In recent days, a video circulated portraying Stephen Brown [archive], CEO of the National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM), discussing India-Canada relations and advocating for the ban of RSS, a nationalist organization in India. False claims started circulating, suggesting that the Canadian government had indeed banned RSS, amplifying the tension.
The information was sourced from social media posts. The individuals propagating this misinformation included @Tanvirpost, @s_afreen7, @007AliSohrab, @ActivistSandeep, @B5001001101, @Aafrin7866, @AamirKhanfa, @JituChaudhary25, @rameshGehlot121, @Nishant98987156, @Mr_Yadav360, @atNasserSalim1, and @satishssharma85. Misleading information gained traction, fueled by individuals who harbour hatred towards India, RSS, or the current Indian government. Their intent seemed to be spreading a narrative aligning with their own agenda to weaken the India-Canada diplomatic relationship on the garb of the RSS ban.
भारत और कनाडा के बीच जो विवाद चल रहा है, इस वजह से कनाडा ने पहले भारत के राजनयिक को देश छोड़ने को कहा, फिर भारत ने कनाडा के राजनयिक को देश छोड़ने को कहा!— Sadaf Afreen صدف (@s_afreen7) September 20, 2023
साथ में कनाडा ने RSS को बैन करने की भी बात कही है!
भारत और कनाडा के बीच तनाव बढ़ता ही जा रहा है!#IndiaCanada pic.twitter.com/tofbvyQP0y
The Facts and Context
However, upon careful analysis, it’s important to clarify that the NCCM is a non-governmental organization and does not represent the Canadian government. The claims made by Stephen Brown were part of the NCCM’s longstanding criticism of RSS and its policies of hatred towards India and the Hindus. They even released a document on the RSS and its network in Canada, where they made baseless allegations that defamed the RSS and advocated for its ban for a better India-Canada relationship. Click here, to access the document [Website Archive / Twitter Archive]. This is not an official government stance but rather an expression of views by a particular organization.
The NCCM has a history of expressing strong opinions against India and RSS, and their social media presence has been noted for spreading communal hatred. India took action by withholding their Twitter account due to these propagandist activities. On 19th September, the NCCM along with the World Sikh Organisation urged Canada to take several measures, including recalling the Canadian ambassador to India, expelling the Indian ambassador, freezing trade negotiations on the India-Canada Free Trade Agreement, and advocating for a ban on RSS under the listing provisions in the Criminal Code and the removal of its agents from Canada.
In conclusion, the claim suggesting that Canada banned RSS based on the video shared is false. The video featured the CEO of NCCM expressing their organizational stance, not a government decision to ban RSS and weaken the India-Canada relationship. The video, shared with the intent to mislead, was employed to further an extremist organization’s agenda. Misinformation was deliberately spread to further personal or ideological motives. Following a precise analysis and fact-checking, our team has reviewed the claim. You can refer to the findings of this inquiry in the Twitter thread below.
1117— D-Intent Data (@dintentdata) September 21, 2023
FACT: A video of a man talking about #IndiaCanada relations and calling for the ban of RSS has been shared claiming that the Canadian government has banned RSS. The fact is that the man seen in the video is Stephen Brown , (1/3) pic.twitter.com/P5bz5tnF1y
Claim: The Canadian government has banned RSS.
Fact: The Canadian government has not banned RSS.