People’s Party of Canada, a right-wing populist political party founded and led by Maxime Bernier, appears to have removed a candidate from its roster after the candidate refused to delete a tweet containing a link to a neo-Nazi website.
On July 20, Fawzi Bidawi, then a People’s Party of Canada candidate for a local office in Ontario, posted a tweet that contained a link to the website for National Vanguard, a neo-Nazi publication founded by longtime activist Kevin Strom in 2005, with the questions: “Does our government discriminate towards whites? Is it because they are scared that they will vote right?” The article was about a white South African family whose refugee claim was allegedly denied by Canada and leaves the impression that the family was rejected for refugee status because they are white. According to the National Vanguard, the family claimed to have been targeted for violence in South Africa because they are white; claims that white people are being targeted for their racial identity in South Africa are part of a longstanding propaganda effort by white supremacists to argue that white people will be subject to peril if governments do not deploy racist policies.
Bidawi faced backlash from people who, rightfully, noted that he had linked to a neo-Nazi publication. But instead of deleting the tweet and apologizing, Bidawi doubled down, using his Twitter account to lash out at “Pseudonym keyboard communists” who supposedly wanted to prevent him “from engaging in discussions about serious topics.”
This morning, Bidawi wrote on Twitter: “I refused to remove some tweets. I am no longer on the list of Candidates. Let free speech prevail.” He subsequently tweeted, “Does sitting next to a murderer make you an accomplice? No. Citing material found online by a fringe group doesn’t make me a supporter.”
Bidawi argued that if politicians don’t address topics like whether white people feel discriminated against, “hate groups will fester with them.”
People’s Party of Canada did not respond to Right Wing Watch’s emailed request for comment and a phone call went unanswered. Right Wing Watch called the phone number listed on Bidawi’s website, but no one answered.
h/t Michael Bueckert