OPP lay charges for hate crimes

(July 12, 2010) – Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) have charged a Mississauga man under a seldom-used section of the Criminal Code of Canada governing hate crimes.

At a news conference in Toronto last Thursday, Commissioner Julian Fantino and members of the Provincial Operations Intelligence Bureau’s Hate Crimes Extremism Unit outlined details of the charges against 25-year-old Salman An-Noor Hossain.

“Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms includes the right to freedom of speech and freedom of assembly,” said OPP Commissioner Julian Fantino. “But we must not stand idly by when these rights are used as a shield to promote hatred against any community.”

A five-month investigation revealed that a website and blog operated by Hossain contained information that, among other things, wilfully promoted hatred and advocated genocide of the Jewish community.

The Canadian Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-CAN) commended the decision to bring incitement to genocide charges against Hossain.

“We are pleased that charges have been brought against Mr. Hossain as it sends a clear message that speech of this nature will not go unchecked,” said Ihsaan Gardee, CAIR-CAN Executive Director.

One of the counts of wilfully promote hatred against an identifiable group involved information placed by Mr. Hossain on a third-party website.

“This complex investigation is a tribute to the commitment of members of the Hate Crimes Extremism Unit,” added Deputy Commissioner Vince HAWKES, Provincial Commander of Investigations and Organized Crime. “The OPP is confident we’ll continue to find those responsible for committing any act motivated by hate and bring them to justice.”