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Tossed from the liberal party Imam Hassan Guillet to run as independent


On Monday May 27th Imam Hassan Guillet won the Liberal party nomination with more than 1,200 members casting ballots in the Montreal riding of Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel. “Everyone was telling me it was unprecedented,” he said. That the first time the party had nominated a non-Italian in the Liberal stronghold.

“The Muslim community is as big as the Italian community,” Guillet told the national Post in an interview. “The demographic changed enormously.”

The imam claims to speak six languages, including Italian thus giving him an advantage to speak to the majority of the riding’s constituents in their mother tongue, whether it be French, English, Italian or Arabic.

After the nomination the Liberal Party spokesperson Braeden Caley in a statement said Guillet is “well-known for his long record of community leadership” and that “Liberals are looking forward to running a positive campaign focused on Justin Trudeau’s progress to strengthen the middle class, grow the economy, protect a clean environment, and make life better for Québec families.”

Hassan Guillet moved to Canada from Lebanon in 1974 and has a background as an engineer and lawyer. He stopped serving as an imam when he decided to run for federal office. “I think the different facets of my experience will enrich debate in the House of Commons,” he said.

On August 30, 2019 B'nai Brith Canada called for Disqualification of the Imam stating, “ B’nai Brith Seeks Disqualification of Liberal Candidate with History of Antisemitic Comments.”

B’nai Brith said they are “shocked by a number of his statements over the past few years and believes they must preclude his candidacy.”

On August 30th The Liberals dropped Hassan Guillet as a candidate in the Montreal riding of Saint-Leonard-Saint-Michel after B'nai Brith called for his disqualification.

The Liberals in a statement said,”“Justin Trudeau and the Liberal team are strongly opposed to anti-Semitic, hateful, racist, Islamophobic, homophobic, sexist remarks and any form of discrimination,” the party said. “The Liberal Party condemns all forms of discrimination, and we always expect our candidates to do the same.”

The imam in a statement addressing B’nai Brith’s concerns wrote, “If these statements could be considered offensive to some of my fellow citizens of the Jewish faith, I apologize.”

He added that the “lack of sensitivity of these statements does not reflect my personality, nor my way of being. Since then, I have evolved.”

He still doesn’t understand his sudden removal over social media posts described by B’nai Brith as anti-Israel and anti-Semitic.

Without refer erring to Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau’s blackface scandal, Guillet said “several candidates in our party as well as others” have been confronted by old photographs or comments.

“I was the only one who had to pay the price for old publications,” he told a news conference in the east-end riding of Saint-Leonard-Saint-Michel, joined by a small group of supporters.

“I feel that there is a double standard. It’s obvious.”

Independent Jewish Voices Canada (IJV) was outraged by the revocation of Hassan Guillet’s candidacy by the Liberal party in the federal riding of Saint Léonard-Saint Michel. 

“Upon examination of the facts, it is evident to us that Guillet is anything but an antisemite,” said IJV spokesperson and National Coordinator Corey Balsam. “Synagogues don’t invite antisemites to speak about tolerance and fighting hatred,” he said. 

“What is abundantly clear is that Guillet has been targeted on account of his vocal criticism of Israel and its policies. While Mr. Guillet has made a few remarks in the past that can certainly be viewed as crass, jumping to the conclusion that these comments come from a place of anti-Jewish sentiment is going too far. The Liberal party seems to have acted out of fear of negative media attention, rather than an honest appraisal of the facts.” 

On September 24, Hassan Guillet made it official after Elections Canada’s website had recently listed his name as a candidate in the east-end riding of Saint-Leonard-Saint-Michel.

On September 25 he was ready to kick start his campaign. In a facebook post he said,

“Call for volunteers:

I have the pleasure and honor to announce that I am now officially your independent candidate for the October 2019 general election in the federal riding of Saint-Leonard-Saint-Michel.

Those who can get involved as volunteers or donors or even as voters are invited to contact me by messenger or send us your phone number so we can contact you.

Together we will be able to better serve our rich society in its diversity and make it more fair and more fair for us and for our children.”