(LifeSiteNews) — The Canadian Minister of Women and Gender Equality has drawn significant criticism after calling the Taliban “our brothers.”
Maryam Monsef used the expression as she asked the Islamist terror organization to “ensure the safe and secure passage” of Canadians and allies attempting to flee Afghanistan.
“I want to take this opportunity to speak with our brothers, the Taliban,” Monsef said in a press briefing. “We call on you to ensure the safe and secure passage of any individual in Afghanistan out of the country.”
As reported by Rebel News, Monsef made the comments in a virtual press briefing this week while discussing Canada’s federal response to the ongoing crisis in Afghanistan.
SHOCK: Trudeau’s Minister for Women and Gender Equality refers to the Taliban as “our brothers”. pic.twitter.com/5dyiWwTWEl
— Ezra Levant 🍁 (@ezralevant) August 25, 2021
Monsef participated in the briefing along with her Liberal Party colleagues Marco Mendicino (Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship), Harjit Sajjan (Minister of Defence) and Marc Garneau (Minister Foreign Affairs).”
The equality minister, who is also a Member of Parliament for Peterborough-Kawartha, had raised eyebrows in 2013 when she called sharia law “fascinating.”
Reminder: Trudeau’s “women and gender equality minister”, who just praised the Tablian as “our brothers”, says she finds sharia law fascinating. https://t.co/yyReTkr7rw
— Ezra Levant 🍁 (@ezralevant) August 25, 2021
Monsef was sworn in as Minister of Status of Women in January 2017, at which time she introduced a “Strategy to Prevent Gender-Based Violence” in Canada.
But her soft words to the Taliban, whose members are reportedly going door-to-door in Afghanistan raping girls and killing Christians, have sparked a backlash, leading Monsef to defend her choice of words as a “cultural reference.”
According to the Washington Examiner, Monsef, who was born in Iran but grew up in Afghanistan, argued that it is “common for Muslims to refer to people as brothers and sisters.”
“The reference to brothers is a cultural reference, of course, but let me be very clear, we do not support the Taliban,” she stated, adding that “[w]e are horrified [that] the hard-won gains of the past 20 years are at stake.”
But many people, including Muslims, have taken issue with Monsef’s choice of words and cultural explanations.
Zahra Sultani, a Muslim Afghan refugee and former political staffer, said calling the Taliban “our brothers” is not “acceptable” in any “cultural context.”
“As a Canadian who moved to this country as an Afghan refugee, I want to be very clear, there is no cultural context in which calling the Taliban ‘brothers’ is acceptable,” she said in an August 25 tweet. “Words carry meaning, and meanings imply moral positions.”
As a Canadian who moved to this country as an Afghan refugee, I want to be very clear, there is no cultural context in which calling the Taliban “brothers” is acceptable. Words carry meaning, and meanings imply moral positions.#cdnpoli #Afghanistan #Taliban #maryammonsef https://t.co/P0D2ufB8e3
— Zahra Sultani | زارا سلطانی (@zahrasultani_) August 25, 2021
Iranian journalist Masih Alinejad shared a video of an Afghani woman, whose identity was concealed, commenting on Monsef’s remarks.
“Your ‘brothers’ rape and kill us here in Afghanistan,” the woman said in the recording, “and that is why we are still stuck at home.”
This woman is still in Afghanistan and she has a message for Maryam Mansef.
Your “brothers” rape and kill us here in Afghanistan and that is why we are still stuck at home.
Canadian Minister Maryam Monsef referred to the Taliban as “our brothers” pic.twitter.com/KIGB5ly7wV
— Masih Alinejad 🏳️ (@AlinejadMasih) August 25, 2021
Maxime Bernier, who leads the People’s Party in Canada, stated that “[n]o one should be surprised that Maryam Monsef considers the Taliban ‘our brothers.’ Her boss admires China’s dictatorship and Castro. He’s turning into a wannabe tyrant.”
“It’s just another proof that today’s woke Left has an authoritarian mindset,” Bernier said.
No one should be surprised that Maryam Monsef considers the Taliban ‘our brothers’. Her boss admires China’s dictatorship and Castro. He’s turning into a wannabe tyrant.
It’s just another proof that today’s woke Left has an authoritarian mindset.
— Maxime Bernier (@MaximeBernier) August 25, 2021
According to the Washington Examiner, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said his government is “working with the global community to put pressure on the Taliban” following the terror group’s takeover of Afghanistan.
The Examiner said Trudeau has “no plans” to treat the Taliban as a legitimate government.
Thousands of Afghans and Americans have fled Afghanistan to escape the Taliban. Thousands more await evacuation.
The Afghan government dissolved earlier this month following the botched drawdown of U.S. troops by the Biden administration, leading to an almost immediate takeover of the country by the brutal Islamist terror group.
As American personnel attempted to evacuate Americans and Afghans from the Kabul airport Thursday, hundreds of people were killed or injured in two suicide bombings attributed to another terror group called ISIS-K. 13 U.S. servicemen were reported to have been killed in the explosions.
On August 26 Canada shut down its evacuation efforts after pulling 3,700 Canadians and Afghan allies out of Afghanistan, though some Canadians are reported to have been left behind as the Taliban takes control and implements sharia law.
Meanwhile the Daily Wire reports that Trudeau, who is up for reelection next month, “has promised to resettle 20,000 Afghan refugees in Canada over the next ‘months and years.’”