A Canadian politician has gone viral for his measured response to a heckler’s anti-Muslim remarks aimed at him over the weekend.

A video shared on Twitter and viewed more than 700,000 times shows a man approaching NDP Gurratan Singh, who is Sikh, with his phone in hand, appearing to record the confrontation.

Singh told The Toronto Star that he first noticed the man acting aggressively and shouting as he gave a speech during MuslimFest, a three-day event in Mississauga, a city just outside Toronto.


The man can be heard in the video asking, “What about sharia? Political Islam? You’re hiding, bud. I’ll debate you anytime.” 

Singh responds to the man by saying he condemns racism and hateful rhetoric, adding that “this has no place in Canada.”

Security came between the two and eventually escorted the man out.

Singh later tweeted that he will never respond to Islamophobia with “I am not a Muslim.”

“Instead, I will always stand with my Muslim brothers and sisters and say hate is wrong,” he wrote, including video of the incident. 

Sikhism is a distinct religion from Islam, and its 25 million followers make it the fifth-largest faith in the world. Sikhs are often mistaken for Muslims, and various accounts have suggested an increase in anti-Sikh hate crimes in the United States since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. 

Singh told the news outlet that it is disappointing that the man chose that event to make a scene.

“It’s really sad that [in] a moment when people are coming together to celebrate who they are, that there’s someone there who’s trying to spread so much hate and divisiveness,” Singh said.