The federal diversity minister says he’s taking action over “disturbing” tweets by a senior consultant on an anti-racism project who received $133,000 from his department.
Ahmed Hussen asked Canadian Heritage to ‘look closely’ after what he called ‘unacceptable behaviour’ by Laith Marouf, a senior consultant involved in the government-funded project to tackle racism in broadcasting .
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Marouf’s Twitter account is private but a screenshot posted online shows a number of tweets with his photo and name.
One tweet read: “You all know those loud-mouthed human excrement bags aka Jewish white supremacists; when we liberate Palestine and they have to go back to where they came from, they will again be whispered bitches of their (sic) Christian/secular white supremacist masters.
Marouf declined requests for comment, but when asked about the tweet, a lawyer acting for Marouf requested that his client’s tweets be quoted “verbatim” and distinguished between Marouf’s “clear reference to ‘Jewish white supremacists'” and the Jews or the Jewish people in general.
Marouf harbors “no animosity toward the Jewish faith as a collective group,” attorney Stephen Ellis said in an email.
Last year, the Community Media Advocacy Center received a $133,800 grant from the Department of Heritage to develop an anti-racism strategy for Canadian broadcasting.
Marouf is listed as a senior consultant on CMAC’s website and reportedly says CMAC is “delighted to launch” the initiative “Developing an Anti-Racism Strategy for Canadian Broadcasting: Conversation and Convergence” with the financial support Heritage’s Anti-Racism Action Program.
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He expressed his gratitude to “Canadian Heritage for their partnership and the trust they have placed in us,” saying CMAC is committed to “ensuring the successful and responsible execution of the project.”
Hussen, who is based at the Department for Heritage, said in a statement: ‘We condemn this unacceptable behavior by an individual working in an organization dedicated to combating racism and discrimination.
“Our position is clear _ anti-Semitism and all forms of hatred have no place in Canada. This is why I have asked Canadian Heritage to take a close look at the situation of the disturbing comments made by the person in question. We will raise this issue with the organization accordingly, as it clearly goes against the values of our government,” Hussen added.
CMAC did not respond to a request for comment.
Irwin Cotler, a former Liberal justice minister who was named Canada’s special envoy on anti-Semitism by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, said Marouf’s tweet referring to “noisy bags of human excrement” was ” out of reach”.
Cotler said he plans to speak about the issue to officials working within the heritage department to combat racism.
Shimon Koffler Fogel, president and CEO of the Center for Israel and Jewish Affairs, said Canadians “should be appalled” by his tweets.
“Canadian Heritage must review its oversight policies to ensure that Canadian taxpayers’ money is provided to groups committed to cherished Canadian values and to the fight against racism, hatred and discrimination,” he said. declared.
© 2022 The Canadian Press