July 16th, 2024

Israel-Hamas war cannot become another 9/11 moment, says anti-Islamophobia envoy

By The Canadian Press on October 19, 2023.

Amira Elghawaby, Canada’s Special Representative on Combatting Islamophobia, prepares to appear as a witness before the Senate Human Rights committee, at the Senate of Canada Building in Ottawa on Monday, March 27, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

OTTAWA – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s special representative for combating Islamophobia is warning against allowing the Israel-Hamas war to become a catalyst for the stereotyping of Muslim Canadians.

Amira Elghawaby, who was appointed to the new role in January, released a statement on the impact the war is having on members of Canada’s Muslim communities.

She says people are expressing fear about a “resurgence” in Islamophobia that “has troubling echoes of the past.”

She refers to the years following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, when Muslims and Arabs “felt collectively blamed, stereotyped and racially profiled.”

Elghawaby says that locally, Muslims and Arabs “felt pressured to condemn actions unrelated to our communities” and experienced what she calls “a silencing effect” when it came to community members voicing their views about human rights.

Her statement says the legacy of 9/11 is “being rekindled” in the current war.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct.19, 2023.

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