A petition calling on a member of Parliament to rescind an honour she bestowed on an activist who led a rally that was “laden with hate-filled and anti-Semitic slogans” has garnered 2,000 signatures to date.
B’nai Brith Canada started the petition demanding that Mississauga-Erin Mills Liberal MP Iqra Khalid rescind a Certificate of Appreciation that she presented last week to Amin El-Maoued, the public relations chief of Palestine House, a cultural centre in Mississauga, Ont.
The former Conservative government pulled federal funding from Palestine House in 2012, because of its pattern of support for terrorism and extremism.
On Aug. 10, El-Maoued posted a photo on Facebook of himself and Khalid holding the certificate, with a caption saying, “it is always a pleasure to volunteer for the community.”
Khalid should also apologize for her “insensitive and dangerous actions,” B’nai Brith said.
B’nai Brith says El-Maoued led a rally last November in Mississauga’s Celebration Square, where protesters “called for the destruction of Israel.” According to B’nai Brith, with young children in attendance, protestors chanted, “Oh youth, join him, join him – the martyr has sacrificed his blood!”
B’nai Brith also alleges that El-Maoued was investigated by Peel Regional Police for chanting anti-Semitic slogans at a July 2017 rally in Mississauga, where young children were filmed shouting, “Israel and Hitler are the same,” and others chanted, “With our souls, with our blood, we shall redeem Al-Aqsa (Jerusalem)!”
In an Aug. 14 letter to Khalid, B’nai Brith CEO Michael Mostyn said that it’s “not only disappointing, but frightening that you would see fit to reward (El-Maoued’s) dalliances with anti-Semitic discourse and incitement, while simultaneously ostensibly working to eliminate all forms of discrimination in Canada.
Presenting El-Maoued with official recognition on behalf of the Canadian government both sanitizes and normalizes the anti-Semitic rhetoric and attitudes that he has purveyed and facilitated.
– Michael Mostyn
“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 anti-Semitic rhetoric and attitudes that he has purveyed and facilitated.… Anti-Semites, racists and bigots of all sorts do not merit any recognition from the Canadian government or its elected officials.”
Khalid is best known for introducing motion M-103 in the House of Commons. It condemned Islamophobia “and all forms of systemic racism and religious discrimination,” and was approved in March 2017. Khalid has received a steady stream of hate mail and death threats ever since.
In April, Khalid presented El-Maoued with another federal award at a Mississauga event, according to B’nai Brith. In his letter to Khalid, Mostyn wrote that B’nai Brith is “shocked” that El-Maoued has 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.”
Khalid did not immediately respond to a request for comment.