On March 21, 2019 Stephen Ellis, Barrister and Solicitor who represents Sheikh Shafiq Hudda and the Islamic Humanitarian Service, both of Kitchener, Ontario, testified in front of the Executive Committee of the City of Toronto that discussed the “Administrative Inquiry on Hate Sponsored Rallies.”
What I can tell you is that there is no question that the words spoken [at Toronto Al-Quds Day rally on June 9, 2018] by Sheikh Shafiq Hudda [director of the Islamic Humanitarian Service] were taken completely out of context and actually he was misquoted. If you read predictably the Toronto Sun, and [Toronto Sun journalist] Ms. [Sue-Ann] Levy’s article, on the question, he was quoted as saying he was calling for the eradication of Israelis, which is actually false. What he called for was something that many leaders in the civil rights movement have actually called for and that’s eradication of unjust powers. unjust empires. He [Sheikh Shafiq Hudda] talked about the eradication of unjust powers, such as, the American empire, the British empire, and the Zionist Israeli empire. Because it is a fact that the Israeli state presides over an occupation of millions and millions of people who have no rights. That’s what he was referring to and there is a vast difference between calling for the eradication of people, of Israelis, and calling for the eradication of an unjust power. I think would you concede that is likely a big, quite a bit difference in terms of the words spoken.
On June 27, 2018 Stephen Ellis issued a statement on behalf of his clients and also provided a transcribed version of the part in question of the speech delivered by Sheikh Shafiq Hudda:
So-called “Hate Preacher” Serves Libel Notices on MP, right-wing media
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 27, 2018
Over the past week, Sheikh Shafiq Hudda and the Islamic Humanitarian Service, both of Kitchener, Ontario, have served Libel Notices on several organizations and individuals, including, but not limited to, the following:
B’nai Brith Canada, The Toronto Sun, The Center for Jewish and Israeli Affairs (CIJA), Peter Kent (MP-Thornhill), Waterloo Region Record
The serving of a Libel Notice is a requirement under the Libel and Slander Act in order to sue for defamation.
“My clients intend to sue for the wildly defamatory comments made by each of these organizations and individuals following the Al-Quds rally of June 9, 2018,” said lawyer Stephen Ellis. “My clients have been accused of preaching hate and calling for genocide, when a clear and honest look at the words spoken show a call for an end to unjust empires the world over.”
“The yearly Al-Quds event is attacked because it symbolizes resistance to Israeli apartheid. In my opinion, supporters of the apartheid system have launched an attack on Sheikh Hudda by deliberately taking his words out of context, painting him as a monster. Luckily, there’s a legal remedy for such acts.”
Stephen Ellis, Barrister and Solicitor – (416) 512 2301 – [email protected]
“I am praying for a day to come in our lifetime, where we won’t need the Al-Quds rally because Palestine will be free. Oppression will be eradicated, injustice will end, that’s the day we pray for. So we don’t have to meet every Saturday in the holy month of Ramadan. This is our prayer to the almighty creator, whether you call him God or Allah. You call him Jehovah or whatever name you want to call him. We pray to the creator and to the almighty, a day will come when we see justice throughout the world. The eradication of the unjust powers such as the American empire, such as the Israeli Zionists. And the same way that we saw the British Empire wither away, the sun never set on it… the sun sets on it. We will see a day coming inshallah, God willing in our lifetime, where this empire, the Zionist empire, the American empire will be down in the dustbins of history inshallah God willing.”
Sheikh Shafiq Hudda – June 9, 2018