FACT CHECK: Did A Canadian Mayor Make This Anti-Muslim Statement To Parents?

Charlese Freeman | Contributor

A post shared on Facebook claims the mayor of Dorval, Canada, sent out an anti-Muslim message to parents, saying, “They need to change their lifestyle, not Canadians who so generously welcomed them.”

Verdict: False

The attribution to the Dorval mayor has been debunked as a hoax over the years. The City of Dorval has called it “false news.”

Fact Check:

The viral post alleges the Dorval mayor sent out an anti-Muslim note to parents after some Muslim parents requested that pork be removed from school cafeterias in Montreal and its suburbs. The current mayor of Dorval is Edgar Rouleau.

The message the Dorval mayor supposedly sent starts by saying Muslims “should be aware that they should adapt to Canada and Quebec their customs, traditions and their way of life.” It ends with the mayor allegedly saying, “If you accept the situation, stay. If not then prepare to leave.”

The claim about the Dorval mayor has been circulating online since at least January 2015. It is, however, false and has been routinely debunked as a hoax over the years.

A search of press releases on the City of Dorval’s website turned up no statements from the mayor matching the one in the Facebook post. Check Your Fact also didn’t find any reports from Canadian news outlets such as CBC News, Montreal Gazette and Global News quoting the mayor as saying it.

In January 2015, the City of Dorval put out a statement calling the claim “false news.” (RELATED: Did The Livermore, California Mayor Write This Piece Explaining Donald Trump’s ‘Success And Popularity’?)

“The City of Dorval wishes to denounce this false article and resents this identity usurpation,” reads the statement. “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.”

The same comments have been falsely attributed to the mayors of other cities in countries such as Belgium and Australia.

The image included in the Facebook post also does not show Dorval’s current mayor, Rouleau, a reverse image search revealed. A similar photo showing the same two individuals can be found on Getty Images, where the caption states it was taken in Brussels in 2007. Reuters identified the man in the white t-shirt as Belgian politician Tanguy Veys.

Charlese Freeman

Contributor

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