Sameer Zuberi chosen as Liberal candidate for Pierrefonds-Dollard

Sameer Zuberi, a Montreal activist who has been outspoken against Islamophobia in the province, has been nominated as the Liberal candidate for Pierrefonds-Dollard.

Over the weekend, the Conservative Party accused Zuberi of questioning Osama bin Laden's involvement in 9/11

Sameer Zuberi, a Montreal advocate against Islamophobia in Quebec, is the new Liberal Party candidate for Pierrefonds-Dollard. (CBC)

Sameer Zuberi, a Montreal activist who has been outspoken against Islamophobia in the province, has been nominated as the Liberal candiate for Pierrefonds-Dollard. 

Until July, Zuberi was the diversity and engagement officer for McGill University's Faculty of Medicine, according to LinkedIn. 

He was a candidate for Projet Montréal in the Bois-de-Liesse district in the 2013 Montreal municipal election, gaining 23 per cent of the vote, but losing to Équipe Coderre's Jean Raymond. 

Zuberi, who holds a law degree from Université de Montréal and a bachelor in mathematics from Concordia University, has also acted as a spokesperson for the Canadian Muslim Forum.

He was interviewed by The National as a human rights advocate following the Quebec City mosque shooting in 2017.

Zuberi lives in Pierrefonds with his family. 

Conservative Party accuses Zuberi of anti-Semitism

On Saturday, before the Liberal party was to choose its candidate for the district, the Conservative Party published a news release on its website about Zuberi. 

It posted a screenshot of a 2011 Facebook post Zuberi made to share an opinion piece he had written for the Montreal Gazette. In one of the comments, Zuberi appears to be responding to another user, saying Osama bin Laden's involvement in the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks in the U.S. was a matter of public debate.

The Conservatives also accused him of anti-Semitism for his role in a student leadership conflict in 2003, when the Concordia Student Union (CSU) he was a part of suspended the privileges of the university's Hillel group.

Zuberi was cited in an article in The Concordian student newspaper at the time, saying the CSU had done so after Hillel distributed flyers equating Palestinian suicide bombers with the Ku Klux Klan, along with recruitment information about how students could join the Israeli Defense Forces.

In a Facebook post on his candidate page Saturday evening, Zuberi defended himself, saying, "It obviously is and has always been clear to me that Osama bin Laden was the perpetrator of the September 11 terror attacks."

He said the letter he had penned for the Montreal Gazette and shared in the 2011 post stated "the death of Osama bin Laden is a welcomed event."

As for the student conflict, Zuberi said he was not a voting member of the CSU and "always called for calm, due process and respectful dialogue."

He says his family is composed of people of several different faiths, including Muslim, Jewish and Christian. 

Zuberi did not respond to requests for an interview Tuesday.

The Pierrefonds-Dollard riding has a population of more than 100,000. The average family income is $75,497. The riding also has a significant English-speaking community. 

The incumbent is Liberal MP Frank Baylis, who in July announced he would be stepping away from political life.