Federal appointee to race relations board under scrutiny for writings on Islam
By Stephanie Levitz
The Canadian Press | August 21, 2017
A board member with the Canadian Race Relations Foundation, an arms-length federal government agency with a mandate to combat racial discrimination, is in jeopardy of losing her post over her writings on the controversial website Jihad Watch.
Christine Douglass-Williams has been writing for the site almost since she was appointed to the foundation’s board in 2012.
But multiple sources have told The Canadian Press that the government is reviewing that appointment in the wake of an essay that appeared on the site in May.
The post, entitled, « Christine Williams: My personal warning to Icelanders, » was based on a visit Douglass-Williams paid to the country alongside Jihad Watch founder and U.S. academic Robert Spencer earlier this year.
Concerns over Douglass-Williams’s views
In it, Douglass-Williams warns that Icelanders are being duped by seemingly moderate Muslims who deceive people into believing they are harmless, and writes that if Muslims truly had nothing to hide, they’d allow police to conduct surveillance in their mosques.
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No place on the foundations board
Douglass-Williams picked up on similar themes in a March 2017 post about a controversial House of Commons motion that called « on the government of Canada to condemn Islamophobia in Canada and all forms of systemic racism and religious discrimination. »
Douglass-Williams accused the Liberal MP who sponsored the motion of being part of a broader plot when she insisted on including the word Islamophobia in the text, as opposed to other suggested phrases like « anti-Muslim bigotry. »
In a statement, the National Council of Canadian Muslims said anyone with such views has no place on the foundation’s board.
« For a federal appointee to be writing for hateful websites, denying the existence of Islamophobia and calling for the violation of fundamental rights and freedoms of a minority community is contrary to everything the Canada Race Relations Foundation stands for and to the values enshrined in the charter, » Amira Elghawaby said in a statement.
« We are confident that the federal government will take appropriate action with respect to this matter. »