School Cancels Event with Yazidi Nobel Laureate Over “Islamophobia”

( Nobel Peace Prize laureate Nadia Murad was scheduled to appear at a book club event for Toronto schoolgirls in February, but the Toronto District School Board decided to scrap the event out of concerns that Murad’s involvement could be offensive.

Murad is a Yazidi activist and author of “The Last Girl: My Story of Captivity, and My Fight Against Islamic State.” Her memoir describes her 2014 capture and enslavement by ISIS terrorists and her subsequent daring escape.

The school board believed that Murad’s book could “promote Islamophobia” and her appearance might “offend” the district’s Muslim students.

The book club event, which was founded by entrepreneur Tanya Lee in 2017, invites teenage girls from area secondary schools to discuss books by female authors.

When she learned that the event with Murad was canceled, Tanya Lee sent superintendent Helen Fisher information about ISIS. In her letter to Fisher, Lee explained that ISIS is a terrorist organization that has nothing to do with “ordinary Muslims.” She told Fisher that the school board “should be aware of the difference.”

But her efforts proved fruitless. Fisher refused to budge, responding to Lee’s letter by sending a copy of the board’s policy on selecting equitable, culturally relevant, and responsive reading materials.

Not everyone was happy with the board’s decision. An editorial at the Toronto Sun accused the board of heading down the path to “burning books” it disagrees with. The editorial pointed out that Islamic State is considered a terrorist organization by the Canadian government, adding that ISIS primarily terrorizes Muslims, “especially Muslim girls.”

Toronto-based journalist Naomi Buck blasted the board’s refusal to recognize Nadia Murad’s “extraordinary accomplishments.” She said canceling the event “reflects an attitude that is anti-learning and anti-curious” which she argued has no place in education.

Since when have school boards cared about education?

Pakistani-born Canadian liberal journalist Tarek Fatah accused the board of “outrageous censorship,” saying their decision “reeked of ignorance and subservience to an Islamist attitude.”

Nadia Murad, who was forced into sexual slavery at the age of 21 by ISIS fighters, went on to become a Yazidi human rights activist and the 2018 recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. She serves as a UN Goodwill Ambassador and is a leading advocate for survivors of genocide and sexual violence.