The Liberals have removed Hassan Guillet as the candidate for a Montreal riding after some of his past remarks were called anti-Semitic by a Jewish human rights group.
The Liberal party said the decision to revoke Guillet’s candidacy came after a review that was ongoing for a few weeks.
“The insensitive comments made by Hassan Guillet are not aligned with the values of the Liberal Party of Canada,” the party said in a statement on Friday.
“Justin Trudeau and the Liberal party have firmly stood against statements of anti-Semitism, hate, racism, Islamophobia, homophobia, sexism, and all forms of discrimination. The Liberal Party strongly condemns all forms of discrimination, and the same is always expected of our candidates.”
Guillet, who was running in Saint-Leonard-Saint-Michel, is a former imam who spoke at the funeral for several of the victims of the Quebec City mosque attack in 2017.
In a press release earlier on Friday, B’nai Brith Canada called for Guillet to be disqualified as a candidate over what it described as “a pattern of disturbing anti-Semitic and anti-Israel statements.”
“We applaud the swift reaction by the Liberal Party, to the deplorable comments of Mr. Guillet, following our public release earlier today,” Michael Mostyn, CEO of B’nai Brith Canada, said in a statement.
“It sends a clear message that Canadians will not tolerate political candidates with these types of hateful and bigoted attitudes.”
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The organization said it has uncovered several since-deleted social media posts made under Guillet’s name, including one in 2016 that referenced Zionists controlling U.S. politics, an anti-Semitic trope, and another made in 2017 that praised the release of an Islamist cleric jailed in Israel for inciting violence.
Guillet did not immediately respond to an emailed interview request on Friday afternoon.
Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer had called for the Liberals to drop Guillet as a candidate.
“The anti-Semitic comments by one of Justin Trudeau’s hand-picked candidates are absolutely repugnant,” he said.