This weekend in Toronto, protesters will gather at the Ontario legislature at Queen’s Park to hold the Al Quds Day rally. ‘Al Quds’, which refers to Jerusalem, is an annual demonstration first launched by Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini in 1979. Aimed at exporting the Islamic revolution, Al Quds Day protests around the world call for the conquest of Israel and its replacement with an extremist Islamic state. In the past, the event has been nothing short of, well, eventful. Last year, speakers denounced Israelis as “barbarians” and “inhuman”. Israel was described as a “cancer” that must be killed. And the flag of Hezbollah, a Lebanese terror group banned under Canadian law, was flown with enthusiasm.
Media attention has rightly focused on whether Ontario’s government should allow the legislature’s grounds to host such hatred. Indeed, the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs filmed last year’s rally and provided this evidence to the Sergeant-at-Arms, arguing that it amounted to a violation of the legislature’s demonstrations policy.
Queen’s Park would be wise to deny permission for this year’s Al Quds rally, and there is still time to do so. That said, this episode has implications far beyond Al Quds Day.