Following multiple recent attacks on Muslims in the nation, Canada on Thursday designated its first special representative to combat Islamophobia.
According to a statement from the prime minister’s office, journalist and activist Amira Elghawaby will take up the position to “serve as a champion, advisor, expert and representative to support and enhance the federal government’s efforts in the fight against Islamophobia, systemic racism, racial discrimination, and religious intolerance.”
An active human rights campaigner, Elghawaby is the communications head for the Canadian Race Relations Foundation and a columnist for the Toronto Star newspaper, having previously worked for more than a decade at public broadcaster CBC.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau praised Elghawaby’s appointment as “an important step in our fight against Islamophobia and hatred in all its forms.”
“Diversity truly is one of Canada’s greatest strengths, but for many Muslims, Islamophobia is all too familiar,” he added.
The Muslim community in Canada has been the subject of a string of horrific attacks over the past few years.
In London, Ontario, a man ran over four members of a Muslim family with his truck in June 2021, resulting in their deaths.
Six Muslims lost their lives and five others were hurt in an attack on a mosque in Quebec City four years prior.
Elghawaby recounted the names of those slain in the recent attacks in a series of tweets he sent out on Thursday, concluding, “We must never forget.”
The creation of the new job had been recommended by a national summit on Islamophobia organized by the federal government in June 2021 in response to the attacks.