Liberal candidate Maryam Monsef has experienced a dramatic decline in popularity since her recent blunder when she referred to the terrorist organization the Taliban as “our brothers.”

A Mainstreet Research poll conducted September 1 asked voters in the riding of Peterborough—Kawartha which party they’d vote for if the election were held today. 27.3% selected Monsef while Conservative candidate Michelle Ferreri was chosen by 39.7% of respondents.

Monsef was previously elected in 2016 with 43.8% of the vote and in 2019 with 39.3%.

In a press conference in August, Monsef said, “I want to take this opportunity to speak to our brothers, the Taliban. We call on you to ensure the safe and secure passage of any individuals in Afghanistan out of the country.”

Monsef attempted to do damage control by clarifying that she “doesn’t support the Taliban” and that her “brothers” reference was cultural. “In terms of the terminology, if you go to masjid across the country, Muslims refer to each other as brothers and sisters,” Monsef said. 

Throughout her political career, Monsef has publicly discussed her personal story as a refugee from Afghanistan. Monsef has claimed she fled Taliban violence in Afghanistan with her mother and brother when she was 11. 

“My dad was killed, caught in a crossfire. My uncle was taken from his dormitory one night for speaking up against what was happening politically, never to be seen or heard from again,” she told Global News at the time.

Since the Taliban have taken over Afghanistan, there have been several reports that the terrorist organization is torturing and beating women. There are also reports that the Taliban are executing opponents to their regime.

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