Canada's Diversity Minister Ahmed Hussen announced he would take action against "unacceptable behavior" of senior anti-racism consultant Laith Marouf, whose project received over C$130,000, Canadian media reported Friday.
According to The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA), a group that advocates for Jewish Federations in Canada, Hussen suspended the project and cut its funding.
Who is Laith Marouf and what did he do?
Marouf is an activist based in Beirut who is a senior consultant for the Community Media Advocacy Centre (CMAC), which receives funds of $133,800 Canadian dollars (a little over $103,000 US dollars) from Canada's Department of Canadian Heritage as part of its anti-racism action program.
Essentially, Marouf and CMAC are receiving funds to combat racism in Canadian broadcasting, and Marouf himself is set to go on a six-city tour to help discuss anti-racism with Canadian broadcasters, as explained by Canadian journalist Jonathan Kay.
However, Marouf has also made several controversial tweets, which have since resurfaced.
These tweets are made on his personal account and several of them seemed to be antisemitic in nature.
Specifically, screenshots of his tweets - as his account, @Laith_Marouf, is private and his previous account, @LaithMarouf, seems to have been banned and another account, @MaroufLaith, is also private - containing both quotes and his photo have surfaced over social media.
One has him at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, where he is shown giving the middle finger and writing "wishing it was much bigger with the names of a few million dead corpses of USian dirt baggs (sic)."
Another has him at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, also presenting the middle finger, writing "At the Lincoln Memorial, telling him what I think of his sh**ty colony."
More infamous, however, were his comments made about Jews and Israel.
"You know all those loud mouthed bags of human feces, aka the Jewish White Supremacists; when we liberate Palestine and they have to go back to where they come from, they will return to being low voiced bitches of thier (sic) Christian/Secular White Supremacist Masters," he wrote.
"The Jewish White Supremacist Summit hosted by Apartheid Canada PM @JustinTrudeau, was the brain-child of @IrwinCotler the Grand Wizard of Zionism in this Colony," Marouf tweeted.
Here's what Laith Marouf, the Beirut-based acivist who runs a @CdnHeritage financed "anti racism" program for Canadian broadcasters, has to say about my former boss, Irwin Cotler https://t.co/XLUXGgd7lv pic.twitter.com/eq9C9grjcj— Jonathan Kay (@jonkay) August 19, 2022
Reactions from Canada's diversity minister, Jewish orgs.
Hussen was outraged at this discovery and called the tweets "disturbing."
"Our position is clear — antisemitism and any form of hate have no place in Canada. That is why I have asked Canadian Heritage to look closely at the situation involving disturbing comments made by the individual in question. We will address this with the organization accordingly, as this clearly goes against our government's values," Hussen said, according to the National Post.
Condemnation also came from the Canadian organization the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA).
"Canadian Heritage must review its oversight policies to ensure Canadian tax-payer dollars are provided to groups committed to cherished Canadian values and to combating racism, hate, and discrimination," CIJA president and CEO Shimon Koffler Fogel said.
"The case of anti-racism funding to CMAC is not alone. Canadian Heritage also provides funding to the Muslim Association of Canada, which featured speakers at their annual conference who had proselytized misogynistic, anti-LGBTQ+, antisemitic, and often violent believes – ideologies we believe most Muslim Canadians reject."
Marouf's past antisemitic controversies
This is not the first time Marouf has found himself embroiled in controversy over allegations of antisemitism and anti-Israel activity.
Back in 2002, Marouf was banned from Concordia University for attacking security and spraying anti-Israel graffiti on the campus walls, local media reported at the time.
In June 2020, Marouf also said "If you want to understand the psychosis that is Zionism, examining Netanyahu or AIPAC will get you nowhere. You need to read about Holocaust Porn in Israel, to understand how an oppressed people not only emulate their oppressor, but also fetishize their oppressors and oppressing others."
CIJA praised Hussen's decision to cut funds to and suspend CMAC, stating in a tweet on Tuesday that it is committed to reviewing procedures in order to prevent such groups from receiving public funding in the future.
We are gratified that Min @HonAhmedHussen has cut $ for CMAC & suspended the program.⁰⁰The Min also committed to undertaking a review of all procedures related to program funding & establishing new protocols to ensure this situation doesn’t repeat itself in the future. #cdnpoli pic.twitter.com/E6NTlxUAV3— CIJA (@CIJAinfo) August 22, 2022