Between about 2005 and its closing in 2010, unsuspecting taxpayers were forking out for a special Department of Foreign Affairs unit called the “Muslim Communities Working Group.” Its mandate, now “disappeared” from DFA’s website: “increasing awareness and understanding of Islam and Muslim communities.” No other religion or its adherents had similarly privileged government treatment. Related activity apparently continues, even after the Working Group’s formal 2010 shuttering.
The Working Group was initially run in 2005-2006 by Ugandan-born Canadian Muslim diplomat, Arif Lalani. Contrary to the Bercovici experience, neither network journalists nor the foreign service association revolted against the Working Group’s Muslim emphasis or its boss’s religious affiliation. Neither did objections arise when Lalani later became ambassador to Muslim countries Afghanistan, Jordan, United Arab Emirates, and special envoy to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation – a multi-nation Islamic group pushing for Islamic sharia law censorship in the international system. Indeed, back in 2009, CBC was cheerleading Lalani as “the only western diplomat invited to pray with Afghan President Hamid Karzai at the end of Ramadan,” an invitation from which many non-Muslim diplomats were presumably excluded.A Muslim? Canada's "first-ever" OIC envoy? Why, it's an outrage! ;)