In a public statement released on Friday, humanitarian organization B’nai Brith accused a Liberal Party Candidate of making several "disturbing antisemitic and anti-Israel statements,” and suggested he was not fit for federal candidacy. Conservative Party leader Andrew Scheer has now called upon Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to act immediately on the matter, urging him to “condemn these comments and fire this candidate.”
This latest Canadian political controversy involves Hassan Guillet, a Liberal Party candidate who gained international attention for speaking out in the aftermath of the 2017 Quebec City mosque attack. Guillet is an Islamic religious leader, as well as the current Liberal Party nominee for the riding of Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel in Montreal.
According to B’nai Brith, an organization that advocates for Jewish-Canadians and human rights, Guillet has made a number of statements over the past few years, that “must preclude his candidacy.”
The organization accuses Guillet of a number of highly controversial comments, including celebrating the release of a Hamas-aligned activist who accused Jews of staging the 9/11 terror attacks, and hailing the convicted criminal as a “jihad-fighter” and “frontier-fighter.”
Hassan Guillet, an Islamic religious leader gained international attention for speaking out in the aftermath of the… https://t.co/ojm8M3IpzQ— B'nai Brith Canada (@B'nai Brith Canada)1567182063.0
Guillet is also accused of calling Israel an apartheid state in a 2017 radio interview, and writing a Facebook post saying, “the Zionists control American politics.” This, according to B’nai Brith, was intended to “promote the common antisemitic trope of Jews manipulating world governments.”
According to Michael Mostyn, Chief Executive Officer of B’nai Brith Canada, these previous comments make Guillet an unacceptable candidate for Canadian politics. “Radical and racist statements such as these must result in the immediate disqualification of a candidate for political office,” he said.
“It is unacceptable for any candidate to speak in this deplorable fashion toward any religious minority,” Mostyn explained.
The anti-Semitic comments by one of Justin Trudeau’s hand-picked candidates are absolutely repugnant. He needs to f… https://t.co/3yPV6sPGjJ— Andrew Scheer (@Andrew Scheer)1567188941.0
Following the publication of B’nai Brith’s statement, Conservative leader Andrew Scheer called on Justin Trudeau to act on the matter, urging him in a Facebook post to, “condemn these antisemitic comments, and fire this candidate.”
Scheer wrote, “I find it shocking that this candidate was able to become a Liberal candidate in the first place and it raises the question as to why people with these hateful views are attracted to the Liberal Party in the first place. It’s clear that Jewish Canadians cannot trust Trudeau and the Liberals.”
He added, “Antisemitism is unfortunately all too real in Canada and threatens the safety and security of Jewish Canadians. As political leaders, we need to speak out and condemn it at every opportunity.”
At the time of writing neither Guillet, the Liberal Party, or Justin Trudeau had given any official comment or response regarding Guillet’s federal candidacy or his alleged antisemetic comments.