For over 20 years, the Peel district school board (west of Toronto) has given Muslim students supervised space in schools in which to hold Friday prayers. The accommodation was offered after students were routinely missing a half day of school to attend Friday prayers. Students lead the prayer service, which consists of a reflection written by a student, followed by prayers.

Recently, the policy has been in the news because the board reviewed the policy, and people opposed to it have been turning up to board meetings and causing disruptions.

Then some Breitbart wannabe jumped in. The website “The Freedom Report” released a video claiming that the Friday prayers are being used to promote hate speech against Christians and Jews, despite there being zero evidence that this has ever happened. The guy who runs the website is offering $1000 to anyone who records a video of a student at one of these prayers engaged in hate speech. In order to claim the money, the video needs to show the student’s face, and name them.

Advertisement

Oh, but a person claiming the bounty is free to wear a mask when they claim it.

The guy claims it is not about Islamophobia, but is because he thinks schools should be purely secular. However this same guy previously protested against a new mosque in Mississauga, so there seems to be a theme to his protests.

Advertisement

Also, the school board offers this accomodation to Muslim students because the school calendar is set up primarily to benefit Christian (and to a lesser extent Jewish students). Christian kids never have to choose between school and church.

Advertisement

As you can imagine, the school board is not happy that someone is encouraging random people to video their students. They are urging staff to be extra vigilant about watching for cameras and phones. The police have been informed, and are investigating to see if the bounty breaks any laws.

This is just gross. I suspect this is less about actually getting a video and more about spreading the false narrative that the prayers are hotbeds of hate. This guy was previously in the news when his website claimed that a proposed mosque would lead to more sexual assaults, vandalism and kidnappings in the neighbourhood, and he was publically denounced by Mississauga mayor, Bonnie Crombie.

Eta: link isn’t showing up. Posting it again: