Warning: This story contains language that may be offensive
The Liberal government has cut funding for an anti-racism group and suspended work on a project it was running after a member of the group made antisemitic remarks in a social media post.
“Antisemitism has no place in this country. The antisemitic comments made by Laith Marouf are reprehensible and vile,” Housing, Diversity and Inclusion Minister Ahmed Hussen said in a statement posted on Twitter Monday.
“We have provided notice to the Community Media Advocacy Centre (CMAC) that their funding has been cut and their project has been suspended.”
Marouf, a senior consultant on an anti-racism project that received $133,000 from the federal government, posted the controversial remarks on his Twitter account. The account is private but a screenshot of the post showed a number of tweets with his photo and name.
One tweet 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 [their] Christian/Secular White Supremacist Masters.”
Last year, the Community Media Advocacy Centre (CMAC) received a $133,800 Department of Canadian Heritage grant to build an anti-racism strategy for Canadian broadcasting.
Marouf is listed as a senior consultant on CMAC’s website and is quoted saying that CMAC is “excited to launch” the “Building an Anti-Racism Strategy for Canadian Broadcasting: Conversation & Convergence Initiative” with funding support from Heritage’s anti-racism action program.
He expressed gratitude to “Canadian Heritage for their partnership and trust imposed on us,” saying that CMAC commits to “ensuring the successful and responsible execution of the project.”
Marouf is not antisemitic, says lawyer
In Hussen’s statement, he called on CMAC to explain how it came to hire Marouf and how it plans to rectify the damage caused by his “antisemitic and xenophobic statements.”
“We look forward to a proper response on their next steps and clear accountability regarding this matter,” he said.
The Canadian Press reported last week that a lawyer acting for Marouf asked for his client’s tweets to be quoted “verbatim” and distinguished between Marouf’s “clear reference to ‘Jewish white supremacists”‘ and Jews or Jewish people in general.
Marouf does not harbour “any animus toward the Jewish faith as a collective group,” lawyer Stephen Ellis said in an email.