Toronto Police Launch Hate Crime Probe After Video Truck Criticizing Mass Muslim Migration Was Seen Driving Through City

Natasha Biase

The Toronto Police Service (TPS) Hate Crime Unit has launched an investigation after a video truck criticizing mass immigration from Middle Eastern countries was spotted driving downtown Canada’s largest city on Tuesday. 

The video of the truck was first shared on X by Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) Toronto, a grassroots anti-racism organization dedicated to dismantling “white supremacy and colonialism.”

The footage on the truck cuts to a series of questions asking: “Is this Lebanon? Is this Yemen? Is this Syria? Is this Iraq?” before showing clips of Muslims praying and protesting near Toronto City Hall.

“No. This is Canada. Wake up Canada. You are under siege,” concludes the message, written in blue font on a white background.

“This racist, Islamophobic truck has been spotted in Toronto sharing its message of hate. How is this acceptable in our city?” wrote SURJ on X, tagging the city’s progressive mayor, Olivia Chow.

Footage of the truck quickly went viral on social media after politicians and activists shared it, decrying the alleged Islamophobia plaguing the country and demanding the TPS to investigate.

“Hey @TorontoPolice, care to comment???” wrote Mohamad Fakih, executive chair of the popular Middle Eastern food chain Paramount Fine Foods, who later shared a post offering $25,000 to anyone with “information that leads to the arrest of the individuals who paid for, designed, or in any way facilitated this hateful campaign.”

Although the truck garnered support from many Canadians frustrated with the nation’s mass immigration policies, the TPS Hate Crime Unit eventually announced it was launching an investigation into the origins of the truck.

In a post on X that had disabled comments, the force explained that it recognizes “the community’s concern about a truck displaying Islamophobic messaging in Toronto” and is accepting any information or footage of the truck to assist with the investigation. 

Toronto Mayor Olivia Chow also expressed her desire to have the municipal, provincial and federal governments work together “to stand against the messaging” displayed on the vehicle.

“We’ll look for ways to join together, both federal, provincial and municipal governments should come together and say this is not acceptable. We condemn this kind of behavior, and it shouldn’t be allowed.”

The TPS’s announcement sparked outrage online, with many accusing the police of hypocrisy for ignoring the rise of anti-semitism in the city.

“Funny how you missed 8 months of this…” wrote Royal Canadian Air Force Veteran Rex Glacer, sharing images of masked pro-Palestine protesters stomping on the Israeli flag and hanging cardboard cutouts of the Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu.

The TPS’s prompt response to investigate the video truck comes at the heels of a report highlighting the increase in anti-semitism in Canada. 

According to CTV News, Canada’s oldest Jewish human rights organization revealed that the Israel-Palestine conflict has resulted in an uptick in activists using the war to justify targeting Jews.

In addition to instances of violence, harassment, and vandalism aimed at Jews doubling since 2022, Richard Robertson, the director of research for B’nai Brith Canada, also highlighted that the number of antisemitic incidents in Canada in 2023 was the largest since the organization began keeping track in 1982.

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