Arab Group Exec Quits After Online Tirade

Brett Clarkson and Joe Warmington, Toronto Sun, July 2, 2009

The Canadian Arab Federation moved to distance itself from one of its own executives who resigned yesterday after he apparently posted “F– Canada Day” on his Facebook page, called Canada a “genocidal state,” and said he “couldn’t be more ashamed to be Canadian.”

The tirade on Omar Shaban’s profile stirred up a firestorm of controversy and put CAF leaders in damage-control mode as they were quick to condemn the posting on the social networking site.

Just after 8:30 last night, Shaban, 23, resigned his post as the CAF’s executive vice-president for Western Canada, CAF national president Khaled Mouammar confirmed.

“There was a big outcry from our member organizations and it was felt that he had to correct that,” Mouammar said. “He decided that the best thing for him to do was to resign.”

‘Ashamed’

Shaban didn’t return requests from the Sun for interviews and to verify that the comments on his personal Facebook status update were indeed his writings. But his Facebook page spoke volumes.

“It’s finally Canada Day . . . Couldn’t be more ashamed to be Canadian,” he wrote, apparently in reference to Canada’s treatment of the native population.

Mouammar said the comments don’t reflect the views of the CAF, a group that represents more than 40 Arab organizations across the country.

Tarek Fatah, founder of the Muslim Canadian Congress and a media commentator who has been critical of the CAF in the past, called the comments “hateful” and that Canadians shouldn’t tolerate it.

“This hateful attitude towards Canada is a direct result of how some politicians and police have refused to stand up to Islamists, either out of fear or for electoral expediency,” Fatah said.

According to the CAF website, Shaban was born in Canada in 1986 and was raised in Lebanon where his family lived in the Nahr El-Barid refugee camp for a short time.

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