|Ward 10 Councillor Pasternak|
The al Quds Day rally planned for the following afternoon at Queens Park has already generated a whirlwind of controversy because of the racist invective featured at last year's rally which CASMO had organized. It featured a local acolyte of Iran's regime, Zafar Bangash, who furiously spewed at US President Barack Obama, to whom he referred as "that black man in the White House" and declared his aspiration to witness a massive Muslim march on Israel to impose Islamic law there, presumably after all its non-Muslim inhabitants were slaughtered. The ravings of Shia speakers spouting anti-Semitic conspiracy theories at the rally became widely known and publicly reviled. The ensuing scrutiny discouraged CASMO from being the applicant for this year's rally.
CASMO received national notoriety after posting anti-Semitic videos of former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke on its website. After that public expression of Jew-hatred was publicized, first through through blogs and then the mainstream media, the ensuing humiliation led them to proclaim their ostensive opposition to anti-Semitism while continuing to espouse conspiracy theories about "international Zionism". The Shia group hosts an al Quds Day event to honor Iran's late, theocratic dictator, the Ayatollah Khomeini, who proclaimed the last Friday of Ramadan as a day to rally Muslims to the cause of the elimination of Israel.
Last year, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford and Councillors Doug Ford and Pasternak attempted to have the city deny permission for CASMO's use of the Centennial Centre for the dinner. According to City policy, the decision had to be made on the basis of whether the applicant violated the City's anti-Discrimination policy.
Toronto's Manager of Equity, Diversity and Human Rights was the person who was left to make that initial decision. But in a strange twist, that Manager, Uzma Shakir, had written inflammatory anti-Israel articles for the radical leftist website rabble.ca in which she asserted that because of the Canadian government's support for the Jewish state, Muslim immigrants do not owe their full loyalty to Canada.
For his part, Councillor Pasternak intends to contact City officials to ensure warnings are issued to CASMO, as they were last year, and that the gathering is monitored for compliance to make sure the type of hatred invoked at their 2011 Queen's Park rally is not repeated on City property.
"I'm highly offended that groups like this are allowed to spew their hate both on City property and on the steps of the Legislature," Pasternak stated. "There should be no place in the City of Toronto for such groups that attempt to bully and promote hatred and intolerance."
A spokesperson for Mayor Rob Ford's office said the mayor will review the situation regarding the CASMO al Quds dinner and determine which appropriate steps should be taken.
UPDATE: Canadian Race Relations Foundation denounces Iranian backed Khomeinist rally - points out it is similar to neo-Nazi hate.