The National Council of Canadian Muslims abruptly canceled a meeting with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Monday, accusing his government of failing to take “concrete action” to protect Palestinians and address hate crimes.
“We no longer believe it is productive to speak to this Prime Minister,” CEO Stephen Brown told a news conference.
“There’s nothing new we can say. It’s all been said before.”
Prime Minister Trudeau did not directly address the cancellation before question period Monday, limiting his comments to the National Day of Action Against Islamophobia. His office later said it had “nothing to add.”
Prime Minister Brown had been scheduled to meet with Prime Minister Trudeau to explore the basics of combating anti-Muslim hatred, but the Prime Minister was unable to confirm the promise Trudeau made to the Muslim community during his 2015 election campaign. He said he declined because he had not fulfilled the requirements to date. To power.
These pledges included strengthening hate crime prosecutions and providing adequate funding for programs and services aimed at preventing hate crimes, such as surveillance cameras at religious institutions.
“It has become clear that the destruction of our lives and safety yields little policy reform,” Brown said. “Our government has failed to push forward with substantive hate crime legislation.”
He said he saw no evidence that Ottawa was prepared to pressure Israel to ease its shelling of the Gaza Strip and Hamas, whose brutal attacks on Israel last October prompted a massive military response. .
“We’re interested in seeing the government take real concrete action to reduce Islamophobia in this country, and we’re interested in seeing the government take real concrete action to stop hostilities in the Middle East. ” said Brown.
He noted that Canada broke with many of its allies last week by refusing to ask Israel to comply with an order set by the International Court of Justice aimed at preventing genocide against Palestinians.
Ottawa has so far said it supports the court, but not necessarily the premise of the case brought by South Africa against Israel.
Trudeau declined to say whether that meant he rejected the lawsuit or whether Ottawa would respect the court’s decision. Mr Brown said this showed the federal Liberals only supported justice for some people.
“They challenged the premise of the case and undermined the international rules-based order and the integrity of the ICJ,” he said.
Prime Minister Trudeau came to power in 2015 promising to end a particularly divisive era in federal politics and introduce a more humane approach to government.
That year’s election campaign coincided with a surge in migration in Europe, punctuated by the tragic death of two-year-old Syrian boy Alan Kurdi. Kurdi’s body washed up on a Turkish beach, further underscoring public dismay over the plight of Syrian refugees. .
Brown said many Muslims have named their children after Trudeau because of his commitment to equality and tolerance.
“We feel that that great promise has now been broken and perhaps beyond repair.”
The group is also concerned about Ottawa’s decision to cut funding to U.N. agencies supporting the Palestinians, pushing back against allegations that their staff were involved in Hamas attacks. I’m holding you.
Ottawa ordered a moratorium on “any additional funding” to the agency, known as UNWRA. The Liberal Party recently said the institution is essential to the survival of the Palestinian people.
The move follows a similar decision in Washington after the agency’s chief fired an employee suspected of being involved in the attack without disclosing what role he played. be.
Brown said it’s important that someone delivers lifesaving aid to Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and supports those facing escalating violence in the West Bank.
Canada will continue to provide funding to the Palestinians through other agencies, including the World Food Program, UNICEF, the World Health Organization, Médecins Sans Frontières and the Canadian charity Humanitarian Federation, International Development Minister Ahmed Hussen said Monday.
“This does not reduce our level of support for Palestinian civilians,” Hussen said.