Monday, February 12th – Oakville, ON – The Canadian Muslim Public Affairs Council (CMPAC) organized a series of Palestine advocacy solidarity events featuring Sami Hamdi from February 9th to 11th. 

Sami Hamdi serves as the Managing Director of The International Interest, a prominent company specializing in global risk and intelligence analysis. He is renowned for his expertise in international affairs, frequently contributing as a commentator at conferences and on major media platforms such as Al Jazeera, Sky News, BBC, and TRT World, among others. His tour across Canada aims to highlight critical issues related to Palestine solidarity, fostering informed discussions and educational opportunities for students and the broader community.

Unfortunately, Concordia University has abruptly cancelled a previously approved event on their campus, due to pressure by anti-Palestinian groups, stifling freedom of speech. In response, organizers planned a peaceful protest outside the building to voice opposition to the university’s actions to suppress discussion on Palestine. However, organizers decided to call off the protest to avoid intimidation and targeting of Muslim and Palestinian students on campus, prioritizing the safety and well-being of students. The event was successfully held at the same time at an off campus location. 

Academic institutions must uphold the principles of free speech and academic freedom, both of which have been significantly undermined by Concordia University’s recent actions. Concordia University’s cancellation decision highlights a troubling trend of bias against Pro-Palestinian views on campus, unfairly targeting the Muslim and pro-Palestinian student population—a vital part of the university’s community. This action casts doubt on Concordia’s dedication to free speech and debate, suppressing crucial dialogues and detracting from the university’s mission to embrace varied viewpoints and foster critical thinking. Furthermore, CMPAC is deeply troubled by alleged acts of intimidation and harassment directed at students organizing pro-Palestine activities on campus.

CMPAC has unequivocally affirmed its dedication to the principles outlined in its Event Disclaimer, accessible on our website, which emphasizes commitment to promoting peaceful dialogue, ensuring respectful interactions, and fostering meaningful civic participation within our community. Organizers of the event at Concordia University have adhered to the University’s guidelines. 

CMPAC stands firmly with the Muslim community and all impacted by Concordia University’s decisions. We call for an apology from Concordia University and insist on a comprehensive evaluation of its policies that restrict expression and perpetuate discrimination against Muslim and Palestinian communities. We urge Concordia University to honor its obligations to these fundamental principles and to create an inclusive environment where diverse voices are acknowledged and valued. 

We urge Canadians to stand against all forms of discrimination and censorship on university campuses.

Pictured Below: Sami Hamdi delivers a thought-provoking lecture in an alternative venue in Montreal, undeterred by challenges.