The demonstrators were calling for terrorist Omar Khadr not to be brought to Toronto to serve the remainder of his jail term.
“He is an Islamic terrorist, and he could be walking our streets,” said Scarborough resident Shobie Kapoor, who also started an anti-Khadr online petition. “I’m scared. I can’t keep quiet any more. I love my neighbourhood and I love Canada.”
Standing on the sidewalk in front of Toronto’s Sony Centre for the Performing Arts, over two dozen activists joined Kapoor by carrying Israeli and Canadian flags. Several members of the group carried signs bearing the slogan “Stop Islamic Terrorism.”
Across the street from the anti-Khadr protestors were a group of Palestinians protesting Shimon Peres’ appearance in Toronto.
Mounted police monitored Front St. to keep the opposing groups on separate sides of the roadway after frustrations appeared to be escalating between the two sides.
Security was tight right around the Sony Centre as many people packed the venue to hear Peres.
The activists were circulating petitions calling for Public Safety Minister Vic Toews and Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird to reconsider a decision to bring the teenage terrorist to Canada.
Khadr, 26, was sentenced at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba to 40 years in jail for terrorist activities but under a plea deal, he only had to serve eight.
After spending one additional year at Guantanamo, he became eligible to serve the remainder of his sentence in Canada.
“Khadr will be released a free man and would be a role model for Canadian jihadists,” said Kapoor. “This can rekindle a Canadian branch of al-Qaida.”
More than 3,000 people have signed the Internet petition demanding Khadr be kept out of the country.
Some group members plan on installing dozens of similar posters in a Scarborough-area where Khadr family members still live.
“We are asking people to sign a petition and call their MP,” Kapoor said. “We are trying to raise awareness and have a town hall meeting on the subject.”
Sincere gratitude to Shobie Kapoor, a proud Canadian Citizen. Jewish Defence League of Canada and Canadian Hindu Advocacy proudly support Shobie Kapoor, author of the Petition “”Stop-Terrorist-Omar-Khadr-from-Returning-to-Canada”