Today, the National Council of Canadian Muslims once again are calling for the dropping of Conservative candidate Ghada Melek. Below is their statement on a facebook post:
“We appreciate that all people can change. But when candidates express hateful views, apologies have to be directed towards the communities affected, not towards political parties.
That’s why we are continuing to call for Ghada Melek’s resignation.
Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer stated that if a Conservative candidate has made racist or homophobic comments in the past, he will stand by the candidate as long as they apologize and take responsibility for those comments.
But Ghada Melek’s apology doesn’t take responsibility.
“As a Coptic Christian, I know what my family and friends often endured under Morsi and the Brotherhood, and that passion may have got the best of me at times,” she said in a statement. “While these are almost entirely retweets from more than half a decade ago, I do understand how some of them may be offensive, and I do regret that as well as retweeting them…”
While we of course decry any oppression of the Coptic community in Egypt, no candidate for elected government in Canada should promote utter nonsense against the Muslim community on that basis (like when she blamed “Islamists” for the economic crisis in Detroit)
We would be happy to accept Ghada Melek’s apology when it a) clearly denounces anti-Muslim bigotry and Islamophobia and b) commits to meeting folks from diverse backgrounds to learn more.
An apology where Melek states that some of her retweets “may have been offensive” isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on.
We aren’t asking for much. Asking that a person who is apologizing understands the harm caused, and commits to learning more, should be obvious.
If Ghada Melek can’t commit to doing better, she has no place in standing to be a candidate.
When you share the hateful views of the Clarion Project (which was named by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate organization) it’s time to demonstrate that you’re willing to grow as a person.
Without a real apology, despite giving Ghada Melek numerous opportunities to engage in such a process, we have no choice but to continue to call on Andrew Scheer, alongside other folks in the Muslim Council of Peel and Imam Ibrahim Hindy, to drop Ghada as a candidate.”
On August 4, Circanda posted a story of the initial concerns of NCCM. We countered that with concerns of our own. Our concerns still stand.
NCCM has had ties with CAIR, an American human rights group whose founder Nihad Awad has voiced support for the terror group Hamas.
“Awad publicly declared “I am in support of the Hamas movement,” during a March 1994 symposium at Barry University”
Although they changed their name from CAIR Canada to NCCM in 2013, no apology was forthcoming for CAIR founder’s support for Hamas, there was no removing themselves from any association with the parent group.
“We remain the same organization our constituents and partners have come to rely on to represent a broad and diverse spectrum of Canadian Muslims.”