The CLARITy coalition stands for liberty and secularism in the face of Islamists. As such, we are vehemently opposed to the federal government of Canada offering an 85-million-dollar budget to an Islamophobia officer.
We are against the establishment of the office, in general, as it offers exclusive protection from criticism to one religion. This is a dangerous precedent to set aligning Canada’s federal government with theocracies such as Iran or Afghanistan. The title of this position says all anyone needs to know about how anti-freedom this contrived position is. While bigotry against Muslims certainly exists, the term ‘Islamophobia’ is a term created by Islamist theocrats to stifle legitimate criticism of various interpretations of Islam. It is beyond belief that the Canadian government carve out a protected position made solely for those theocrats handing them a platform to suppress ‘blasphemy ‘as they do across Muslim majority nations from Pakistan to Iran to Saudi Arabia.
We are also against the specific hiring of Amira El Ghawaby in this role. Muslims in Canada are an incredibly diverse group from many sects. It would be impossible to hire one person to represent the multitude of conflicting beliefs. Unfortunately, the federal government of Canada has chosen to hire someone who represents the most fundamentalist group of Muslims. This gives the false impression that Muslims are one monolithic group of fundamentalists. This is a distorted impression. Many Muslims in Canada, like those who are part of the CLARITy coalition, do not feel represented or supported by this office in government and especially not by the individual appointed.
El Ghawaby has an established connection to CAIR, an organization that was cited by the US government in the Holy Land Foundation Hamas fundraising trial of 2009 as unindicted co-conspirators. They are an organization which repeatedly sympathizes with radical Islamist groups like Hamas. Their civil rights claims are a façade for the advancement of Muslim Brotherhood legacy group interests. El Ghawaby has defamed and insulted French Canadians, a significant population of the constituents she is being paid to speak for. As well, she has publicly supported hijab on children and attacked those who oppose the mandated religious clothing on children. Finally, and most egregiously, she has unequivocally refused to make a distinction between bigotry against Muslims as people and criticism against Islam, a religion. On top of multiple expressions on social media to illustrate this, El Ghawaby also wrote an article in which she equates the publishing of Charlie Hebdo cartoons with racism. El Ghawaby chooses to conflate two very distinct ideas: bigotry against people and criticism of religions and/or ideologies. This puts her in opposition to one of Canada’s most important values- free expression.
As such, CLARITy opposes El Ghawaby’s appointment to the role and the role of ‘Islamophobia’ officer itself. The CLARITy coalition believes people of all religions, faiths, and beliefs deserve protection from bigotry and hate. We stand in solidarity with all people, from all groups, who believe in the liberal values of freedom of expression and freedom of religion and beliefs.