Justice Minister Tyler Shandro asks Alberta Human Rights Commission chief to resign

Attorney General Tyler Shandro has asked the head of the Alberta Human Rights Commission, Collin May, to resign, in response to concerns raised by more than two dozen Muslim organisations.

In July, May exploded after the reappearance of a 2009 book review that he wrote that critics said highlighted taboo ideas about Islam.

In response, May said in a statement he is committed to meeting Alberta’s Muslim community “to learn more about their experiences living in Alberta and work towards redressing discrimination against the community.” muslims.”

However, one open letter signed by 28 Muslim organizations based in Alberta announced the allegation on Monday that Mrs May had failed to meet Muslim leaders.

“On receipt of the letter, Secretary Shandro asked Mr. May for an explanation,” Shandro’s press secretary Joseph Dow said in an emailed statement. “After reviewing the explanation, Minister Shandro asked Mr. May to resign.”

The CBC requested an interview with May or a representative of the Alberta Human Rights Commission on Monday but did not receive a response. The committee told the CBC in July that its policy mandate prevents a chief from giving media interviews to maintain neutrality.

A spokesman for the National Council of Muslims of Canada Said Omar said that after May pledged to work with the community, Muslim leaders proposed a date to meet with Mrs May, but he declined. .

May never accommodate their request that he suggest a date that works for him, Omar said.

After the initial controversies, the NCCM also learned that May had sent letters threatening legal action, Omar said.

Omar declined to share who received the legal letter from May, but confirmed that neither the NCCM nor any of the signatories of the open letter received the letter.

CBC received a letter threatening legal action in May regarding an article published July 16 about the book review controversy.

The open letter called May’s actions “unacceptable.”

“At a time when brazen attacks against Muslims in Alberta are on the rise, specifically targeting black Muslim women who wear headscarves, Mr. May’s decision threatens to sue those criticizing herself, while also offering to reach out to Alberta’s Muslim communities, is extraordinary and shocking.” the letter states.

May, an attorney in Calgary, began her new five-year director role in July after serving on the committee since 2019.

Soon after, he was criticized for a review by British-Israeli historian Efraim Karsh’s Islamic Imperialism: A History.

In her review, Mrs May emphasized Karsh’s anti-Muslim stance that Islam is inherently militaristic.

“[Karsh] defying the multicultural illusion regarding peaceful Islam and getting to the heart of the matter. Islam is not a peaceful religion abused by radicals. Rather, it is one of the most militaristic religions known to man, and it is this militaristic legacy that informs the actions of extremists throughout the Muslim world,” May wrote in the article. its 2009 review.

In an interview in July, Omar explained that understanding of Islam is incorrect and that it is not the view of most Muslims, if any.

The Alberta Human Rights Commission is an independent commission established by the Government of Alberta. Its directors and staff handle complaints brought under the Alberta Human Rights Act.

May’s role, as director of the commission, is to review appeals against the director’s decisions and appoint members of the committee to serve in human rights courts. The head is also responsible for keeping the Attorney General informed on human rights issues and providing guidance to the director and other members of the committee.

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