“We don’t want to be intimidated by hate,” he said. “We don’t want hatred to ruin a positive event … So let’s show how we would treat someone with love. We welcome you, we love you, we support you … we believe in your rights.”
Those were the words spoken by NDP leadership candidate Jagmeet Singh in an extraordinary exchange with a protester who confronted him at a recent campaign meet-and-greet in Brampton.
“Confronted” is … something of an understatement. The woman stood directly in front of Singh, her face inches from his, yelling puzzling statements and questions (“When is your sharia going to end?”), gesticulating wildly, screaming, “Don’t touch me” at Singh’s aides and refusing to get off the stage for almost four minutes. Throughout the episode, Singh not only remained calm, but exhorted the crowd to counter hatred with love.
I must confess that, when I first saw the video, my initial reaction was to wonder whether the scene was real. Singh’s response was so strong, the political cynic inside me wondered if the protester was a plant. Could anyone actually be as obnoxious as this person?
Regrettably, the answer is yes: The person in question is one Jennifer Bush, a supporter of RISE Canada, a group that stages anti-Islam protests in public squares and which most recently made headlines over a controversial meeting with then Conservative leadership candidate Kellie Leitch.
And while Bush eventually left Singh’s event, she didn’t let the issue lie. In a video filmed later that week at Fordfest, the annual barbeque put on by the Ford family in Toronto, she attempted to defend her actions by claiming that she was attacking Singh’s policies, not his person.
“I recognize the fact that he’s a Sikh and not a Muslim,” she said, addressing the obvious disconnect in her outburst. “I am not a racist. I strongly support Hindus, we work together on a regular basis to get political ideas moving … Colour, race, religion, they’re really not the point here.”
Read the full article on iPolitics.