Canada appoints first-ever special advisor on tackling Islamophobia

Click to play video: 'Canada names Amira Elghawaby as 1st special representative to combat Islamophobia'
Canada names Amira Elghawaby as 1st special representative to combat Islamophobia
WATCH: Canada names 1st special representative to combat Islamophobia, Amira Elghawaby – Jan 26, 2023

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has appointed Amira Elghawaby as Canada’s first special representative on combating Islamophobia.

Elghawaby is currently the director of strategic communications and campaigns at the Canadian Race Relations Foundation, a charity and Crown corporation with a mandate to work toward eliminating racism. She is a member of the National Security Transparency Advisory Group and is a contributing columnist to the Toronto Star. Previously, she was a founding board member of the Canadian Anti-Hate Network.

According to a release from the Prime Minister’s Office, Elghawaby will provide advice to the government to help develop “inclusive policies, legislative proposals, programs, and regulations.”

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“The appointment of Ms. Elghawaby as Canada’s first Special Representative on Combatting Islamophobia is an important step in our fight against Islamophobia and hatred in all its forms,” Trudeau said in a statement.

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“I look forward to working with her as we continue building a country where everyone feels safe and respected.”

According to Canada’s Anti-Racism Strategy, Islamophobia is defined as including racism, stereotypes, prejudice, fear or acts of hostility directed toward Muslims.

The creation of the role of a special representative was recommended during a virtual national summit on Islamophobia held in July 2021. The application process for the role began in June 2022 and Elghawaby was selected after an “open, transparent and merit-based” process, according to the PMO.

The announcement comes ahead of Jan. 29, the National Day of Remembrance of the Quebec City Mosque Attack and Action Against Islamophobia, which was designated in 2021. The day marks the sombre anniversary of a 2017 attack by a lone gunman at a Quebec City mosque that left six people dead and 19 others wounded.

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