Canada appoints first Special Representative on Combatting Islamophobia

Amira Elghawaby is Canada’s first Special Representative on Combatting Islamophobia. (Photo courtesy:

In a historic move, Amira Elghawaby has been appointed as the country’s first Special Representative on Combatting Islamophobia.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made the announcement on Thursday.

Elghawaby is described as an award-winning journalist and human rights advocate, and a founding member of the Canadian Anti-Hate Network.

“Diversity truly is one of Canada’s greatest strengths, but for many Muslims, Islamophobia is all too familiar,” Trudeau said in the release. “We need to change that. No one in our country should experience hatred because of their faith.”

He says the appointment of Elghawaby in the new role is an important step in the country’s fight against Islamophobia and hatred in all its forms. 

“I look forward to working with her as we continue building a country where everyone feels safe and respected,” Trudeau said.

Minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion Ahmed Hussen said inclusion is a choice.

“Our government has listened to the lived experiences of Muslim communities from across the country and is taking action in the fight against Islamophobia,” Hussen said in the release. 

“Amira Elghawaby will use her vast knowledge and experience as a human rights advocate to help guide and reinforce Canada’s efforts in addressing anti-Muslim hatred, systemic racism, racial discrimination, and religious intolerance,” he added. 

Hussen said this appointment is a significant step toward building a safer and more inclusive country.

This also comes as the Peel District School Board made history on Thursday, becoming the first board in the country to adopt a strategy to fight Islamophobia. 

The board said the strategy aims at dismantling Islamophobia and affirming the identity of Muslim students.

Muslim students comprise the largest reported faith-based identity at the board, making up about a quarter of its student population, according to a release issued on Thursday.

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