Montreal, March 8, 2016 Independent Jewish Voices unequivocally denounces the racist Islamophobic event organized by the Quebec group Pegida, March 9th at a Montreal restaurant (1).
The guest, Pegida leader from England, Paul Watson, a racist provocateur and notorious Islamophobe, has no place in Montreal. Pegida-Québec, affiliated to the far right German Pegida, promotes an openly xenophobic anti-Muslim discourse. IJV-Montreal also denounces the hypocritical silence of our municipal and provincial leaders and major Jewish organizations regarding such openly Islamophobic events. Despite the government’s “Centre for the prevention of radicalization leading to violence”, it ignores the growing number of people supporting the openly racist ideology of Pegida. We ask that groups like Pegida-Québec, the Israel Activist Alliance, and the Jewish Defense League (JDL), which sponsors Paul Watson’s Pegida event in Toronto, also be under the public microscope of “radicalization leading to violence”. IJV, as a national Jewish organization, emphasizes that racism can never be tolerated.
To narrowly define what is considered “radicalization” as the profiling of Muslims is unacceptable and Islamophobic! This not only undermines our democratic values but it amounts to a refusal to learn from the lessons of history, when Jews were the scapegoats. *Independent Jewish Voices* denounces any event that promotes hatred against a community. Defending democratic values implies not only respect for all groups, it also means having the honesty to denounce all hateful or xenophobic radicalization. (1) www.facebook.com/events/216176038731111/