(JTA) — A Canadian man who has called for the "extermination" of Jews in Canada has been charged under a rarely used hate crimes law.
Salman Hossain, 25, accused of "willfully promoting and advocating genocide of the Jewish community," was charged Thursday afternoon by Ontario Provincial Police following an investigation into his website and blog, which feature hundreds of racist comments. Authorities also looked at his racist posts on other websites.
Hossain was charged with three counts of willfully promoting hatred against an identifiable group and two counts of advocating and promoting genocide against an identifiable group, according to police.
It is the first time an advocating genocide charge has been prosecuted in Canada, according to the National Post.
"Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms includes the right to freedom of speech and freedom of assembly," Ontario Provincial Police Commissioner Julian Fantino said in a statement. "But we must not stand idly by when these rights are used as a shield to promote hatred against any community."
York University suspended Hossain after reports of his Internet postings were made public. He attended classes to modify his behavior.
Hossain has been posting for the last year on the Filthy Jewish Terrorists site, a conspiracy theory website, with headlines such as “The Jews and the West must be nuked” and “The destruction of the West is the only way to exterminate the Jews.”
He is now living in his birth country of Bangladesh, where he moved in the middle of the police investigation. Canada does not have an extradition treaty with Bangladesh.
Ontario Attorney General Chris Bentley decided not to prosecute Hossain last year because Hossain had removed many of his posts. Bentley pressed charges when Hossain began posting this year on Filthy Jewish Terrorists.
Last week, Hossain wrote that “We must never cease in our efforts to eliminate the Jewish people from the face of the earth. Their permanent liquidation and destruction is the only solution.”