Fallen Liberal MP Yasmin Ratansi

(Publisher/Editor Simerg, Barakah, and Simergphotos)

The Ismaili community tends to shy away from controversies. However, lately, we have seen the engagement of Ismaili activists and youth with Black Lives Matter and the US elections. In response, we have given fora to the Ismaili youth to talk about racial injustice and discuss issues raised by challenged members, such as the deaf within the Jamat (community).

Over the past day, I received several links carrying damaging reports about Ms. Yasmin Ratansi, an iconic member of the Liberal Party of Canada for decades and the Federal MP for the Don Valley East riding since 2014. She has resigned from the Liberal caucus over allegations that she employed her sister at her constituency office. She has decided to represent herself in her riding as an Independent. The opposition party, however, is calling for her immediate resignation. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in a statement made to the journalists on Tuesday, November 10, said that he was deeply disappointed by the news that he had learned from Ms. Ratansi about how she handled the office. He added that it was unacceptable and expects there will be a thorough follow up by [House of Commons] administration on the matter.

Yasmin Ratansi is very well known among her constituents and within the Ismaili Muslim community, where she has been an active member since her childhood years in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. She has also served in Jamati institutions in numerous capacities.

We feel proud when Ismailis are elected or appointed to high positions at the provincial or federal level. Over the years, Simerg has proudly shown Yasmin’s pictures and presented pertinent articles that were brought to our attention.

Now the long admired Yasmin has let her own community down, with this latest revelation. While she has apologized for her actions, she owes an apology particularly to the Ismaili community for her mistake.

We have numerous other Ismailis working at Federal level as MPs and in the Senate. Over the years, I have been disappointed with all of them for not even having the courtesy to respond to important matters that I had brought to their attention.

The friend who first sent me a link through Whatsapp on Yasmin Ratansi was deeply hurt by what he had read on CBC. He was particularly concerned that repeated guidance on ethics by Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, had been ignored.

During his 2017-2018 Diamond Jubilee visits to Ismailis around the world, Mawlana Hazar Imam urged them to think about the foundations of their work, noting that this had its basis on the faith and its ethics. That ethic, he said, entailed integrity, humility and honesty, and the rigor of behaving in a manner that would be beneficial to the current and future generations of the Jamat as well as to the country and society at large.

This brings me to the important point that Ismailis who are serving or wish to serve within the Jamati institutional structure, or public office should be cognizant of this advice from Mawlana Hazar Imam.

Date posted: November 11, 2020.


Before departing this website please take a moment to review Simerg’s Table of Contents for links to hundreds of thought provoking pieces on a vast array of subjects including faith and culture, history and philosophy, and arts and letters to name a few.

11 thoughts on “Fallen Liberal MP Yasmin Ratansi

  1. I note a number of responses from your readers (from Zeenat, Jamal and Rossbina) asking us to be compassionate to a fellow Jamati member, who has erred. It must be emphasized though that public office violations have serious consequences on a community as a whole, and we are seeing this played out in comments elsewhere. It is the duty of every single individual serving in organizations, whether it be private or public, to build on ethical vigilance. Honesty and humility — or the lack of — are two key components in life through which leaders can influence and chart the lives of others for better or worse. We are seeing this down-under!!!

    If you are not honest or get swayed from it, please don’t seek a public office or accept an appointment, difficult as it may be to turn down those offers that come our way. Resignation from the office when such transgressions is the way to respond, until you build on those values over a period of time and prove that you have done something to address your past flaws.

  2. I was hurt when I saw this sad news on CBC last night. Clearly, we have to stay true to our principles of integrity and honesty, as repeatedly articulated by Mawlana Hazar Imam.

  3. None of us perfect. Only Allah is all knowing. There are lessons to be learned and events like this bring us to a new awakening or alert. Ratansi represented her constituents well and has been an admired icon for the Ismaili community, especially for women who are now beginning to show a keen interest in politics. Let this incident not shy away or discourage our dynamic youths and adults into entering into politics to BUILD society✌️

  4. Most of us make mistakes in life. She has admitted to making an error of judgement and has apologised to her constituency. We do not know what circumstances may have driven her to break the rules so should avoid being judgemental. As she tries to put her career and life together, she deserves our compassion and prayers. Those are our true values.

  5. Everybody who is chastising her in my opinion are not following Mawlana Hazar Imam’s firmans themselves. As if you all never made a mistake needing forgiveness and compassion. What a “brotherhood” that jumps on each other without even waiting for an explanation.

  6. It’s a sad for our community and the public at large!

    She is supposed to be a role model and uphold the highest ethical standard of behaviour and integrity. She has failed all of us😔

  7. Why would someone do something so foolish? She had everything going in favour and now lost with a blink of an eye.

    I was disappointed to learn the way the staff were treated. Keeping her sister on a payroll, she should have gone through proper channel. Sorry to say she brought it on her self .

    I will still treat her as a friend.

  8. Via Facebook:

    Very disappointing to see such unethical behaviour that was consciously executed.

  9. The hitherto well respected and trusted Niza’ri Ismaili Community has been regularly embarrassed by immoral conduct and unethical behaviour by few scumbags over the last 25 years. The Imam of The Time will have be to be concerned and cautious of how to take pride for his minority Shi’a Muslim Community in North America and Canada in particular. Wake up my fellow brethren and be exemplary Canadian Citizens!

  10. Saying that you are sorry when you knew your wrong-doings for years is not good enough. Yasmin, instead of keeping her riding seat as an independent, should resign as called on by the Conservative Party. Let a Federal by-election be held with the Liberals selecting a new candidate for the riding. If they lose, its because of one person. She has hurt thousands!!!

  11. Yasmin Ratansi has humiliated our community’s ethical principles and has absolutely done nothing to help our community to achieve its formidable goals through meaningful projects. She has not been helpful to the citizens in her riding or her own community.

Comments are closed.