Canadian politician Gurratan Singh, who represents the district of Brampton East in Ontario, has gone viral after a video of him calmly responding to an anti-Muslim attack directed at him surfaced on Sunday at the MuslimFest in Mississauga.
Responding to the Islamophobic and racist attack, Singh has been widely praised for his calm and powerful response. In the video, which first surfaced on Twitter, Singh can be heard calmly telling the man who attacked him, “I condemn your racism. This has no place in Canada.”
Gurratan Singh later took to Twitter, stating:
I will never respond to an Islamophobe by stating, ‘I am not a Muslim’. Instead, I will always stand with my Muslim brothers and sisters and say hate is wrong.”
My brother @theJagmeetSingh taught me to always confront racism.
I will never respond to an Islamophobe by stating, "I am not a Muslim".
Instead, I will always stand with my Muslim brothers and sisters and say hate is wrong ✊🏾. https://t.co/MaBPc3sBb1
— Gurratan Singh (@GurratanSingh) September 2, 2019
The Islamophobic man who instigated the verbal abuse has been identified as Stephen Garvey, the leader of a small federal political party called National Citizens Alliance (NCA), famous for their anti-immigration policies.
While Garvey verbally abused Singh, the NCA apparently live-streamed the attack to Facebook, stating that “the National Citizens Alliance’s agenda is Canadian first, and opposition to political correctness and third world migrant populism”.
Singh has also since posted a video to Twitter, in which he condemns hate in all its forms and encourages the power of love and courage. He explains that this incident is “bigger than one person and one single event”, and instead is about the “rise of Islamophobia, racism, and hate”.
Thanks for all your love & support, I am truly humbled
But this is bigger than one person & one single event
It's about the rise of Islamophobia, racism & hate
And how Canada & the world could use a lot more of @theJagmeetSingh's love & courage in confronting it
— Gurratan Singh (@GurratanSingh) September 3, 2019
Although Singh’s powerful response to an Islamophobic attack like this remains incredibly inspiring, it also remains deeply worrying that the rise in right-wing extremism has taken an open front to harassing those who support multi-cultural societies. Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, racism, and hatred towards minorities are taking a dangerous turn towards open practice at both the state and ground level, and it is up to citizens like us, supported by politicians like Singh, to call out all forms of hatred wherever present.