Journalist and activist Amira Elghawaby will fill the post to “serve as a champion, advisor, expert and representative in supporting and strengthening the federal government’s efforts to combat Islamophobia, systemic racism, racial discrimination and religious intolerance,” the prime minister’s office said in a statement.
An active human rights activist, Elghawaby is the head of communications for the Race Relations Foundation of Canada and a columnist for the Toronto Star newspaper, having previously worked for more than a decade at the public broadcaster CBC.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau hailed Elghawaby’s appointment as “an important step in our fight against Islamophobia and hatred in all its forms. Diversity is indeed one of Canada’s greatest strengths, but for many Muslims, Islamophobia is all too familiar”.
Over the past few years, a number of deadly attacks have targeted Canada’s Muslim community. In June 2021, four members of a Muslim family were killed in London, Ontario when a man ran over them with his truck.
Four years earlier, six Muslims died and five were injured in an attack on a mosque in Quebec. In a series of tweets on Thursday, Elghawaby named those killed in the recent attacks and added: “We must never forget.” The creation of the new job was recommended by a national summit on Islamophobia organized by the federal government in June 2021 in response to the attacks.