(OTTAWA, CANADA – 5/31/05) – The Canadian Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-CAN) is pleased to announce that the Canadian Museum for Human Rights will include a Canadian Muslim on its National Advisory Council. The museum, which has received $100 million in funding from the federal government, receives support and advice from a council of 26 prominent Canadians from various ethnic, religious and human rights groups.
Initially, there was not a single representative from the Canadian Muslim community on the committee. However, Gail Asper, the Campaign Chair of Friends of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, has indicated to CAIR-CAN Chair Sheema Khan that Senator Mobina Jaffer will be invited to join the council. In a letter to Ms. Khan in response to her recent op-ed in the Globe and Mail (“We sell the Charter to Muslim Countries – let’s apply it here,” May 4, 2005, http://caircan.ca/oped_more.php?id=1613_0_10_0_M) Ms. Asper wrote, “You have also indeed raised a very serious point regarding the issue of racism against the Muslim community in Canada, especially post-9/11.
It is obviously troubling that discrimination can rear its ugly head so swiftly and that our much-talked-about veneer of civility is really very thin.” “As for not having Muslim or Arab representation on the Museum’s Advisory Council or Board (which is yet to be created) it is an oversight that I believe can be rectified. We do want to be completely inclusive and transparent with the Museum,” wrote Ms. Asper. Ms. Khan says she appreciates Ms. Asper’s effort to correct the situation. “It is vitally important that Canadian Muslims have a voice in this museum so that our contribution to the defence of human rights for all Canadians, as well as the discrimination we have faced in this post-9/11 world, is not overlooked,” Ms. Khan said. “We are very pleased that a Canadian Muslim is being invited to participate in the museum, and we hope that this inclusion will help in addressing the serious human rights issues Canadian Muslims face today. Senator Jaffer, who has been a passionate advocate for human rights in Canada and abroad, is the right person to represent Canadian Muslims in this institution,” she added.
ACTION REQUESTED 1. Please contact the following individuals and thank them for offering to include a Canadian Muslim on the advisory council of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights: Gail Asper Campaign Chair of Friends of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights GAsper@aspergroup.com
COPY your correspondence to: Kim Jasper Communications Director, Asper Foundation firstname.lastname@example.org Charles Coffey Chair of the Advisory Council for the Canadian Museum of Human Rights Executive Vice-President of Government & Community Affairs, RBC Financial Group email@example.com
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