Canada’s First Person Of Colour Named For Supreme Court Has Indian Roots
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Thursday nominated the primary particular person of shade to the highest court docket in Canada, a rustic through which almost one in 4 individuals establish as a minority.
Mahmud Jamal has been an Ontario Court of Appeal decide since 2019, after having beforehand taught at two of Canada’s prime legislation faculties and labored for many years as a litigator — together with showing in 35 appeals earlier than the Supreme Court.
“He’ll be a valuable asset to the Supreme Court — and that’s why, today, I’m announcing his historic nomination to our country’s highest court,” Trudeau mentioned on Twitter.
Jamal should nonetheless be vetted by the House of Commons justice committee, however it is a formality.
He was born in 1967 into an Indian household in Nairobi and raised in Britain earlier than shifting to Canada in 1981.
Canada is a multicultural nation with nearly one quarter of its inhabitants of 38 million figuring out within the final census as a member of a visual minority group.
But latest assaults on Muslims, its historic therapy of indigenous peoples — labeled by a fee as “cultural genocide” — and police brutality in opposition to Black individuals and different ethnic minorities have highlighted the continued legacy of racism in Canada.
Trudeau, who final 12 months took a knee in solidarity with US protestors marching in opposition to racism, mentioned many white Canadians had woke up “to the fact that the discrimination that is a lived reality for far too many of our fellow citizens is something that needs to end.”
“Systemic racism is an issue right across the country, in all of our institutions,” he mentioned.
In a job questionnaire, Jamal mentioned that his hybrid non secular and cultural upbringing and his experiences in Canada — together with these of his spouse — “exposed me to some of the challenges and aspirations of immigrants, religious minorities, and racialized persons.”
“I was raised at school as a Christian, reciting the Lord’s Prayer and absorbing the values of the Church of England, and at home as a Muslim, memorizing Arabic prayers from the Quran and living as part of the Ismaili community,” he wrote.
“Like many others, I experienced discrimination as a fact of daily life. As a child and youth, I was taunted and harassed because of my name, religion or the color of my skin.”
His spouse, he mentioned, immigrated to Canada from Iran to flee the persecution of the Baha’i non secular minority through the 1979 revolution.
“After we married, I became a Baha’i, attracted by the faith’s message of the spiritual unity of humankind, and we raised our two children in Toronto’s multi-ethnic Baha’i community,” he mentioned.
Jamal will substitute Justice Rosalie Abella, the nine-person court docket’s longest-serving justice who is because of retire on July 1.
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