Imams ask Conservative candidate to quit over poor follow-up on apology for posts
The Canadian Council of Imams says the Conservative candidate in Nova Scotia's Central Nova riding must resign because his apology for Islamophobic media posts was an insincere attempt at damage control.
Two weeks ago, Steven Cotter apologized on Facebook for earlier posts he made about Shariah law and supporting a ban on the burka worn by some Muslim women.
However the imams say when Cotter met with local Muslim leaders on Sept. 15, he repeated his apology but "refused to say anything else" in answer to questions about what he would do to address Islamophobia.
The imams say they can only interpret Cotter's silence as a refusal to reflect and learn as he promised to do in his apology, and they say requests to the Conservative party for further engagements were turned down.
Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole fired a Toronto candidate over Islamophobic social media posts she claims are not hers but he kept Cotter in the race.
O'Toole told The Canadian Press on Sept. 11 that he wanted to retain candidates on a team that would unite the country and help restore the economy.
Cotter didn't respond to an emailed message to his Facebook site, and the spokesman for the Conservatives wasn't immediately available for comment about the council's statement.
Cotter is running in a riding won in the past by prominent Tories Peter MacKay and Brian Mulroney, and currently held by the Liberals' Sean Fraser.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 19, 2021.