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Liberals dump Quebec candidate after Conservatives allege anti-Semitic comments

Liberals dump Quebec candidate after Conservatives allege anti-Semitic comments

The Liberals have dumped a candidate in Quebec after B’nai Brith Canada accused Hassan Guillet of making a number of anti-Semitic and anti-Israel statements.

“The insensitive comments made by Hassan Guillet are not aligned with the values of the Liberal Party of Canada,” the party said in a media statement.

“Following a thorough internal review process that has been ongoing for a few weeks, the Liberal Party of Canada has made the decision to revoke the candidacy of Mr. Guillet for the riding of  Saint—Léonard Saint—Michel in this fall’s election.”

Guillet, a member of the Council of Quebec Imams, gained national attention after delivering a speech in Quebec City honouring victims of the Quebec mosque shooting.

In a statement on its website, B’nai Brith Canada said Guillett praised a Hamas-aligned activist, Raed Salah, and had a history of making anti-Semitic comments on social media. The group said it reached out to the Liberal Party more than a week ago to make it aware of their allegations against him.

In a post on his Facebook account earlier today, Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer called on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to “do the right thing, immediately condemn these anti-Semitic comments, and fire this candidate.

“Anti-Semitism is unfortunately all too real in Canada and threatens the safety and security of Jewish Canadians. As political leaders, we need to speak out and condemn it at every opportunity.”

In a statement issued Thursday — before being dropped as a candidate — Guillet apologized for some of his past comments regarding the Middle East and Israel, without repeating the comments or detailing what they were.

“If these statements could be considered offensive to some of my fellow citizens of Jewish faith, I apologize. My intention was not to offend anyone. The lack of sensitivity of these statements does not reflect my personality or my way of being,” he said in French.

“Since then I have evolved. Everyone who knows me, personally or through my works, knows that I am against hate, racism, anti-Semitism and violence regardless of the identity of the perpetrators or victims.”




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