Over the past few weeks, there has been controversy in Canada regarding the appointment of Amira Elghawaby as Canada’s special envoy for Islamophobia by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Her appointment sparked controversy over a previous op-ed she wrote suggesting that Québec had problems with Islamophobia due to polling indicating that 88% of the province supported laws restricting Muslim practice.
Despite her apology, the government of Québec persisted in insisting that she resign. The government of Canada has yet to capitulate to this pressure from Québec. The pure hysteria that has been provoked in the francophone province only demonstrates Elghawaby’s original point: Islamophobia is embedded in the province.
Elghawaby’s appointment was set on the 6th anniversary of the Québec mosque shooting, and the reaction of the Québec government and its First Minister Francois Legault prove they’ve learned nothing from the massacre in which a quebecer killed 6 Muslims.
According to The Middle East Eye,the first minister skipped the commemoration of the massacre this year despite the fact that the massacre took place in Quebec’s capital. At the same time, he had the gall to cry foul when Elghawaby cited polling evidence indicating the province was Islamophobic.
The fact he cares more about comments pointing out his province’s bigotry than 6 killed as a result of it indicates the problem goes all the way up to the government. Furthermore, as someone who worked in Ottawa in the direct aftermath of the Quebec City Mosque killings, I can bear witness to the fact that the dominant reaction from the grassroots was not one of support but continued Islamophobia and hysteria toward the Canadian government expressing the most generic sympathy via the M-103 motion.
Perhaps, this reaction convinced Truedeau of the need for someone like Elghawaby to address the realities of Islamophobia in Canadian society. When there is controversy about the need to condemn Islamophobia in the aftermath of a deadly attack against a mosque, then anyone who disputes that it is a problem is gravely mistaken. Without a doubt, the utter vitriol and hate Elghawaby has endured for her trivial observations indicates the validity of her point and the need for her position to begin with.