Calgary Imam Syed Soharwardy’s fairy tale rendition of the pro-Hamas rally at Glenmore Landing could not have been the same event I photographed and recorded on Jan. 2.
Muslim Council of Calgary chairman Nagah Hage exhorted his flock of 175, including infants and teens, in both Arabic and English. Between the tirades that demonized Israel, comparing Jews to the Nazis, Hage whipped up the crowd by calling the Jewish state “barbaric, ruthless and arrogant” and led the crowd in a chant that said: “Olmert-Hitler, you’re the same, the only difference is the name.”
They chanted: “Stephen Harper, hear us say, Jerusalem will be ours one day.” In other words, the rally really wasn’t about Gaza — it was about Hamas’s stated plans to conquer Israel.
The crowd also turned on the lone Israeli supporter standing off to one side. This Christian Zionist’s homemade poster read: “Canada supports Israel’s right to security and self-defence.”He also carried a small Israeli flag. This set the crowd aflame. A few tried to lunge for him but were held back by another protester who told the lone Israeli defender he should be grateful he hadn’t been physically attacked, though he did have a boot thrown at him.
As the crowd was departing, some passed in front of an orthodox rabbi, on his way to the nearby synagogue for the Jewish Sabbath.
The mob unfurled a flag of Hezbollah–a criminal terrorist organization, under Canadian law–and cursed him while making violent gestures and spitting.