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National Post: 'Did no one vet anti-Islamophobia rep's past?'

Reader comment on item: Sajjilu Arab American

Submitted by Lea (United States), Feb 6, 2023 at 22:14

André Pratte, National Post, February 3, 2023:

We were told by the Prime Minister's Office that Amira Elghawaby was appointed as Canada's first Special Representative on Combatting Islamophobia "following an open, transparent, and merit-based selection process." It is beyond my comprehension how such a process would not have involved a simple web search to see whether Elghawaby had said or written something that could be embarrassing for the government or her, or both. For instance, writings that would have revealed a simplistic view of Islamophobia in Québec?

As should have been expected, such a search is exactly what journalists did in the minutes following the prime minister's announcement. What did they find? That in an op-ed regarding Bill 21, of which she was the co-author, she wrote that "the majority of Quebecers appear to be swayed not by the rule of law, but by anti-Muslim sentiment." Then on Twitter, reacting to a statement by a University of Toronto professor who asserted that French Canadians were "the largest group of people in this country who were victimized by British colonialism," Elghawaby wrote: "I'm going to puke."

This led Quebec's National Assembly to demand that her contract be rescinded. Always looking to nurture his nationalist base, Premier François Legault accused the prime minister of "endorsing the contempt toward Quebecers." Even Justin Trudeau's Québec lieutenant, Canadian Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez, said he was "hurt and upset" by Elghawaby's views.

This unfortunate controversy was entirely predictable. Are Amira Elghawaby's credentials so impressive that, despite some of her writings, appointing her was a good decision? At the very least, the government and the new special representative needed to prepare for the uproar and quickly provide both a clarification and an apology. This was not done until Wednesday, a week after Elghawaby's appointment. With the speed of today's news cycle, one week is an eternity. In Québec, her credibility lays in ruins....

https://nationalpost.com/opinion/did-no-one-vet-anti-islamophobia-reps-past

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