Earlier this year, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government gave the anti-racism advocacy group Community Media Advocacy Center a sizable taxpayer-funded grant. The money was intended for CMAC to build an anti-racism strategy for Canadian broadcasting. Mid-August revelations about views expressed online by the group’s chief consultant, Laith Marouf, indicated that CMAC was not only ill-equipped to combat racism, but unable to contain its own.
Marouf, a Palestinian-Syrian activist, has a history of well-documented anti-Semitic and anti-Zionist comments, particularly on his now-locked Twitter account, for which the bio reads: “Decolonizing the media since 1999.”
One of his tweets said: “You know all those loud mouthed bags of human feces, aka the Jewish White Supremacists; when we liberate Palestine and they have to go back to where they come from, they will return to being low voiced bitches of thier [sic] Christian/Secular White Supremacist Masters.”
On June 16, he tweeted: “The Palestinian offer of peace to Zionists, is the same offer Saladin gave to Crusaders … Fight us and you will die. Simple, just, and uncompromising.”
In a July 17, 2021 post, Marouf wrote: “Life is too short for shoes with laces, or for entertaining Jewish White Supremacists with anything but a bullet to the head.”
Marouf’s articulations of hatred online were not limited to Jewish people.
In a posting on July 8, 2022, he attacked French Canadians, writing: “French Frogs are very tasty roasted. Go back to your franco gutter.”
Stephen Ellis, Marouf’s lawyer, suggested that his client does not harbor “any animus toward the Jewish faith as a collective group,” and claimed further that “the tweets reflect a frustration with the reality of Israeli apartheid and a Canadian government which collaborates with it.”
Trudeau’s Minister of Diversity and Inclusion Ahmed Hussen announced on August 22 that the government contract conferred on CMAC had been suspended.
In an effort to shield the Trudeau government from blame, Hussen suggested CMAC had to answer for having hired Marouf. “We call on CMAC, an organization claiming to fight racism and hate in Canada, to answer how they came to hire Laith Marouf, and how they plan on rectifying the situation given the nature of his antisemitic and xenophobic comments.”
Shimon Koffler Fogel, CEO of the Center for Israel and Jewish Affairs, lauded the termination of the contract and suggested that it was horrifying that “an individual with a history of making outrageous and hateful statements on social media is a consultant being paid using funds from the Anti-Racism Action Program.”
This week, former Liberal MP Michael Levitt castigated the Liberal party for not uniformly “taking a stand against antisemitism … Jewish MPs shouldn’t be left to call this out alone.”
Despite their initiatives combatting hatred and discrimination, Trudeau and his government have themselves proved inconsistent.
Numerous photographs emerged of an adult Trudeau dressed in blackface in 2019. In one of the apologies he made (as the release of multiple photos was staggered), Trudeau acknowledged the action was “racist.”
— True North (@True North)
In March, Trudeau’s deputy prime minister is alleged to have hoisted a red and black symbol associated with the Ukrainian Insurgent army, a nationalist group active during the Second World War responsible for killing thousands of Jews and approximately 100,000 Poles.
In response to the vandalism and torching of over 68 Christian churches in Canada last summer and amid calls from the executive director of the BC Civil Liberties Association to “burn it all down,” Trudeau stated: “I understand the anger that’s out there against the federal government, against institutions like the Catholic church; it is real and it is fully understandable.”
On Wednesday, Canadian political commentator Rex Murphy highlighted the Liberals’ inconsistency, particularly Trudeau’s. He compared the prime minister’s outrage at his deputy prime minister being called a traitor to Trudeau’s lack of outrage regarding this incident: “Could it be that in the imperial halls of our present government, the attitude of ‘the Jews are used to it’ serves as a screen for lassitude toward antisemitism? That a foul word against a cabinet minister calls out the trumpets, but subsidies to an antisemitic “anti-racism” consultant requires no flood of denunciation at all?”