Important Statement on the Nov 18 Attack on the Ghadir Center

In the Name of the Most Compassionate

On November 18, 2022, The Ghadir Cultural and Educational Center, as has been the case in our community every week over the past 20 years, held its evening educational program for children and youth, followed by its regular weekly event, with the topic for this week being “Strategies for Environmental Preservation”.

Unfortunately, the program was met with a group of violent Iranians, who, under the guise of protesting against the Islamic Republic of Iran, shamelessly attacked the Center and subjected the Center and the attendees of its program, including the young children attending the educational program, to verbal and physical abuse.

These women and men shouted extremely profane, sexual expletives and death threats directly towards our community members. They also spat on, kicked, and otherwise physically abused some members of our community, traumatizing our children in the process. These individuals also insulted the Prophet of Islam, his family, and the Holy Quran, and left no stone unturned in their assault on our Center, including physically attacking the vehicles of program attendees, blocking the entrances to the building, and scaring away parents and teachers arriving at the venue.

The heinous actions of this small group of so-called advocates of peace and freedom could not be further from exercising the right to peaceful protest. Their actions prompted swift condemnation on social media from the broader community of Iranian protestors they claim to represent. Despite claiming to champion the rights of women, this group of individuals allowed themselves to threaten and assault the women of our community, failing to even show mercy to the newborn one of them had in their arms.

It is well known throughout the Lower Mainland’s Iranian community that the Ghadir Cultural and Educational Center, a Canadian charity officially registered with the CRA, has been a safe space for cultural and religious activities and a beacon of support for Iranian immigrants new to Vancouver, free of political affiliations and motives and funded solely by its members.

The Ghadir Center would hereby like to extend its sincerest regrets and apologies to all those that were subjected to the violent actions committed by this group on November 18, 2022. Perpetrators of the attack, including its organizers and promoters, some of whom had pre-existing cases under investigation by the RCMP, will be pursued to the fullest extent of the law. One such individual was arrested for kicking and physically assaulting two of our community members. Others will continue to be identified and pursued in accordance with the law.

While injustice and tyranny are indeed worthy of the utmost condemnation, so too are violence, hatred and bigotry – in whatever shape or form they takes place, be it in Iran or anywhere else in the world.