Trudeau's anti-racism program fails after funding anti-Semitic organization

The government allocated approximately $133,800 to an organization whose main leader was accused of being an anti-Semite and racist.

Earlier this year Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's government awarded a major taxpayer-funded grant to fight racism. A few weeks ago, various media outlets branded the plan a "failure" after its main promoter was exposed as an anti-Semite.

The money was allocatd to the Community Media Advocacy Center (CMAC), which is in charge of developing a strategy to combat racism in Canadian broadcasting. In mid-August, revelations of anti-Semitic views expressed on the Internet by the group's chief consultant, Laith Marouf, made it clear that CMAC could not fulfill that role.

Money poorly invested

Laith Marouf is a Palestinian-Syrian activist who is listed as the head of the non-profit organization with an anti-racist stance. The federal government granted the group $133,800 to support its work. However, the long history of well-documented anti-Semitic and anti-Zionist comments on the main spokesperson's now-blocked Twitter account sparked international controversy and discontent. One of his tweets read:

"You know all those sacks of human feces with their mouths full, also known as the Jewish white supremacists; when we liberate Palestine and they have to go back to where they came from, they will go back to being soft-spoken bitches of their Christian/secular white supremacist masters."

Marouf's hate speech on the Internet was not limited just to Jews. On a post from July 8, 2022, he attacked French Canadians by saying, "French frogs are very tasty roasted. Go back to your French gutter."

Marouf's lawyer, Stephen Ellis, suggested that his client holds "no animus towards the Jewish faith as a collective group," and further stated that "the tweets reflect a frustration with the reality of Israeli apartheid and a Canadian government that collaborates with it."

Government response

Canada's Minister of Diversity and Inclusion, Ahmed Hussen, announced on August 22 that the government contract awarded to CMAC had been suspended. In an effort to shield Trudeu and his leadership from blame, Hussen suggested that the organization needed to explain themselves for hiring Marouf:

We call on CMAC, an organization that claims to fight racism and hate in Canada, to answer how it came to hire Laith Marouf, and how it intends to rectify the situation given the nature of his anti-Semitic and xenophobic comments.

Nevertheless, the government's efforts to try to restore its image always seem to end in controversy. Numerous photographs of the adult Prime Minister Trudeau dressed in black surfaced in 2019. In one of the apologies he issued, Trudeau acknowledged that the action was racist and took full responsibility for it.

"Understandable" fires in 68 Christian churches

In addition, in response to vandalism and the burning of more than 68 Christian churches in Canada last summer and in the midst of the calls to "burn it all down," Trudeau stated,"I understand the anger against the federal government, against institutions such as the Catholic Church; it is real and is totally understandable.

All these comments have caused that despite its initiatives to fight hate and discrimination, the current Canadian government has been described as incoherent on many occasions.