Canada's Rebel Media causing anti-Muslim hate, report says

UK charity Faith Matters claims the online white nationalist platform tapped into discontent about immigration

epa07145262 Far right activist, known as Tommy Robinson, (Stephen Christopher Yaxley-Lennon) outside the British Houses of Parliament in central London, Britain, 06 November 2018.  EPA/FACUNDO ARRIZABALAGA
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Canada's Rebel Media is an online platform that allows white nationalists to promote division and anti-Muslim sentiment, the UK charity group Faith Matters said.

A recent report by the charity said Rebel Media “tapped into a wellspring of discontent and unease” by claiming white people are facing rapid decline because of migration, particularly by Muslims.

Through its 1.1 million YouTube subscribers and 169,000 Facebook followers, Rebel Media allowed far-right commentators to publicise their anti-Muslim, anti-refugee and anti-migrant views, the report said.

Far-right figures included Tommy Robinson, Lauren Southern, Katie Hopkins and Paul Joseph Watson.

“Central to Rebel Media's message is the platforming of far-right ideology with slants that seek to portray a world view of 'them and us', with Muslims in Europe being viewed as 'them',” Faith Matters said.

Rebel Media was founded in 2015 and is often referred to as US far-right website Breitbart’s "Canadian cousin".

"Much more work needs to be done to counter the fake news around Muslims and the insinuation that building mosques or having halal-certified food amounts to a Muslim takeover," said the report's author, Rabbil Sikdar.

“People who buy into this false narrative are then more likely to protest against Islamic institutions such as mosques and faith schools, or call for fewer Muslims or even support authoritarian measures against them.

“Rebel Media is essentially existing as a platform for the spread of fear and hate, and all of its contributors work on this line. They have essentially globalised hate and we should be really concerned by that."

The report focuses on three tenets: white nationalism, political correctness and Islam.

A focal message of Rebel Media is that the modern world is oppressing white people and what they stand for. It also supports a revolt against the establishment, which is seen to be a "hegemonic force, culturally and politically”.

“Rebel Media regards the elite as a bundle of institutions dedicated to subordinating the interests of ordinary people to their liberal agenda,” the report says.

“Rebel Media has thrived in normalising hate and suspicion of Muslims and migrants through the relentless hammering away of the narrative that there is a white genocide taking place, and that Muslims are taking over western civilisation."