Hundreds of Iranians and Jewish Canadians gathered in Richmond Hill on Sunday, May 31st, in what is believed to be “the largest demonstration” by Iranian – Canadians in Toronto since 2009 [Persian]. More than 700 protestors from different political and ethnic backgrounds were angered by the Islamic Society of York region’s celebration of Ayatollah Khomeini in his 26th anniversary.
This event was called “An Awakening Against Global Injustice,” but protestors called it a celebration of “execution, rape, torture, and unjust imprisonment,” and accused the Islamic center of brainwashing teenagers with ideas analogous to IS and Khomeini’s teachings. CEO of B’nai Brith Michael Mostyn described the event as “hate-propaganda” that does not have any place any place in a civil society.
Although it was not the first time that the Islamic center celebrated Ayatollah Khomeini, the reaction by people and politicians was huge this time. Defense minister, Jason Kenney had described the event as “disturbing”, and Ontario’s Minister of Research and Innovation Reza Moridi said that the protesters were gathered to raise their voice against those “praising and celebrating the life of a man who murdered hundreds of thousands” of Iranians.
But Zafar Bangash head of the Islamic Society of York region compared Khomeini to men like Martin Luther King and Gandhi. He also rejected the allegations that the ceremony, during which digital cameras and laptops were distributed, was funded by the Islamic regime in Tehran, and accused the demonstrators of “stealing money from Iran” and taking it to Canada.
In addition to the conventional methods, some Iranian activists introduced a new way of protest against the IRI supporters outside Iran. The initiative is called “Sundis for Ayatollah’s Soldiers”.
“Sundis” is an Iranian fruit juice brand which particularly gained its bad reputation during the regime crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrations in 2009. It was said at the time that Basiji militias would receive cakes and Sundis as they were beating the protestors; thus people gave them a nickname: “Sundis Drinkers”.
Salman Sima a member of the Iranian Liberal Students and Graduates says he assumes that the event was funded by the same source which buys Sundis refreshment for Basijis in Iran; therefore, he brought them Sundis so “they do not lack anything!”
According to the organizers of the “Sundis Campaign”, the act of giving fruit juice to the regime supporters around the world by the campaigners will be repeated to show those supporters that Iranians do not see any difference between them and Basijis who beat their brethren in the streets of Tehran.
Here is a short video clip of what happened in Toronto: