Aug. 15, 2018
By Daniel Koren
Manager, Media Relations & Communications
B’nai Brith Canada
MISSISSAUGA, Ont. – A Member of Parliament with a checkered history has added to her list of controversies by presenting a Certificate of Appreciation to an activist who led a rally laden with hate-filled and antisemitic slogans, B’nai Brith Canada has learned.
Consequently, B’nai Brith is launching a petition demanding that Mississauga-Erin Mills MP Iqra Khalid rescind the certificate and apologize to Canadians for her insensitive and dangerous actions.
Last Friday, Amin El-Maoued, Public Relations Chief of Palestine House (which lost its federal funding in 2012 because of its “pattern of support for extremism”), posted a photo of Khalid and himself holding up the certificate at an annual Volunteer Appreciation Dinner.
El-Maoued wrote that he was “honoured” to receive the award from the Federal Government of Canada.
B’nai Brith has specifically warned Khalid in the past of associating with the purveyors of antisemitism in the political sphere. On Tuesday, CEO Michael Mostyn sent a strongly worded letter to Khalid insisting she withdraw the certificate.
“It is not only disappointing, but frightening that you would see fit to reward his dalliances with antisemitic discourse and incitement, while simultaneously ostensibly working to eliminate all forms of discrimination in Canada,” Mostyn wrote.
“There is simply no reconciling these two worlds. Presenting El-Maoued with official recognition on behalf of the Canadian government both sanitizes and normalizes the antisemitic rhetoric and attitudes that he has purveyed and facilitated. Antisemites, racists, and bigots of all sorts do not merit any recognition from the Canadian government or its elected officials.”
Khalid has not replied to Mostyn’s letter.
Khalid is best known for introducing M-103 to the House of Commons, as part of a bid to “condemn Islamophobia and all forms of systemic racism and religious discrimination.” El-Maoued was investigated by Peel Regional Police for chanting antisemitic slogans at a July 2017 rally in Mississauga. At the same rally, young children were filmed shouting, “Israel and Hitler are the same,” while others in attendance chanted, “With our souls, with our blood, we shall redeem al- Aqsa!”
This is not the first time Khalid has recognized El-Maoued for his volunteerism as a member of “#TeamIqra.”
Volunteers are the backbone of any social cause and public service. I’m blessed to have the support and love of so many phenomenal people! Thank you #teamIqra for your hard work and dedication to building and strengthening our beautiful riding of #MississaugaErinMills #withmyMP pic.twitter.com/z9lgQXRWD4
— Iqra Khalid ???????? (@iamIqraKhalid) August 11, 2018
In January, Khalid was the host of a birthday party in his honour at her home, as documented in B’nai Brith’s 2017 Annual Audit of Antisemitic Incidents. Then, in April, she presented El-Maoued with an award at a Mississauga event, prompting several MPs to publicly question her actions in Parliament. Khalid responded that she was proud of the work she has done in “tackling issues of discrimination… including antisemitism.”
In his letter to Khalid, Mostyn wrote that B’nai Brith is “shocked” with the MP’s continued public admiration of El-Maoued.
“We expect far better judgment from our elected officials and are shocked that this man received not one, but two, separate certificates from the highest level of government, despite being the antithesis of what our government—and country—should stand for,” he wrote.
“It was my hope that you would sincerely consider our words and take a principled stand against antisemitism, rather than taking the opposite path of feting Mr. El-Maoued and lavishing him with undeserved praise.”