Anti-Semitism hit a record-high in Canada in 2016, with a 26 percent increase in anti-Jewish incidents from the previous year, B'nai Brith Canada's Annual Audit of Antisemitic Incidents shows.
More than 1,700 anti-Semitic incidents were reported across Canada.
B'nai Brith, which describes itself as the Canadian Jewish community's "preeminent human rights agency," recorded more incidents of anti-Semitism in eight of the past 10 years.
Incidents of Holocaust denial, a particular form of anti-Semitism, significantly increased last year. Holocaust denial comprised 5 percent of total reported anti-Semitic acts in 2015, but skyrocketed to 20 per cent of total incidents in 2016.
"The Audit also highlights the emergence of a new and frightening trend in Canadian antisemitism: incitement against Jews in mass media, especially in Arabic-language publications," B'nai Brith reports. While the organization "was successful in exposing and removing many of the most egregious examples, the lack of response from law enforcement and government paints a worrying picture of this phenomenon going forward."
The Audit found that the anti-Semitic incidents in Canada declined during the months surrounding the U.S. election compared to previous years. Those months historically experience the highest levels of anti-Semitism. These findings suggest that the increase in Canadian anti-Semitism is a "made-in-Canada" issue.
Click here to read the full Audit.
This year, two Canadian imams attracted media attention for their past incendiary and anti-Semitic sermons.
Ryerson University in Toronto announced that it fired Ayman Elkasrawy from his teaching assistant position following reports he prayed for Allah to "purify" Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa Mosque "from the filth of the Jews."
He also prayed that anyone who "displaced" Muslims be destroyed: "Count their number; slay them one by one and spare not one of them, O Allah! Purify Al-Aqsa Mosque from the filth of the Jews!"
In another case, the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) posted videos showing an imam in Montreal, Sheikh Wael Al-Ghitawi, denying Jewish roots in Israel.
"Jews do not have any historical right to Palestine," Al-Ghitawi said in the 2014 sermon. He falsely asserted that "for long periods of time, there was not a single Jew in Jerusalem and Palestine."
Last year, MEMRI exposed a sermon by an imam in Edmonton, Alberta, who urged Muslims to "look forward" as "Rome will be conquered." Shaban Sherif Mady also glorified the restoration of the "rightly-guided" Islamic Caliphate – mirroring similar calls by the Islamic State's leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
With the spread of radical Islamism among some Arabic-language publications and imams, it is no surprise that anti-Semitic incidents are on the rise in Canada.