Nobel laureate Nadia Murad has shared her story to raise awareness of ISIS and its genocidal campaign against the Yazidi people (Image courtesy: Twitter/@NadiaMuradBasee)
The Canadian government led by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is once again being accused of bowing down to Islamic fundamentalist groups after Toronto District School Board cancelled a book club event with Nobel laureate Nadia Murad, fearing that it would stoke Islamophobia and hurt the sentiment of minority students.
The event was to feature two authors - prominent Canadian criminal defence lawyer Marie Henein, author of a memoir 'Nothing But the Truth', and Nobel Peace Prize winner Murad, who wrote 'The Last Girl: My Story of Captivity, and My Fight Against the Islamic State'.
Born into a farming family in Iraq's Kojo, Murad belongs to the Yazidi ethnic and religious minority. In 2014, when she was 19 years old, the Islamic State attacked Murad's village and killed 600 Yazidi men, including several of her family members.
Murad and other young women were taken prisoner and subjected to beatings and rape. She managed to escape, however, and make her way to a refugee camp. There she was offered the opportunity to move to Germany, where she now lives.
Since Murad's escape from ISIS captivity, she has shared her story to raise awareness of ISIS and its genocidal campaign against the Yazidi people. In 2018, she won the Nobel Peace Prize with Denis Mukwege and has become a powerful advocate for women in conflict settings and survivors of sexual violence worldwide.
It was this tragic story of hers which Murad, now a United Nations Goodwill Ambassador, would have shared with the the Canadian students. However, before she could do that, the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) decided to call off the event, a move which is now being criticised all over the world.
"For many of us who have followed the mass murder of the Yazidi people of Iraq and have marvelled at the courage of Murad, the TDSB decision came as a shock. It reeked of ignorance and subservience to an Islamist attitude that has infiltrated too many institutions of Canada, especially urban schools where cafeterias have been turned into prayer halls, with gender apartheid on full display," wrote prominent Pakistani-born Canadian journalist Tarek Fatah in the Toronto Sun on Wednesday.
Fatah wrote that the "sword of Islamophobia" now hangs over the heads of most Canadians who wish to keep religion and politics separate and outside the public domain.
It is not for the first time that the Canadian government finds itself in a soup for encouraging extremist elements in the country.
After Trudeau and some of his ministers had commented on the Indian farmers' issues last year, India had categorically told them to refrain from pronouncements that legitimise extremist activism.
The Trudeau government was also slammed for not investigating properly the mysterious death of prominent Balochistan activist Karima Baloch in Toronto, last December.