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Police Probe Anti-Israel Flyer

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    POLICE TO PROBE ANTI-JEW ELECTION FLYER RUSE By JENNIFER O BRIEN LONDON FREE PRESS REPORTER Wed, November 29, 2006
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 30, 2006
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      POLICE TO PROBE ANTI-JEW ELECTION FLYER RUSE
      By JENNIFER O'BRIEN
      LONDON FREE PRESS REPORTER
      Wed, November 29, 2006
      http://lfpress.ca/newsstand/News/Local/2006/11/29/2545386-sun.html


      At the request of London's Muslim and Jewish communities, police are
      probing a fake flyer left at doors of several Jewish homes days before
      the federal London-North-Centre byelection, Chief Murray Faulkner said
      yesterday.

      Disguised as a political endorsement of Liberal candidate Glen Pearson
      by the Canadian Islamic Congress, the back of the flyer had three
      cartoons reflecting a close link between Prime Minister Stephen Harper
      and Israel.

      The CIC has denied involvement with the flyer, which seems to suggest
      Muslims should support Pearson because the Harper government is
      pro-Israel.

      "It was inferring negative things about why the CIC endorsed Glen
      Pearson instead of Dianne Haskett," said Faisal Joseph, leader of the
      Association of London Muslims.

      Leaders say it was more than just dirty politics in a byelection race
      full of mudslinging.

      It was hateful and racist and has left both Jewish and Muslim
      communities feeling under attack, leaders said yesterday.

      "The feeling in our community is of sadness that this would happen in
      London," said Esther Marcus, president of the Jewish Federation.

      She said she knew of about a dozen London-North-Centre residents who
      received the phoney flyer.

      And the Muslim community was "shocked that someone would link a Muslim
      organization to this hurtful racist commentary," Joseph said. "To try
      and divide two strong faith-based communities based on a forged
      document is downright evil."

      It was not clear whether any non-Jews received the flyer.

      "It was folded and left behind the door handle -- not in the mailbox
      -- so I had to pay attention to it when I opened the door," said Alain
      Goldschlager, who co-chairs B'nai B'rith Canada's League for Human Rights.

      "It was right under the mezouzah," he said, referring to a Bible
      scroll traditionally left beside the front doors of Jewish homes.

      Goldschlager said the incident is especially disturbing at a time in
      London when the two communities have been working together to build
      bridges.

      "Several houses from the Jewish community received them," he said.
      "Normally, you recognize a Jewish home by the mezouzah hanging on the
      door, so the people knew exactly where they were."

      He said he has spoken to several recipients. All were disturbed, some
      were fearful.

      "Is this a way to say 'We know where you are?' " he said they asked
      him. "That may sound alarmist, but this was done to provoke a reaction."

      Faulkner said the police would try to deal with the flyer today.

      "Our preliminary information is that it is not hate crime according to
      the definition in the Criminal Code, but it is hurtful. . . . It was a
      forged document," he said. "There may be a criminal investigation, but
      not necessarily a hate crime investigation."

      London's Muslim community is reeling from the incident as well, Joseph
      said.

      "It's clear that whoever did this was doing so for political gain. The
      question is: who would benefit from this type of hurtful racist
      commentary?"

      He and other Muslim leaders condemned the incident that comes in the
      wake of the Salam-Shalom breakfast, highlighting the two communities'
      common goal to support a new children's hospital.

      The front of the flyer contained statements pulled off the official
      CIC website, where candidates were given grades -- including an A for
      Pearson and an F for Conservative Dianne Haskett. However, the website
      carried no cartoons.

      "This is mudslinging," said Mohammed Yassine, president of the Islamic
      Centre.

      "I hope the Jewish community will see through this low act."

      In an e-mail sent Saturday to Glen Pearson's Liberal headquarters and
      to B'nai B'rith, the president of the CIC denounced the flyers.

      "I have seen the flyer and the CIC has NOTHING to do with the flyer or
      the cartoons in the flyer," wrote Dr. Mohamed Elmasry.

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