School cancels ISIS survivor event for fear of Muslim violations

In an effort to stave off Islamophobia, Canada’s largest school board has proven itself to be Islamophobia. Good job.

According to a report earlier this month in The Globe and Mail, the Toronto District School Board withdrew high school students from a book club event featuring a former Islamic State sex slave.

Nadia Murad, a Nobel Prize-winning activist, is set to appear before A Room of Your Own Book Club next February to discuss her memoir, “The Last Girl: The Story.” My captivity and My War against the Islamic State. ”

The Book Club, organized by Tanya Lee, invites hundreds of teenage girls – many of them from low-income families – to read a book and then discuss it with the author. The club is promoted by educators, including school principals and teachers.

The TDSB said it will pull its students from two events. One is related to the defense attorney for former CBC broadcaster Jian Ghomeshi, who was tried for sexual assault in 2016. The other is related to Murad, with whom the conversation, according to the Director TDSB Helen Fisher, potentially “promoting Islamophobia”.


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What to do involving Ghomeshi’s attorney is an issue that, unless you’ve been following his case closely or are Canadian, can be a bit confusing. The stupidity of withdrawing from an event involving survivors of the Islamic State group sex traffickingHowever, this is obvious to anyone who’s been around a news channel for about a decade.

However, Lee thought that perhaps Fisher needed to be preliminary on the matter, so she sent the director-general with information about the terrorist organization from the BBC and CNN.

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

Or not: “The next day, Ms. Lee said, Ms. Fisher sent her a copy of the board’s policy on selecting fair, culturally appropriate, and responsive reading materials.” Globe and Mail reported.

This is not just a ‘misunderstanding?’

Of course, now there is a “misunderstanding.” There are always misunderstandings in situations like this, right? When the Globe and Mail contacted Fisher, she said TDSB spokesman Ryan Bird responded to the email.

“An opinion that does not reflect the views of the Toronto School Board was shared with the book club organizer before staff had a chance to read the books – something often done before giving them to the public. the student. Staff are currently reading both books and are expected to be able to add them to the list of titles used in the respective course(s),’ a statement from the TDSB said, according to UK Telegraph.

“We sincerely apologize to both of you [Ghomeshi attorney Marie] Henein and Ms. Murad – both have powerful stories to tell and from there we believe students will learn a lot. ”

Bird, meanwhile, told the Globe and Mail “there seems to have been a misunderstanding, as the equity department doesn’t review and approve books for book clubs.”

He added that the book is currently under review “and we hope to be able to approve it in the near future.”


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However, as reported by the Telegraph on Wednesday, Lee said the TDSB had not allowed students to attend Islamic State Group survivor talk.

“The book club event for ‘A Room Of Your Own Book Club’ with Nadia Murad will take place across Canada in February. TDSB has not committed to allowing their students to attend. This is unfortunate for all involved. A great loss to the students, community and educators at TDSB,” she said in an email.

“School boards withdrawing their support means they don’t put their students first – only their management. Nadia Murad is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning author and human rights activist. We have so much to learn from her about the Triumph of the Human Spirit, Will and Ability to Help Others Through Tragedy. Nadia and her activism are an example to all of us in all societies around the world.”

This is hardly a misunderstanding. The assumption that the talk will “promote Islamophobia” implies a combination of Islam and Islamic State Group, which is itself a form of Islamophobia.

If the high school students invited to the event were too young to remember the Islamic State group as it holds a swath of territory across the Middle East, then Murad and others can (and assume they will) easily explain how divorce from the Muslim mainstream is a terrorist group. It is neither difficult nor nuanced; If the BBC and CNN can do it, rest assured, a Nobel Prize-winning activist and author can.

Instead, the problem seems to have stemmed from the book club putting the school board in the uncomfortable position of acknowledging the real threat of extremism and terrorism – and then had to return to the original position because of negative public opinion.

C. Douglas Golden is a writer who divides his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he has been writing for the Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.

C. Douglas Golden is a writer who divides his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he has been writing for the Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Outside of politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially story fiction. British painting and modern Japanese lighting), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (both America and the world).

Place of birth

Morristown, New Jersey


Catholic University of America

Spoken language

English, Spanish

Professional topics

American Politics, World Politics, Culture School cancels ISIS survivor event for fear of Muslim violations

Huynh Nguyen

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