‘Powerful tools of White Supremacy’: Embattled anti-racism group speaks out to supporters

Their website is certainly on the extreme woke side, with no information on the board of directors or consultants (which may have been scrubbed following the justified criticism of its orientation and tweets of Marouf).

Hard to understand how their public website info didn’t raise any flags, even if Marouf’s racist tweets were not known:

The organization embroiled in a scandal after receiving a $133,000 government contract for an anti-racism project, even though one of its founders had sent a slew of bigoted tweets, has finally spoken out, issuing an email to supporters that says “online and mainstream media are powerful tools of White Supremacy.”

In the email, the Community Media Advocacy Centre (CMAC) says it received a letter from the Department of Canadian Heritage suspending the anti-racism project for the broadcasting sector they had been working on.

It marks the first time CMAC has spoken publicly about the scandal.

The scandal first broke last week when The Canadian Press reported on a series of anti-Semitic tweets from Laith Marouf, a senior consultant with CMAC. At the time, Ahmed Hussen, the minister of diversity, inclusion and youth, said the government would “look closely at the situation involving disturbing comments made by the individual in question.”

Still, months earlier, in April 2022, when the project was announced, Hussen praised it in a press release: “In Canada, diversity is a fact, but inclusion is a choice. Our government is proud to contribute to the initiative,” Hussen said.

While Marouf’s tweets are private, The Canadian Press reported on screenshots. One such 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 thier Christian/Secular White Supremacist Masters.”

Marouf’s lawyer, Stephen Ellis, asked that The Canadian Press quote Marouf’s tweets “verbatim,” and said there was a difference 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,” The Canadian Press reported.

By Monday, Hussen announced the government had cut funding to the CMAC project.

“The antisemitic statements made by Laith Marouf are reprehensible and vile,” Hussen said in a statement posted to Twitter. “We call on CMAC, an organization claiming to fight racism and hate in Canada, to answer to how they came to hire Laith Marouf, and how they plan on rectifying the situation given the nature of his antisemitic and xenophobic statements.”

Then, Anthony Housefather, a Liberal member of Parliament, said he had warned Hussen about Marouf’s statements prior to the media catching wind of them.

“I said the contract had to be cancelled. I alerted him and I persistently communicated with the minister in his office, from the day I learned about it, until today, and aggressively demanded that action be taken,” Housefather told the National Post. “Action could have been taken more quickly.”

Housefather also said there needs to be a “thorough review in the department of Heritage as to how this happened” and processes need to be put in place to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

Friday’s statement does not address the questions raised by Housefather or Hussen.

“From Turtle Island to Palestine, CMAC continues to see the need for an anti-racism strategy for broadcasting that disrupts settler-colonialism and oppression in the media,” it said.

The email also urges patience on the part of organizers for events across Canada, and said it would be suspending events for the time being while it considers how to respond to Canadian Heritage.

Marouf has a long history of edgy tweets: He has claimed Israel was the creation of “White Jews who adopted Nazism,” and said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is the head of an “Apartheid” colony.

Irwin Cotler — a Jewish-Canadian and former Liberal justice minister — was called the “Grand Wizard of Zionism” and a man who “looks like a d–k without makeup.” In 2021, Marouf said “Jewish White Supremacists” deserve only a “bullet to the head.”

Source: ‘Powerful tools of White Supremacy’: Embattled anti-racism group speaks out to supporters 

Liberal government cuts funding, suspends anti-racism group’s project after tweets

Should never have happened.

Officials need to do a better job in G&C applications vetting, including social media of the organization and key staff to reduce future risks:

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.

The Liberal government has cut funding to an outside group it hired to deliver anti-racism training after it was discovered that one of the group’s leaders made antisemitic remarks in social media posts.

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.

Source: Liberal government cuts funding, suspends anti-racism group’s project after tweets

Lilley of the Toronto Sun:

At noon Monday, Diversity Minister Ahmed Hussen tweeted out that he was cutting the funding from the Community Media Advocacy Centre.

The Montreal based group received a $133,822 grant last September for a program called Building an Anti-Racism Strategy for Canadian Broadcasting. It had already held workshops in Vancouver, Montreal and Halifax with events still scheduled for Calgary, Winnipeg and Ottawa.

A major problem, though, were the comments from the man leading these sessions, Laith Marouf. He has called “Jewish White Supremacists” “bags of human feces,” said that French is an ugly language, and that “Frogs have much less IQ.” He once called Colin Powell the “Jamaican house slave of the Empire.”

Marouf’s lawyer said that Marouf does not have “any animus toward the Jewish faith as a collective group” and said his tweets made a clear distinction between “Jewish White Supremacists” and Jews in general.  But that explanation is difficult to accept.

That’s not the kind of person who should be lecturing another human being on racism.

“The anti-Semitic comments made by Laith Marouf are reprehensible and vile,” Hussen said in a statement.

“We have provided notice to the Community Media Advocacy Centre (CMAC) that their funding has been cut and their project has been suspended.”

Hussen called on CMAC to explain how they came to hire Marouf, given that the group is supposed to be about fighting racism and hate while Marouf’s comments were “anti-Semitic and xenophobic.” The minister should be pushing CMAC to answer those questions, but he has to answer many himself.

How did this group and Marouf get funding in the first place?

How could Hussen end up being quoted in an April press release with Marouf when a simple search would have turned up many of his vile comments?

Will anyone be held accountable for this?

We used to have ministerial accountability in our government; ministers would resign when their departments messed up. There’s no doubt that the government did mess up, not just Hussen’s department, but also Canadian Heritage which approved the grant.

Speaking to government insiders to get a sense of how this came to be shows a series of missteps across four different ministers, two departments and many months. The grant was approved last September as Canada was in the middle of a federal election.

The grant had been making its way through the system at Heritage Canada which was then overseen by then-minister Steven Guilbeault. While the grant was funded by Heritage, it was handed out by the Minister of Diversity, Inclusion and Youth which at that time was Bardish Chagger.

By the time the government got around to actually handing out the money and making and making an announcement, Pablo Rodriguez was the minister at Heritage and Hussen had taken over the diversity file. It appears that the vetting process wasn’t fully followed because the people in charge assumed others had or would do the vetting required.

On the one hand, I am tempted to cut the government some slack because their contract was with CMAC, not Larouf, but he’s been with them for years. This was not a new hire; he’s featured on their website and was likely central to their application.

According to government sources, had the contract been directly with Marouf, he could have been fired immediately. Since the contract was with CMAC, the government had legal advice they had to follow before the contract could be terminated.

There is now an internal review to see how this happened, and the government is looking at their options, including whether any funding can be recovered from the group.

They should be reviewing the entire anti-racism training industry they are supporting. As I’ve written previously, it appears to a sham.

It took the Trudeau government longer than it should have to fix their mistake, but at least they are fixing it.

Source: LILLEY: Firing anti-racism group took too long given trainer’s racist comments

Feds probe ‘disturbing’ tweets by consultant on government-funded anti-racism project

One of the things I learned when working under the Conservative government was to ensure we checked social media posts of those in leadership positions in groups applying for G&C funding. We learned this the hard way when political staffers would flag particularly egregious or overly ideological postings, thus removing the proposal from being considered.

And of course, this needs to be applied broadly and consistently across organizations and funding requests:

The federal diversity minister says he’s taking action over “disturbing” tweets by a senior consultant on an anti-racism project that received $133,000 from his department.

Ahmed Hussen has asked Canadian Heritage to “look closely at the situation” after what he called “unacceptable behaviour” by Laith Marouf, a senior consultant involved in the government-funded project to combat racism in broadcasting.

Marouf’s Twitter account is private but a screenshot posted online shows 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 thier (sic) Christian/Secular White Supremacist Masters.”

Marouf declined requests for comment, but when asked about the tweet, 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.

Last year, the Community Media Advocacy Centre received a $133,800 Heritage Department 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.”

Hussen, who is based in the Heritage Department, said in a statement: “We condemn this unacceptable behaviour by an individual working in an organization dedicated to fighting racism and discrimination.”

“Our position is clear — antisemitism and any form of hate have no place in Canada. That is why I have asked Canadian Heritage to look closely at the situation involving disturbing comments made by the individual in question. We will address this with the organization accordingly, as this clearly goes against our government’s values,” Hussen added.

CMAC did not respond to a request for comment.

Irwin Cotler, a former Liberal justice minister who was appointed as Canada’s special envoy on antisemitism by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, said Marouf’s tweet referring to “loud mouthed bags of human feces” was “beyond the pale.”

Cotler said he plans to speak to officials working in the Heritage department on combating racism about the issue.

Shimon Koffler Fogel, president and CEO of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, said Canadians “should be appalled” by his tweets.

“Canadian Heritage must review its oversight policies to ensure Canadian taxpayer dollars are provided to groups committed to cherished Canadian values and to combating racism, hate, and discrimination,” he said.

Source: Feds probe ‘disturbing’ tweets by consultant on government-funded anti-racism project