Islamophobic group’s gathering draws protest in Toronto

As the leader of the controversial English Defence League prepared to speak to supporters in Toronto over the Internet, activists delivered a message of their own. “EDL go to hell,” demonstrators chanted on the street outside the Toronto Zionist Centre where Tommy Robinson, leader of the British anti-Islamist group, was to address about 50 supporters.

The “support rally” for Mr. Robinson was organized by the right-wing Jewish Defence League under the banner “stop political Islam,” but Canada’s largest Jewish organization, the Canadian Jewish Congress, opposed the event, citing the tactics of the EDL, known for demonstrations that often degenerate into violence.

The Toronto rally is believed to be the EDL’s first foray into Canada since the group was formed in 2009 in response to demonstrations by militant Islamists in Britain. The town of Luton, Bedfordshire, where the EDL started, has a large Muslim population and has been linked to several terrorist plots, most recently December’s suicide bombing that targeted Christmas shoppers in Sweden.