstrated that white supremacists are part of the Canadian Armed Forces.

      White supremacists, neo-Nazis, and skinhead groups encourage followers to enlist in the army and law enforcement to acquire skills to overthrow what some call the "ZOG"—the Zionist Occupation Government. Get in, get trained, and get out to brace for the coming race war.

      In 2012 former U.S. Army soldier Wade Page opened fire with a 9-mm handgun at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin, murdering six people and critically wounding three before killing himself during a shootout with police. Page, then 40, was well known in the white supremacist music scene, became a neo-Nazi after joining the military in 1992.

      The RCMP were monitoring the five white supremacists who murdered Nirmal Singh Gill in Surrey, B.C., at the Guru Nanak Gurudwara in 1998. They had taped evidence that they had planned to go into the Gurudwara and kill everyone inside.

      Imtiaz Popat is a community radio and television host and an equal-rights activist.

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