A former poli sci professor has brought attention to his emeritus status as he voices controversial stances in his bid to be a London MP.
Salim Mansur, a recently retired associate professor, announced his candidacy in June for London North Centre under the People's Party of Canada, a right-wing libertarian party.
In promoting his party, he sent a series of tweets earlier this week discussing multiculturalism and Islam. The comments prompted a sharp rebuke on Twitter, partly from Western University students, and elicited a brief response from Western itself.
"[The People's Party] is awakening of Canadians to de-contaminate & restore their culture, take back their country from the Lib-left elites and bring back sanity to their politics, economics and wholesome way of life which once was the envy of the world," he tweeted early Sunday morning.
Western responded yesterday, three days after the tweet was posted, as many angry replies tag Western's official Twitter account.
They wrote in a tweet responding to an upset alumnus that Mansur is retired, and his views do not represent the university.
In an email to the Gazette, Mansur said, “it’s ridiculous that, in this day and age, easily offended snowflakes would expect an academic institution to do anything other than encourage the rigorous debate and exchange of ideas.”
“Standing up for these things, and more broadly free speech, is why I’m running for the People’s Party of Canada in London North Centre in the first place. These are values I championed as an academic and will continue to champion."
As a professor emeritus, Mansur is retired and paid a pension. Emeriti are usually professors of at least five years who retain access to Western's libraries and receive invitations to all of its convocations, among other benefits.
Mansur began the thread by saying Canada failed to oppose multiculturalism, along with "Globalism & Islamism", in the 1980s.
"Contaminate culture upstream, and the rest downstream turns toxic," he wrote. "This is what Lib-left elites have done."
English professor Jason Sandhar, who has studied critical race and postcolonial theory, joined other voices at Western criticizing the tweet. He called the comments “appalling” in an email, and said ‘de-contaminate’ is a “racially-loaded term.”
Mansur has risen to prominence as an author and columnist. He joined the PPC after his effort to run under the Conservative Party of Canada was jettisoned by party leadership.
A professor turned politician
Across two books and years of columns in the London Free Press, Mansur has fought vociferously around issues that have defined Canadian politics in recent years, especially immigration.
In testimony to the House of Commons in 2012, while he was still a professor, he advocated for a moratorium on all immigrants from Muslim countries into Canada.
"The flow of immigration into Canada from around the world, and in particular the flow from Muslim countries, means a pouring in of numbers into a liberal society of people from cultures at best non-liberal," he said.
Mansur is Muslim himself, and immigrated to Canada from his native India; he is a vice-president of the Council of Muslims Facing Tomorrow.
Mansur's work will contrast sharply with the incumbent candidate, Liberal MP Peter Fragiskatos, in October’s federal election.
Mansur's campaign website lists endorsements from two Free Press colleagues, and Western professor Christopher Essex, who teaches applied physics and mathematics.
The ‘protecting freedoms’ pillar of Mansur’s platform declares “any garment covering the full face to be un-Canadian, requiring its removal in public spaces.” Other proposals call for “more stringent vetting” of immigrants and for increased border security to stop “the flow of illegal migrants.”