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Canada School Board Cancels Event With Nobel Laureate Yazidi, Former ISIS Sex Slave Over “Islamophobia” Fears

A Canadian school board recently sparked an uproar after it withdrew its support for an event featuring a Yazidi activist, a former Islamic State (IS) sex slave and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Nadia Murad, fearing that it only promotes “Islamophobia” and “shocks” Muslim students. .

The Toronto District School Board (TDSB) has decided to withdraw a book club event scheduled for February after planning to present a discussion around the memoir of 28-year-old Yazidi activist and Nobel Prize winner Nadia Murad, The last girl: my story of captivity and my fight against the Islamic State, which describes his chilling capture and enslavement by ISIS terrorists in 2014, as well as his daring escape.

The autobiographical work also details the execution of her family as well as the repeated rapes and torture she suffered while being exchanged between militants of the Islamic State.

The reason for the cancellation, according to the board, was that Murad’s book could “promote Islamophobia” and “offend” Muslim students.

The book club Murad was to be featured in was founded by entrepreneur Tanya Lee in 2017 and invites teenage girls from various high schools to discuss books with their authors.

After learning about Murad’s cancellation, Lee, who herself suffered sexual and physical abuse as a child, sent council superintendent Helen Fisher information about ISIS gathered from CNN and the BBC.

“This is what the Islamic State means”, Lee wrote to Fisher. “It is a terrorist organization. It has nothing to do with ordinary Muslims. The TDSB should be aware of the difference.

According to Lee, Fisher did not budge and instead responded by sending a copy of the council’s policies on selecting fair, culturally relevant and appropriate reading material.

Thousands of Yazidis were killed or enslaved when ISIS captured northern Iraq in 2014.

Murad, who was forced into sexual slavery at the age of 21 by ISIS fighters in 2014, has become a Yazidi human rights activist and winner of the award 2018 Nobel Peace Prize.

She is also a United Nations Goodwill Ambassador and a leading advocate for survivors of genocide and sexual violence.

In response to the board’s decision, many expressed shock at the censorship.

In Toronto sun editorial, the advice was accused to be on the “burning books” path with which he differs.

“While Canada’s largest school board has yet to start burning books it disagrees with, it appears to be on the right track to do so,” one read.

“Apparently, the Toronto school board does not know or care that the Islamic State is considered a terrorist organization by Canada, an organization that terrorizes Muslims, especially Muslim girls,” continued the editorial.

Rex Murphy, Canadian Conservative Commentator and Author, accused the TDSB to be “determined to prevent students in its jurisdiction from being exposed to such a real heroine”.

“The equity department feared she might fuel Islamophobia!” he added.

Naomi Buck, a Toronto-based journalist, struck down the board for refusing to recognize Murad’s “extraordinary accomplishments”, while claiming that the event’s cancellation “reflects an anti-learning and anti-curious attitude – an attitude that has no place in education “.

Political commentator Tarek Fatah, a liberal Canadian journalist of Pakistani origin, referred to Murad’s “scandalous censorship” as a “shock”.

“It reeked of ignorance and subjugation to an Islamist attitude that infiltrated too many institutions in Canada,” he added, “especially urban schools where cafeterias have been turned into prayer rooms, with full screen gender apartheid ”.

Warning that the board’s decision is “not just a matter of censorship,” Fatah wrote that the “drumbeat of” Islamophobia “” has made “every concerned citizen fearful of failing. end up with the label of “racist” throughout his life. “

“When Canada’s largest school board submits to the whims of Islamist sensitivities and Nadia Murad is pointed out as a possible contributor to Islamophobia, then rest assured that the dikes have been broken,” he added.

This is not the first time that educational staff have capitulated to the extreme sensitivity of the students.

In May, Following protests by the radical anti-Israel group of students for justice in Palestine (SJP), the chancellor and rector of Rutgers University apologized for a previous condemnation of anti-Semitism, promising to be “more sensitive and balanced” in the future.

“Looking back, it is clear to us that the message failed to communicate support to members of our Palestinian community,” the apology said. “We sincerely apologize for the harm this message has caused.”

Follow Joshua Klein on Twitter @JoshuaKlein

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