On Wednesday, Afghanistan-born MP Maryam Monsef, 30, became the youngest and first Muslim woman Federal minister in Justin Trudeau’s 30-member cabinet. She will hold the portfolio of Minister of Democratic Institutions with negligible role in country’s internal or foreign policies effecting Muslim community.
Justin Trudeau who was sworn-in as Canada’s 23rd prime minister, introduced his cabinet saying “It looks like Canada”.
“Canadians elected extraordinary Canadians from across the country and I’m glad I have been able to highlight a few of them in this cabinet with me here today,” Trudeau declared at the steps of the Rideau Hall in Ottawa.
One-million-strong Muslim community is the largest religious community in Canada followed by 460,000-strong Sikh community. Trudeau has appointed three cabinet ministers from Sikh community holding important ministries, such as; Lt. Col. Harjit Sajjan as Minister of Defence, Bardish Jhagger as Minister for small business and Tourism, and Amarjeet Sohi as Minister of Infrastructure. Harjit Sajjan’s father is member of Sikh movement seeking an independent Sikh state in Indian Punjab. Sajjan spent some time in Indian jail in 1984.
Trudeau’s ruling Liberals have ten Muslim MPs as compared to 20 Sikh MPs. Justin Trudeau’s longtime personal friend and his former campaign adviser Omar Alghabra didn’t make to the cabinet due to Trudeau’s fear of Jewish Lobby. Alghabra was declared “anti-Israel Islamist” by Daniel Pipes in December 2005.
Maryam Monsef came to Canada with her family as Afghan refugee 20 years ago (here).