Judge awards owner of Middle Eastern restaurant chain $2.5M for suffering ‘hate speech’

A self-styled online media personality whose websites frequently air anti-Muslim content has been ordered to pay the owner of a prominent Middle Eastern restaurant chain millions of dollars after publicly accusing him of funding terrorism.

Ontario Superior Court Justice Jane Ferguson ordered Kevin J. Johnston to pay a total of $2.5 million in damages for defamation to Mohamad Fakih, the owner and founder of Paramount Fine Foods.

Johnston, who operated websites including FreedomReport.ca and recently came in second place in Mississauga’s mayoral race, posted multiple videos attacking Fakih.

Ferguson says Johnston’s words amounted to hate speech that called for particularly strong condemnation from the court.

The footage yielded at least eight event videos that contained a number of what Ferguson deemed to be defamatory statements.