Prominent Quebecers plead for federal anti-Islamophobia rep to be given a chance

A letter of support signed by 30 prominent Quebecers, including academics, activists, and community leaders, is asking that Amira Elghawaby be given the chance to fulfil her mandate as Canada’s first special representative on combating Islamophobia.

Provincial politicians in Quebec and Bloc Quebecois Leader Yves-Francois Blanchet have called for Elghawaby’s resignation for a 2019 article she co-wrote criticizing Quebec’s Bill 21 and saying a majority of Quebecers appear to be “swayed” by anti-Muslim sentiment.

The letter acknowledges the concerns raised by Quebec’s political class since her appointment last week but underscores her apology and her expressed desire to engage in further dialogue.

On Wednesday, Elghawaby apologizedsaying she was “extremely sorry” for the way her words had carried and how they hurt the people of Quebec.

Among the people who signed the letter are constitutional lawyer Julius Grey, philosopher Charles Taylor and Boufeldja Benabdallah, co-founder of the Quebec City mosque where six men were shot in 2017 in an anti-Muslim attack.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has stood behind the decision to name Elghawaby to the role, saying she is the right person to help Canadians grapple with tough questions about religion.

LISTEN ON CJAD 800 RADIO: Christopher Skeete criticizes Elghawaby’s apology, addresses systemic racism in Quebec

– This report by The Canadian Press was first published on Feb. 3, 2023

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