Paige Parsons, CBC, September 12, 2022
Justice Minister Tyler Shandro has asked Alberta Human Rights Commission chief Collin May to resign, responding to concerns raised by more than two dozen Muslim organizations.
In July, May came under fire following the resurfacing of a 2009 book review he wrote that critics say highlighted Islamophobic ideas.
In response, May said in a statement he was committed to meeting with Alberta’s Muslim community “to learn more about their lived experiences in Alberta and to work towards overcoming discrimination against the Islamic community.”
However, an open letter signed by 28 Alberta-based Muslim organizations published Monday alleges that May has failed to meet with Muslim leaders.
“In a time where brazen attacks on Muslims in Alberta have been growing, specifically targeting Black Muslim women wearing hijab, Mr. May’s decision to threaten to sue his critics, while simultaneously suggesting outreach with Alberta’s Muslim communities, have been extraordinary and shocking,” the letter states.
May, a Calgary lawyer, began his new five-year role as chief in July after serving on the commission since 2019.
Shortly after, he was criticized for a review of Israeli-British historian Efraim Karsh’s Islamic Imperialism: A History.
In the review, May highlighted Karsh’s Islamophobic position that Islam is inherently militaristic.
“[Karsh] defies the multicultural illusion regarding pacific Islam and goes to the heart of the matter. Islam is not a peaceful religion misused by radicals. Rather, it is one of the most militaristic religions known to man, and it is precisely this militaristic heritage that informs the actions of radicals throughout the Muslim world,” May wrote in his 2009 review.