Monday 15th of April 2024

Federal Government Anti-Hate Envoys Address Escalating Islamophobia and Antisemitism in Canada Amid Israel-Hamas Conflict

Amid the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict, Amira Elghawaby, the special representative on combating Islamophobia, and Deborah Lyons, the federal government's special envoy on preserving Holocaust remembrance and combating antisemitism, emphasize the importance of countering rising hate in Canada through constructive dialogue and educational initiatives. They stress the need for respectful discourse rooted in Canadian values, acknowledging that not everyone may agree. In a recent interview, they discussed urgent actions following incidents like Molotov cocktails found at a synagogue in Montreal and shots fired at Jewish schools. A Senate report on Islamophobia underscores the critical need for immediate action to reverse the disturbing trend of violence and hatred. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expressed deep concern about the alarming rise in antisemitism and Islamophobia, stating that such intolerance is unacceptable in Canada. Lyons, drawing on her diplomatic experience, highlights the impact of hatred on the Jewish community, making them feel unsafe and unsupported. She emphasizes the importance of preventing any erosion of democratic values and openness in Canada, as witnessed in other countries.

In the face of excruciating pain caused by the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict, Amira Elghawaby stresses the importance of uniting around Canada's cherished values. She emphasizes the need to come together despite the challenges. Deborah Lyons, addressing the significance of discussing both antisemitism and Islamophobia, highlights the way forward lies in communities uniting. Acknowledging the enormity of the challenge, Lyons underscores that success is contingent on demonstrating a unified community effort. The conversation between Elghawaby and Lyons, facilitated by Kapelos, delves into these crucial issues. For more insights, you can watch the full discussion in the video player above. Contributing to this report is Stephanie Ha, Senior Producer at CTV's Question Period.

In conclusion, Amira Elghawaby and Deborah Lyons, appointed by the federal government to address rising antisemitism and Islamophobia amid the Israel-Hamas conflict, emphasize the imperative of unity in the face of pain and challenges. Elghawaby underscores the need to lean into Canada's cherished values, while Lyons stresses that the solution lies in communities coming together. Despite the enormity of the challenge, both emphasize that failure is not an option, and success hinges on a collective demonstration of unity within the community. The conversation, skillfully facilitated by Vassy Kapelos, sheds light on the gravity of the issues at hand. As Canada grapples with the disturbing rise in hate, this dialogue serves as a call to action, urging a collaborative effort to uphold democratic values and combat intolerance on all fronts.