Montreal Student Asked to Remove Kippah At “Arabic” Concordia University

Jewish blog recently reported on its Facebook Page on an incident involving an orthodox Jewish student who was asked to take off his kippah (skullcap) in the Hall Building at Concordia University, the school famous for rioting over Benjamin Netanyahu’s 2002 speech. The blog reports:

14484910_1534831563209484_6623921355856829591_nHowie Silbiger had just entered the hall building on his way to class when a young man told him to remove his Yarmulke, explaining that he shouldn’t wear one in “an Arabic university.”

“At first, my instinct was to ignore him, but then I decided to engage,” said Silbiger. “I have never backed down from a confrontation nor have I ever taken my yarmulke off for anyone. I steadfastly refused to remove it.”

The young man then took a step closer and shouted at him to take it off. “I looked him dead in the eyes and said, ‘if you want it off my head, go ahead try to take it off,'” reported Silbiger. “He took a step forward, I got mentally ready for a physical confrontation, I planted myself and glared at him. A small crowd was forming around us.

For a few minutes the two stared at each other until the man told Silbiger “I’m not going to waste my time with you” and walked off.

Silbiger plans on reporting the incident to Concordia security, but has a message for fellow Jewish students. “I call on all Concordia University Jewish Students to proudly wear your yarmulkes. I know a lot of you take them off out of fear, but fear only encourages hate. Don’t be afraid, be Jewish, be proud!”

Antisemitism is still on the rise in North American universities, somehow now considered acceptable due to the rise of anti-Zionism.

Swastikas are constantly painted on buildings, visibly Jewish and Zionist students are jeered at and insulted, and rarely could a Jewish, Israeli, or Zionist speaker come without being shouted down into oblivion.

At Concordia, a small crowd gathered around, according to the report, but nobody did anything.

To these students, most of whom are enamoured with the #BlackLivesMatter movement, Jewish lives (due to perceived privilege) seem to matter much less.

Since then, a movement has been started, with many Jews at Concordia posting pictures of themselves wearing their kippahs and Jewish star necklaces in plain view. One student writes:

In Concordia right now and wearing my yarmulka and whoever wants to engage come and get me, I am proud of who I am and hearing these stories only makes me closer to my Jewish brothers and sisters and gives me more strength to embrace who I am, and that’s a proud Jew!



Lex is a trained comedy actor who is Montreal's second-favourite export aside from poutine.

Daily Updates

Delivered straight to Your mailbox


By signing up, you agree to our terms