More controversy arose earlier this year when it was revealed that one of the authors of the anti-discrimination policy had previously written for Rabble.ca, a left-wing website that routinely characterizes Israel as an apartheid state.
Uzma Shakir, the city’s director of equity, diversity and human rights and who helps draft Toronto’s anti-discrimination policy, posted numerous entries on the website prior to 2010.
In one, she wrote that “Israelis invade, occupy and wage wars in the name of defending a Jewish homeland, and Americans continue to defend their policies of aggression in the name of a state that is firmly grounded in Christianity.”
In another, she wrote that the terror groups Hamas and Hezbollah “allegedly question Israel’s right to statehood.”
Interviewed by The CJN last June, Shakir said her personal views did not extend to her professional role with the city, and she downplayed her input into drafting city policy, saying that she was one of many employees involved.
“Senior human rights, access and equity and policy staff, including myself, were involved in writing and editing [the anti-discrimination policy] in consultation with the economic development and culture division, the city solicitor’s office, executive management division and purchasing and materials management division,” Shakir said.
“It was further vetted by deputy city managers and the city manager, who signed the report.”According to the Toronto Sun's Sue-Anne Levy, though, Uzma carries a lot more weight than that:
It didn’t help that Uzma Shakir, the city’s $129,107-a-year equity, diversity and human rights director, determined in an April report to council that the term “Israeli Apartheid” did not violate the city’s anti-discrimination policy.And, oddly for someone who avers that she's merely "one of many employees" who were involved in making decisions re QuAIA's appearance in the city-funded Pride parade, she was, writes Levy, singled out and protected by a number of other "employees" who are obviously on the same wavelength:
One could see them all circling the wagons around Shakir at Monday’s meeting — Chris Brillinger, the long-time executive director of social development, finance and administration, deputy city manager Brenda Patterson and Councillors Janet Davis, Shelley Carroll and Gord Perks (who was practically ready to implode over alleged attacks on “free speech.”).So is Official Jewry upset/perturbed/discombobulated because rabbler Uzma remains the city's "diversity" Czarina? Don't be silly. As the CJN reports:
In fact, Patterson and city manager Joe Pennachetti have outdone themselves to protect Shakir.
In June it was revealed in this space that before she was hired by the city in January of 2011, Shakir unapologetically wrote pro-Palestinian articles on rabble.ca — which is widely known to be a virulent anti-Israel website.
Asked whether CIJA had brought concerns about Shakir up with the executive committee last week, English said his group prefers not to dwell on the issue and wants instead to “move forward productively.”Move forward productively with Uzma at the apex of "diversty/human rights" decision-making in the city? I wouldn't count on it, O.J.s.