The wrong tweet can cause a lot of trouble, especially for people who might be running for public office. That's what happened to Fawzi Bidawi, the People's Party of Canada (PPC) candidate running in Scarborough Centre. After posting a tweet that linked to a radical neo-nazi website, Bidawi's name was taken off the list of candidates.
Bidawi had tweeted about a South African family whose claim for refugee status was rejected based on their submission of "white supremacist hate literature."
The family claimed that they had been the victims of racially motivated persecution, citing a number of crimes committed against them by black South Africans. However, they could not prove the crimes were committed due to their race.
Bidawi's tweet regarding the whole situation first questioned whether the government had discriminated against the family because they were afraid "that they will vote right." Bidawi then included a link to National Vanguard, a website tied to a white supremacist group of the same name.
National Vanguard is a white nationalist, neo-Nazi organization. A candidate for @MaximeBernier’s #PPC is openly sh… https://t.co/2yA9WkDLIV— Ryan Jespersen (@Ryan Jespersen)1563816201.0
After Bidawi was called out for his tweet, he refused to take it down, writing, "...Presenting a question about a website doesn't mean is[sic] support the website. They made an argument and I am challenging it's[sic] validity."
First of all, presenting a question about a website doesn't mean is support the website. They made an argument and… https://t.co/wguy5VsK03— Fawzi Bidawi (Capitalist) (@Fawzi Bidawi (Capitalist))1563817047.0
One reply to his tweet came from Kevin Strom, the former leader of National Vanguard:
@olcarcajou @BidawiFawzi Yes, we must never read the words of those "wrongthinking" people, because their "wrongthi… https://t.co/mw6GW1TDsI— Kevin Alfred Strom (@Kevin Alfred Strom)1563928363.0
According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, Strom was imprisoned in 2007 for child pornography and witness tampering.
Bidawi's name was removed from the list of candidates, and all reference to the PPC was removed from his Twitter account. Still, Bidawi stood by his tweet.
I refused to remove some tweets. I am no longer on the list of Candidates. Let free speech prevail.— Fawzi Bidawi (Capitalist) (@Fawzi Bidawi (Capitalist))1563883327.0
The PPC is led by Maxime Bernier, who is currently running for Prime Minister. The party is polling at around three percent.