Police searching for rapper accused of uttering hate speech
The hate crimes unit of the Montreal police department says the search for a rapper accused of hate speech is a "top priority."
B’nai Brith, which has been tracking anti-Semitic incidents for 35 years, said rapper Jonathan Azaziah (aka Madd Cold), uses his music to promote antisemitism.
"We are pleased that the Montreal Hate Crimes Unit is taking this matter very seriously," said Michael Mostyn, Chief Executive Officer of B'nai Brith Canada. "Azaziah has not only proclaimed his desire to murder Jews but encourages others to do the same. This is perhaps the most clear-cut case of incitement to violence against the Jewish people in Canada that we have seen in a long time."
It’s a case the hate crimes unit is taking seriously.
"An investigation is under way and findings will be sent to our prosecution," Commander Caroline Cournoyer said. "We will try to find this person. This is really important for us. It is serious."
Azaziah spends a lot of his time in Montreal and has written songs called "Death to Israel" and "Overthrow the Saudis."
As a result of the investigation many websites have removed Azaziah’s music and videos from their sites and according to B'nai Brith global music distributors have also begun to remove his content.
B'nai Brith’s CEO says there is no place in Canada for people with such inflammatory views.
"At a time where incitement to violence is one of the leading causes of terrorism worldwide, Azaziah is using online global music platforms to spread his Jew-hate,” said Mostyn.
Steven Slimovitch, a lawyer with B’nai Brith, said while hate speech is illegal in Canada, intent has to be proven and in this case Slimovitch thinks the intent is evident.
"When you make it a concerted effort, and I would have to believe that a song which are not composed overnight, time and thought went into this and I would assume, in order to promote it," said Slimovitch.
B'nai brith has also voiced its concerns to the Minister of Justice and Public Safety and the Centre for Prevention of Radicalization Leading to Violence, which has launched its own investigation.