Ottawa court’s latest ruling raises serious questions on Anti-Racism funding in Canada

26th November 2022 – About a fortnight back, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice dismissed a plea against journalists Jonathan Kay and Barbara Kay which was brought forth to the court by Richard Warman, who himself is a lawyer and member of the board at Canadian Anti-Hate Network (CAHN).

Warman had accused the Kays for defamation and loss of reputation. The Kays were blamed by the plaintiff to have linked him with the ultra-Left socio-political movement, Antifa which is fairly prominent in the United States and is increasing its influence in Canada as well.

Although the court judge David Dwoskin acknowledged that “Warman is well known as righteous crusader against white supremacy and right-wing fascist hate and has been recognized and appropriately lauded for his work”,it also added that “he is also a controversial figure and I accept the evidence of the Kays that he has used litigation to silence or intimidate those he sees as his critics or who oppose his method of prosecuting hate groups

While dismissing the case, the judge also concluded that “the evidence disclosed that CAHN did in fact assist Antifa and that the movement has been violent. The Kays submission, which I accept, is that a human rights network like CAHN arguably (except in the most extreme circumstances) should not support a violent movement, and to do so, to most reasonable observers would not be a good look”.

Before we dig deep into why this judgment raises serious questions on anti-racism funding in Canada, especially for the Hindu community, let us go through some basics.

What is Antifa?

As per Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), a Washington based think tank, ‘Antifa is a contraction of the phrase “anti-fascist” and refers to a decentralized network of individuals that oppose fascism, racism and other related ideologies.’ The group gain popularity and was in the news after the riots that took place in the United States during the Black Lives Matter movement. CSIS noted a recent increase in violent activity by Antifa extremists, anarchists and related far-left extremists.

What is CAHN?

As per their website, CAHN is an independent, non-profit organization made of Canada’s leading experts and researchers on hate groups and hate crimes. Early this year, the Ottawa government announced a funding of over $ 268,000 to CAHN for Anti-Racism Action program.

Has CAHN done anything against Hinduphobia?

In one word, no.  It has done nothing. Yes, nothing. In fact, the reports written and published at CAHN seems to have demonized Hinduism and helped in enhancing anti-Hindu hate in the Canadian society. It is shocking that they have not mentioned once of any attack that happened on Hindus or their places of worship in Canada. The recent vandalism and hate crimes that occurred at Hindu temples do not find a mention on CAHN’s website. On the other hand, the website is full of rhetoric on rising Hindu nationalism in India and Canada. It is worth noting that there is not even a single Hindu extremist organization noted by Public Safety Canada.

Well, is that all? No.

Because of the legitimacy granted and funding provided by the federal government of Canada, the mainstream media including CBC and other news providers quotes speakers and publishers at CAHN about Hinduism. It is institutionalization of Hinduphobia and anti-Hindu hate within Canada.

Given the fact that now CAHN is being accused of partnering with far-left extremism, it is only a matter of sane judgment for anyone to believe what they say about Hindus in Canada and worldwide. It is time that Hindus must raise this with their elected representatives. If CAHN is non-partisan, why they do not talk ever of existing Hinduphobia in Canada?

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