OVER TWO DOZEN OF ALBERTA’S LEADING MOSQUES AND MUSLIM ORGANIZATIONS CALL FOR THE RESIGNATION OF THE CHAIR OF THE ALBERTA HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION
(Edmonton – September 12, 2022)
Today, NCCM and over two dozen of Alberta’s leading Muslim organizations are asking for the resignation of Mr. Collin May as the Chief of the Alberta Human Rights Commission effective immediately.
It was revealed recently that Mr. May wrote a book review in 2009 that many read as casting Islam as an intrinsically violent religion incapable of peaceful coexistence. He cited in his review that: “Islam is not a peaceful religion misused by radicals. Rather, it is one of the most militaristic religions known to man.”
Alberta’s Muslim community extended, notwithstanding the above, an arm to engage with Mr. May so he could reflect on his actions. For the reasons below, it has become clear that Mr. May does not appear to be interested in taking accountability or ownership of his actions.
When this book review came to light, Mr. May committed to engaging with Alberta’s Muslim community. Dates were put forward for Mr. May to meet with the leaders of Alberta’s Muslim community. He declined those dates and displayed even more worrisome behaviour.
As Mr. May promised to engage Alberta’s Muslim leaders to learn and reflect, we have learned that Mr. May also issued demand letters threatening to sue his critics. This is simply unacceptable, and is the primary reason that the demand for his resignation is being sent out today.
“We expect engagement from the Chair of the Alberta Human Rights Commission to be built on good-faith and a focus on ameliorating harms,” said Said Omar, NCCM’s Alberta Advocacy Officer. “Given his actions, leading Alberta Muslim organizations find that Mr. May does not appear to be fit to be the next Chief of the Alberta Human Rights Commission.”
This comes within a particular context. Hate crimes have spiked in Canada. Recent examples dot the province of Alberta: Black Muslim women have been subject to a slew of violent Islamophobic attacks. Islamophobic militia members have been stalking mosques.
The Chair of the Alberta Human Rights Commission carries a high level of responsibility as an ambassador for human rights, dignity, and equality. The position is supposed to help alleviate hateful mistreatment of minorities, not help amplify them at the practical or ideological level.