Once again NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh found himself at the receiving end of racism, something he never tires of reminding Canadians at every given opportunity. On Wednesday a man offered some unsolicited advice to Singh urging him to “cut off” his turban to look “like a Canadian.”
“I think Canadians look like all sorts of people,” Singh told the man while shopping in Montreal’s Atwater Market. “That’s the beauty of Canada.”
When the man responded with the adage that, “in Rome, you do as the Romans do,” Singh politely replied: “But this is Canada, you can do whatever you like.”
The moment was captured on camera by CBC News. At the end of the brief clip, the man can be heard saying: “I hope you win.”
Quick to share the spotlight, Vancouver Liberal candidate Harjit Sajjan tweeted Wednesday that comments such as those in the clip have no place in society.
“No matter your religion, ethnicity, or cultural background, we are all Canadians,” he said.
The exchange came hours before a French-language debate in Montreal, hosted by the TVA television network, where the issue of religious symbols is expected to be discussed.
The NDP held 14 seats in Quebec at the dissolution of Parliament in September. The province was instrumental to the so-called “Orange Wave” that saw the NDP vault into Official Opposition status in 2011 by winning 58 of the then-75 seats in Quebec.
Just before the official launch of the election campaign, the NDP released a French-language ad that shows Singh tying his turban and talking about his pride in his identity.
Speaking with reporters Wednesday, Singh said that while it’s clear that some people in Canada hold prejudices about his turban, that is nothing new for him to face.
“There’s always been challenges for people based on who they are and I am not a stranger to that,” Singh said.
“I faced prejudices myself but many Canadians do and I’m confident, though, that if we go past those prejudices, that we can actually find so much that we have in common and we can build a better Canada where we focus on how we solve problems, as opposed to our differences.”
It may be recalled that NDP leader Jagmeet Singh has claimed to have suffered what can only be described as every person’s nightmare. He has been bullied in school, taunted for wearing a turban, carded by police, molested as a child even and now even as he hopes to become PM of Canada, he finds himself a target of ignorant Canadians who aren’t sure he’s Canadian enough. -CINEWS