March 27, 2023

After calling for a formal apology, Minister Jean-François Roberge calls for the resignation of the special representative for the fight against Islamophobia in Canada, Amira Elghawaby, because of the “odious” remarks she made to about Quebecers in the past.

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In a column published in 2019, the activist and former journalist wrote that Quebecers “seem to be influenced by anti-Muslim sentiment”. To clarify his remarks, Elghawaby expressed that she “doesn’t think Quebecers are Islamophobic,” but was then referring to a poll that focused on the State Secularism Act.

However, these explanations seemed unsatisfactory to the Minister of Canadian Relations.

“On behalf of the government, I have asked him to retract his remarks and apologize. However, she only tried to justify her odious remarks. It does not go through. She must resign and if she does not, the government must dismiss her without delay,” argued Jean-François Roberge in a written statement to the QMI Agency.

Called to comment on the sidelines of an announcement on another subject, Deputy Prime Minister Geneviève Guilbault said that Elghawaby were “out of place” and “inappropriate”.

“It’s slippery that kind of talk. […] I was at the mosque last night, […] I felt very welcome there. […] We are open, we are welcoming. We must not extrapolate isolated gestures (…) and we must not let it float that Quebecers are systematically racist people, (…) it is false.”

The CAQ “lacks humanity”, according to a liberal

The Liberal MP for Westmount-Saint-Louis, Jennifer Maccarone, believes on the contrary that the Legault government “lacks humanity” by demanding the resignation of the human rights activist.

“After Bill 21 and its refusal to recognize systemic racism, the CAQ once again demonstrates an unspeakable rigidity and a lack of humanity by not supporting the appointment of Ms. Elghawaby. Quebecers want to build bridges and not divide …”, she wrote on Twitter, Monday morning.

  • Listen to the Lisée – Mulcair meeting with Jean-François Lisée, political columnist, and Thomas Mulcair, political analyst, at the microphone of Richard Martineau on QUB-radio:

Trudeau is responsible, says the PQ On the side of the Parti Québécois, we question the rigor of the process which led to the appointment of Amira Elghawaby, and we believe that the responsibility for the “current fiasco” lies with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

“Did he do the due diligence, to find out what were the inflammatory statements that she had made […] and which tend to show that his anti-Quebec prejudices are quite deeply rooted?” formulated the PQ deputy Joël Arseneau in a press briefing at the National Assembly on Monday morning.

The Trudeau government has been in hot water since the appointment of Mme Elghawaby at his post last Thursday.

Conservative Party of Canada Leader Pierre Poilievre and Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-Francois Blanchet have both condemned the appointment.

The Minister of Canadian Heritage, Pablo Rodriguez, also asked Elghawaby to withdraw his remarks, saying he was “deeply hurt” as a Quebecer.

– With the collaboration of Marc-André Gagnon, Parliamentary Office

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