1674880339 Amira Elghawaby clarifies her comments on alleged anti Muslim sentiment in

Amira Elghawaby clarifies her comments on alleged anti-Muslim sentiment in Quebec

In a message posted to Twitter later in the day, the ex-journalist wrote that his past comments related to a Bill 21 poll.

“I will work with partners in all provinces and regions to ensure we fight racism head-on. »

– A quote from Amira Elghawaby, the Trudeau government’s special envoy to combat Islamophobia

Earlier on Friday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, at a meeting with members of his group, was asked to comment on the statements of his self-appointed.

“Well, I certainly don’t agree with her words and I expect her to clarify.” »

— A quote from Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada

The controversy arose after the publication of a text in La Presse on Friday recalling the contents of a letter Ms Elghawaby published in the Ottawa Citizen in 2019 in the wake of Quebec’s passage of the Respect for Secularism Act of the State ( also known as Bill 21).

In that letter, she denounced the anti-Muslim sentiment that she believed would have surrounded Quebec’s passage of Law 21.

The letter in question was also signed by Bernie Farber, former CEO of the Canadian Jewish Congress and, like Amira Elghawaby, a board member of the Canadian Anti-Hate Network.

“Unfortunately, the majority of Quebecers seem to be influenced not by the rule of law but by anti-Muslim sentiment. »

– A quote from an excerpt of a letter by Amira Elghawaby and Bernie Farber in the Ottawa Citizen

Contacted by Radio-Canada, Amira Elghawaby described La Presse’s text as unfair. She explained that she relied at the time on the results of a poll conducted by Léger Marketing, which found that 88% of Quebecers who had negative views of Islam agreed with prohibiting certain people in positions of authority from wearing religious symbols while performing their functions , as set out in Law 21.

Former journalist Amira Elghawaby, who was introduced by Justin Trudeau’s cabinet as a justice and inclusion expert and human rights activist, until recently headed the Canadian Race Relations Foundation.

As a special representative, she will advise Ottawa and, among other things, participate in the development of guidelines and legislative proposals to combat Islamophobia.

On Friday, Prime Minister Trudeau reiterated his government’s intention to tackle Islamophobia after saying the day before that it was a lived experience of our country’s Muslim communities that required continued action.

“The reality is that they [Amira Elghawaby] has an important role in building bridges and fighting Islamophobia wherever it exists in the country. »

— A quote from Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada

In La Presse, Quebec Minister for French Language Jean-François Roberge described as dubious the appointment of a person who appears to be animated by anti-Quebec sentiment.

“I think she should retract her comments and apologize for her comments,” said Mr. Roberge, who also holds the portfolios of Canadian relations and Canadian Francophony, democratic institutions and secularism in François Legault’s government.

In the foreground Amira Elghawaby.

In February 2017, Amira Elghawaby, then working for the National Council of Canadian Muslims, attended a press conference at which some forty Muslim groups called for concrete action to combat Islamophobia. (file photo)

Photo: The Canadian Press/Justin Tang

Within the Trudeau administration itself, Ms. Elghawaby’s earlier statements have drawn attention. Pablo Rodriguez, federal minister for cultural heritage, told Radio-Canada: “As a Quebecer, I am deeply hurt by these comments, I am deeply offended by these comments and I expect her to withdraw them today.”

Omar Alghabra, Germany’s transport minister, who attended the announcement of Amira Elghawaby’s appointment on Thursday, declined to comment on the controversy surrounding the new special envoy to counter Islamophobia on Friday.

Taking to Twitter, leader of the official opposition, Conservative Pierre Poilievre, said Trudeau was once again choosing to divide Canadians by naming someone who spoke out against Quebec, Jews and the police.

” He [Justin Trudeau] must name someone who can unite us all in the fight against racism and Islamophobia. »

— A quote from Pierre Poilievre, leader of the Conservative Party of Canada (CPC)

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