Note to Ezra: the families of the victims deserve support, not you.
In the wake of Sunday's terrorist attack on a Québec City mosque that left six dead, right-wing demagogue Ezra Levant is facing heavy criticism for spreading false information and using the tragedy in a fundraising appeal for his Rebel Media website.
In a fundraising e-mail to supporters Monday, Levant questions if "the mainstream media" is telling "the truth" about who the terrorist really is.
Never mind that authorities have already charged a Québec-born white nationalist with six counts of first degree murder, Levant – a repeated libelist whom Ontario's Superior Court found motivated by "ill-will" and a "reckless disregard for the truth" – tells supporters the media is "less concerned" with accurate reporting than they are with "protecting the official narrative – Muslims are victims, not terrorists."
Without any evidence, Levant also asks if a Muslim congregant mistakenly taken into custody in the chaos of the mosque attack could be an "anti-Muslim murderer?" – "what's going on here," Levant asks. "Did a Muslim attack a mosque?"
Levant's e-mail concludes by soliciting donations to "uncover the truth."
It turns out "the truth" is that "Mohamed" is a regular congregant of the mosque and was performing first aide on a friend wounded in the attack when he was mistakenly taken into custody by police – he's since been heralded as a "Canadian hero."
Authorities in Québec have explicitly stated there was only one gunman: a far-right white nationalist who was "enthralled by a borderline racist nationalist movement" and inspired by the likes of Marine LePen and Donald Trump.
Yet even on Tuesday night – well over 24 hours later – a special fundraising website set-up by Rebel Media to collect donations still falsely claims there were "two armed gunmen" at the mosque.
The website adds that supporters can't trust the "facts" presented by "the mainstream media" because the media has "already made up their mind about what happened."
Here's what Canadian Twitter users thought:
How long before @ezralevant launches a new url + begs for money to help send a reporter to Quebec to expose this as a false flag / hoax.— Alheli Picazo (@a_picazo) January 30, 2017
Gosh, I was really feeling bad about burying the truth after I read this. Thank goodness for Ezra and Goldy. They rock. pic.twitter.com/Eu6i0O3M3T— Neil Macdonald (@NeilCBC) January 30, 2017
Literally the only video they've posted so far is one implying that another mosque may have been responsible: pic.twitter.com/pmH3BEYxRu— Jonathan Goldsbie (@goldsbie) January 30, 2017
Rebel's business model: 1) crowd-funding 2) Muslim-wary readers 3) anti-media media. 1+2+3= Quebecterror-dot-com https://t.co/BAQWtVs9Ox— Jason Markusoff (@markusoff) January 30, 2017
If your news source said suspect in #QuebecCityMosqueShooting was refugee, its wrong.If they didn't correct it, maybe you need a new source.— Ian Hanomansing (@cbcian) January 30, 2017
The Rebel has bought the domain https://t.co/9eifPl2jXv in easy competition for the most disgusting response to a mass murder ever.— Beisan Zubi (@beisan) January 30, 2017
Only Ezra could turn this into a money grab.— George Cormack (@geocorm) January 30, 2017
Following the November 2015 Paris attacks that left 137 dead, Buzzfeed Canada found Rebel Media selling topical hats, t-shirts and coffee mugs for $25 a pop.
Levant played down the merchandising opportunity, noting his "store is not a significant source of funds."
Photo: Rebel Media.