NEWS

Canadian Arabic Newspaper Republishes Holocaust Denying Article

An Arabic-language newspaper published in London, Ontario featured a blatantly anti-Semitic article titled: "The Question Which Everyone Ignores: Why Did Hitler Kill the Jews?", Canada's National Post reports.

The article in the latest Al Saraha accused Jews of facilitating Germany's "economic collapse" in the 1920s and encouraging "promiscuity...homosexuality...every type of sexual deviance." It also grossly underestimated how many Jews were murdered in the Holocaust – a common claim among anti-Semites and Holocaust deniers of various stripes.

According to the article, "This Jewish propaganda succeeded until it became prevalent throughout the media that six million Jews were victims of Hitler, even though the total number of Jews in Germany was less than a quarter of this figure that they say Hitler burned!"

Al Saraha is distributed widely across Middle Eastern restaurants and grocery stores in the Canadian city of London. An Ontario provincial government-funded agency focusing on immigration promotes the newspaper as reading material for immigrants.

London police are now looking into whether the article, which reprinted after originally appearing in an Egyptian daily, constitutes hate speech or free speech according to the criminal code.

A member of the Arab-Canadian community contacted B'nai Brith Canada, a Jewish human rights and advocacy organization, about the article. Michael Mostyn, chief executive of B'nai Brith, expressed concern that only one person saw fit to report the article.

"We have new immigrants coming into our country all the time and I think, as Canadians, we want to always ensure that these new immigrants learn the language of tolerance...Canada is the place where, while we may have our own opinions back home, and we may have our own prejudices back home, we don't import those to Canada," said Mostyn.

The Premier of Ontario, Kathleen Wynne, condemned the article in an e-mail to B'nai Brith Friday.

"I want to condemn, in the strongest possible terms, the statements in the al-Saraha article that deny the Holocaust and express anti-Semitic and homophobic views. Statements like these, filled with hatred, prejudice and lies, have no place in our society...I assure you that our (Ontario Liberal) caucus will no longer purchase advertising space in this publication."

This case shows that radical Islamist incitement is not confined to the Middle East – hate rhetoric of this sort also exists in the West. Some counterterrorism experts argue that these types of sentiments also serve as incubators for domestic radicalization processes.