Calls are mounting to ban a self-described "pickup artist" from the U.S. from speaking in Canada.
Daryush Valizadeh — who blogs under the name Roosh V — is set to deliver speeches in Montreal and Toronto on Aug. 8 and Aug. 15 respectively. A petition has sprung up to stop him from entering the country, however, on the basis that he is promoting and disseminating hate.
Valizadeh is an American author, blogger and speaker who "advises" men on the best methods to convince a woman to have sex with them.
He's made controversial remarks, including that all public rape allegations are false and that non-consensual sex in a home shouldn't count as rape.
As well, Valizadeh edits a website that posts articles such as "5 Reasons to Date a Woman with an Eating Disorder."
Concordia student Fannie Gadouas is encouraging people to sign the petition to stop his entry into Canada. She said people should know that he is coming to the city and work to prevent it.
"His goal is to paint a picture of someone who is vulnerable and might be an easier target," she said on Daybreak.
As of Friday morning, about 5,200 people had signed the petition.
"He's basically suggesting that if a woman consciously takes a decision to walk into a private space with a man, she would be knowingly putting herself in a situation where she could be raped," she said.
Can Valizadeh be denied entrance?
A constitutional lawyer said Canada Border Services Agency could have the grounds to stop him from coming into the country, but hate speech, under Canadian law, must cause a risk to a group of people.
Mathieu Bouchard is skeptical that Valizadeh's comments have, up until now, qualified as hate speech. Still, he said that border agents could theoretically stop him if they determine he's likely to promote hate speech while he's in Canada.
"There's certainly an argument to be made," Bourchard said.
If SJW's get my Canada lectures cancelled, I'll give away the lecture video for free at the height of media coverage http://t.co/OaN65D70MR— @rooshv
Gadouas said she's aware her petition could create publicity for Valizadeh.
"I think it's definitely a possibility, but I think that ignorance isn't an option here," she said. "I think that awareness and communication is the way to go."
Says he'll capitalize on outcry
Valizadeh knows the petition exists and is planning to capitalize on any media coverage. He made a statement on his forum:
"The SJW's [social justice warriors] are now agitating to get me banned from the country. My plan is to sell a copy of the lecture after the tour for about $10, but if the SJW mob successfully gets any of my Canada stops cancelled, I will give away copies of the lecture for free at the peak of the media coverage. Thousands of extra people will see ideas they are trying to censor. No matter what happens, they will lose and we will win. There is nothing they can do to stop us."
The location of Valizadeh's lecture won't be announced until the day before, but Gadouas said groups in Montreal and Toronto are planning to protest outside of them.