Jewish group CIJA says Trudeau made ‘unfortunate’ comparison in speech

CIJA’s defence of the Government’s rather mixed messaging on Canadian Muslims rather than acknowledging some of the uncomfortable if imperfect parallels made in Trudeau’s speech:

In a written statement, Fogel said that Trudeau was raising a concern about a “growing atmosphere of Islamaphobia in Canada and around the world, the unfair result of violent, extreme acts of terrorism committed by a minority within the Muslim community.

“We share the belief that as Canadians, we must be vigilant and not allow prejudice and racism to take root in our society. It represents an important message, one all Canadians should heed.”

However, Fogel writes that Trudeau made an “unfortunate” comparison to the “none is too many” policy that has distracted from his “important message.”

“We view this comparison as inaccurate and inappropriate, and we will communicate that sentiment to Mr. Trudeau’s office.

“Canada’s decision to restrict Jewish immigration prior to the Holocaust was the product of an era in which Jews faced extensive social and institutional discrimination in Canada,” writes Fogel.

“Jewish Canadians were subject to quotas restricting admission to university programs, as well as outright bans from numerous social clubs and corporations. Signs in public parks went so far as to declare: ‘No dogs or Jews allowed.’”

By comparison, Fogel said that discrimination today is “rightly countered – rather than fostered – by the vast majority of Canadians.”

“This includes discrimination experienced by Muslims who, like all minority groups, unfortunately face a degree of prejudice from some elements of Canadian society. When it comes to racism and bigotry in Canada, there is little to compare between 1939 and 2015.”

Fogel writes that the federal government has consistently distinguished between “marginal, extreme, terrorist elements of the Muslim community and the broader Muslim community.”

Jewish group says Trudeau made ‘unfortunate’ comparison in speech.

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

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