Following the receipt of anti-Macedonian hate mail (see below), Macedonian Human Rights Movement International has filed a hate crime report with the Toronto Police, who have launched an investigation. Specifically, the "wilful promotion of hatred" is defined by the Criminal Code of Canada as:
"Every one who, by communicating statements, other than in private conversation, wilfully promotes hatred against any identifiable group is guilty of
(a) an indictable offence and is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years; or
(b) an offence punishable on summary conviction."
No group should be a target of hate. Macedonians know all too well that the simple fact of being Macedonian and publicly identifying as such evokes outrage by our oppressors. Reactions include, but are not limited to: hate speech; physical violence; denial of our right to self-identify; public incitement of hatred; hate propaganda denying our ethnic origin; campaigns aimed at denying our right to our own name, identity and history; inciting and attempting to coerce others, including the media, education systems and elected officials to deny the existence of Macedonians; campaigns promoting the cultural misappropriation of the term “Macedonian”.
Additionally, the use of highly offensive and derogatory terms against Macedonians have been used by Canadian politicians with no repercussions. See Jim Karygiannis' use of the term “Skopjan” - a term used to negate Macedonians' ethnic identity and which evokes Greece's horrific campaigns, past and present, of Macedonian cultural genocide – and his praise of a lecture, caught on video, which glorified the bombing of Macedonian civilians by Greek government forces.
Further, MP Rob Oliphant told a Macedonian crowd earlier this year that he will continue to use the highly derogatory term “North Macedonian” to refer to Macedonians despite being told that it is extremely offensive and is used to negate our ethnic identity.
Macedonian Human Rights Movement International denounces all forms of hate and vigorously defends all groups that are subject to it. We ask for equal treatment. Unfortunately, Macedonians are frequently subject to hate speech and the denial of our ethnic identity by, not only our oppressors, but those who should be defending our rights – namely journalists, politicians and other public officials.
We will be using all avenues available to us to combat hate speech against Macedonians. We call on Macedonians who have experienced hate to use our online form or email email@example.com to report an incident. Please include as much information as possible. MHRMI calls on all who are interested in human rights to join our zero-tolerance policy against hate – towards ALL groups.
Anti-Macedonian Hate Mail:
Macedonian Human Rights Movement International (MHRMI) has been active on human and national rights issues for Macedonians and other oppressed peoples since 1986. MHRMI demands respect for Macedonia's name, identity and human rights for oppressed Macedonians in the Balkans. For more information: 1-416-850-7125, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.mhrmi.org, twitter.com/mhrmi, facebook.com/mhrmi, instagram.com/MacedonianHumanRights, #OurNameIsMacedonia