Jagmeet Singh responds to persistent heckler with message of love
'We welcome you. We support you,' NDP leadership candidate says in response to angry woman
Video of Jagmeet Singh responding to a heckler who accused him of wanting to impose "sharia law" is drawing attention to the NDP leadership candidate on Facebook and YouTube.
The incident at a meet-and-greet on Wednesday in Brampton, Ont., involved an angry woman who stood in the front of the candidate and shouted as aides tried to usher her aside.
The heckler appeared to be confused about "sharia law," which is an Islamic law tradition, while Singh is Sikh, an unrelated faith.
When she continued heckling, in an incident that lasted more than four minutes, Singh said "We don't want to be intimidated by hate. We don't want hatred to ruin a positive event."
"Let's show people how we would treat someone with love," Singh said to the crowd, before addressing the woman directly with the words "We welcome you. We love you. We support you … we believe in your rights."
The crowd chanted "love and courage" – a slogan used by Singh's leadership campaign.
"We're not worried about this. It's OK," Singh continued. "As a brown-skinned turban-wearing man I have faced things like this before."
Singh later posted a letter on Facebook in response to the incident, saying, "It's important that we stand united against all forms of hate."
"Despite this person's anger and hate, I told them we loved them, respected them, and would protect their rights.
"It takes love to understand that we're all in this together. It takes courage to come together, demand better and dream bigger, so that we can build a world where no one is left behind."
Singh signed off, "With love and courage."
The final debate in the NDP leadership race is Sunday afternoon in Vancouver. Singh is running against Ontario MP Charlie Angus, Quebec MP Guy Caron and Manitoba MP Niki Ashton for the leadership.