January 31, 2023

Statement on the Appointment of Amira Elghawaby as Special Representative to Combat Islamaphobia

I am proud of our government's appointment of Amira Elghawabhy as the first ever special representative to combat Islamophobia. Amira’s appointment sends a strong message that our government is commied to promoting equality and inclusion for all Canadians, regardless of their faith or background.

Unfortunately, the reaction to this appointment and the rush to judgment by some is indicative of the deep-seated issues of racism and prejudice that still exist in our society—even among our elected representatives. For too long, racialized Canadians, particularly racialized women, have been treated as second-class citizens, facing inequality in opportunities and harassment in the workplace. This is a multi-generational struggle. My own family has experienced the hardships and injustices of being racialized in Canada. Not long ago, wearing a Sikh dastar meant you couldn’t drive a taxi or join the police force here in Calgary.

Despite the challenges, progress is possible. But it requires all of us to stand up against hate and bigotry. Our country is diverse and is held up as a global example of equity and opportunity. I have no intention of turning a blind eye to the bigots who threaten that legacy. I stand with Amira Elghawabhy and all those who are working to create a beer and more inclusive future for all Canadians


George Chahal, M.P.

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