The federal government is now denying ever having been consulted by the Wilfrid Laurier University academic who created the controversial “Canadian Muslim Voting Guide” ahead of the 2019 election.
Since October 26th, when the guide was last archived, the government of Canada logo and the logo of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) have been scrubbed from the document.
According to a SSHRC spokesperson, the professor responsible for the guide credited “support” from the SSHRC without their knowledge of the project.
“SSHRC takes the concerns raised seriously and is looking into the situation,” said spokesperson Andrea Matyas.
The guide, which was created by Laurier professor Jasmin Zine with help from graduate students Fatima Chakroun and Shifa Abbas, graded the federal leaders on a number of alleged “issues of importance to the interests of Canadian Muslims”.
According to Zine, Conservative party leader Andrew Scheer failed on all fronts including the M-103 Islamophobia motion, associations with the “far-right”, boycotting Israel and on immigration. Other leaders, including Justin Trudeau, fared much better and the prime minister was even excused for his blackface incident “based on his public stances against Islamophobia and hate while an elected official.”
Several Jewish advocacy groups including B’nai Brith Canada have denounced the guide for advocating the antisemitic practice of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement waged against Israel. In 2016, parliamentarians voted to denounce the BDS movement and called on the government to condemn it.
“It is totally unacceptable that government funds have been used to promote an antisemitic movement in Canada,” said Chief Executive Officer of B’nai Brith Canada, Michael Mostyn.
The SSHRC, who awarded Zine a $24,923 grant, believed that the money was going to go towards a project of “Mapping the Canadian Islamophobia Industry,” and not a guide to influence Muslim voters.