Amira Elghawaby case: the Quebec secular movement calls for the abolition of the position
The appointment of Amira Elghawaby to the position of representative for the fight against Islamophobia continues to stir. After being strongly criticized by many Quebec elected officials, it’s now the Mouvement laïque québécois (MLQ) which is demanding the departure of the former journalist as well as the abolition of his post.
The group founded in 1981, which claims to campaign “in favor of freedom of conscience”, says it is “appalled” by Justin Trudeau's decision. In a letter dated February 4, addressed to the Prime Minister of Canada, the MLQ denounces “the anti-secular bias of Ms. Elghawaby” as well as “her racist prejudices against Quebecers.”
The group points in particular to the years of office of Amira Elghawaby at the National Council of Canadian Muslims.
“This organization fought the Quebec law on religious neutrality in 2017 and is currently actively involved in the legal challenge of the Law on the secularism of the State, a democratic and unifying law adopted by the National Assembly of Quebec”, protests the MLQ.
We call on you to both remove Amira Elghawaby from office and abolish the position
in question or any other similar position .
Daniel Baril, president of the Mouvement laïque québécois (MLQ).
An ignorance of the history of the Quebec people
In this same letter, signed by the president of the group Daniel Baril, the activist is accused of not knowing the history of Quebec well and of showing contempt for its population. The group refers to a tweet from Amira Elghawaby, dated May 2021 in which she opposed the idea -put forward by a professor of philosophy at the University of Toronto – that Quebecers were the people who had suffered the most from British colonialism.
“I'm going to vomit,” she reacted.
Despite recent clarifications and a series of apologies, during which the ex-journalist reiterated that she “did not think Quebecers are Islamophobic”, the MLQ does not approve of the choice of Ottawa.
Amira Elghawaby’s explanations are seen as “a red herring” by the group, which sees it as an insincere attempt by the activist to save her position and “legitimize her words”.
Abolition of the position claimed
Beyond the departure of the person concerned, the MLQ is calling for the abolition of the position of representative for the fight against Islamophobia, which is “likely to break up society into micro-communities ethno-religious”.
“The job description you gave him is itself likely to create and maintain confusion, even misinformation, among the public. The term Islamophobia is currently used by an extremist fringe of Islam which associates any criticism of Islam with hatred against Muslims”, denounces the group.
This release of the MLQ intervenes several days after the Minister of Secularism, Jean-François Roberge, asked for the resignation of the nominee.
“I appreciate her apologies, but I still do not believe that she has the legitimacy and credibility to hold these positions,” he said earlier this week.