News / Ottawa

Ottawa Public Library to allow anti-Islam film screening

Despite policies that forbid OPL from providing space to groups likely to promote discrimination, the library will host Killing Europe, a film claiming "Islamification" is ruining the continent.

A screenshot from the film Killing Europe, which the Ottawa Public Library is allowing a screening of on Saturday.

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A screenshot from the film Killing Europe, which the Ottawa Public Library is allowing a screening of on Saturday.

The Ottawa Public Library is going ahead with a screening for a film claiming that "Islamic migration" is threatening European civilization. 

On Saturday, the Ottawa Public Library is hosting the screening of Killing Europe, a film by Danish filmmaker Michael Hansen which argues that migration to Europe is resulting in the “Islamification” of the continent. 

Tony Westenbroek, manager of the Main Branch of the OPL, confirmed that the event was taking place, but referred all further questions to the library’s communications team, who declined to comment.

The screening is being hosted by ACT! for Canada, the Canadian equivalent of ACT! for America a group labelled as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Centre. ACT! for Canada’s mission, according to its website, it to “defend our Country by speaking out in defense of our democratic values, our security and our liberty against the rise of Islamism.”

The film’s trailer traffics in many of the racist motifs that have gained currency among members of the alt-right, including claims of Islamic “rape gangs” plaguing European society. These are claims often made by white nationalist organizations in the West, and have gained currency in alt-right media such as Breitbart.com. 

Vincent Cama, a member of the International Workers of the World, said that when their organization raised the issue of the film’s contents with the library, “we got the old free speech spiel,” and said they were told that ACT! for Canada, who are organizing the event, “presented themselves well.” 

The OPL’s policies forbid providing space to groups or events that are likely to promote discrimination. 

“You’ve got to wonder what the priorities are here,” said Cama. 

Coun. Catherine McKenney, who sits on the board of the OPL, was not available for comment, but staff in her office said that “she has been made aware of the event.”

Coun. Tim Tierney, chair of the library board, did not respond to Metro’s request for comment.

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