back to top

This Hoax About A Canadian Mayor's Insulting Response To Muslim Parents Keeps Coming Back

It never happened.

Posted on

Despite being repeatedly debunked, this hoax about a Canadian mayor lecturing Muslim immigrants to "adapt" to their new community just won't die.

According to this hoax, the mayor of Dorval, a city in Quebec, issued an insulting letter to Muslim residents after they asked that pork be taken off school menus. “Muslims must understand that they have to adapt to Canada and Quebec, its customs, its traditions, its way of life, because that’s where they chose to immigrate," the mayor allegedly said.He fake story then claims Canada has a "Judeo-Christian" character and that his city will "refuse any concessions to Islam and Sharia."The hoax has been around since at least 2014, spread mostly via email. But versions of this story have also been popping up regularly on fake news sites that traffic in anti-Muslim misinformation.
libertyinfo

According to this hoax, the mayor of Dorval, a city in Quebec, issued an insulting letter to Muslim residents after they asked that pork be taken off school menus.

“Muslims must understand that they have to adapt to Canada and Quebec, its customs, its traditions, its way of life, because that’s where they chose to immigrate," the mayor allegedly said.

He fake story then claims Canada has a "Judeo-Christian" character and that his city will "refuse any concessions to Islam and Sharia."

The hoax has been around since at least 2014, spread mostly via email. But versions of this story have also been popping up regularly on fake news sites that traffic in anti-Muslim misinformation.

The fake story has been written up at least 17 times in the past year alone, often getting a ton of engagement on Facebook.

The stories still get thousands of Facebook comments, likes, and shares, according to the social tracking platform Buzzsumo. This makes it appealing for websites to keep recycling the claims.The hoax has such viral power that one website, the right-wing Canadian blog Debate Post, has published the story twice this year — within four days of each other.
Buzzsumo

The stories still get thousands of Facebook comments, likes, and shares, according to the social tracking platform Buzzsumo. This makes it appealing for websites to keep recycling the claims.

The hoax has such viral power that one website, the right-wing Canadian blog Debate Post, has published the story twice this year — within four days of each other.

The stories never name the mayor of Dorval, and often include photos of Régis Labeaume, who is the mayor of Quebec City.

The City of Dorval publicly issued a clarification on its website in 2015, decrying the "false news" circulating online. "The City of Dorval wishes to denounce this false article and resents this identity usurpation," reads the notice. "Internet users across the world have published this false news as it was true, and the Mayor would like to set the record straight by saying that, on no account, he, nor any the City’s representatives, have made such comments."Other versions of the hoax claim that it was a mayor in Belgium or Australia who wrote the stern letter. But for whatever reason, the Dorval version of the hoax seems to be the most successful one.
trendingthisminute.com

The City of Dorval publicly issued a clarification on its website in 2015, decrying the "false news" circulating online.

"The City of Dorval wishes to denounce this false article and resents this identity usurpation," reads the notice. "Internet users across the world have published this false news as it was true, and the Mayor would like to set the record straight by saying that, on no account, he, nor any the City’s representatives, have made such comments."

Other versions of the hoax claim that it was a mayor in Belgium or Australia who wrote the stern letter. But for whatever reason, the Dorval version of the hoax seems to be the most successful one.

Ishmael N. Daro is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Toronto. PGP fingerprint: 5A1D 9099 3497 DA4B

Contact Ishmael N. Daro at ishmael.daro@buzzfeed.com.

Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.