Jaffer, Rahim

Posted Nov 1, 2006      •Permalink      • Printer-Friendly Version Bookmark and Share

Rahim Jaffer (Arabic: رحيم جعفر‎) (born December 15, 1971) is the Conservative Party of Canada Member of Parliament for the Edmonton—Strathcona district of Alberta. Born in Kampala, Uganda and of Pakistani origin, he originally won his seat as a member of the Reform Party of Canada (later the Canadian Alliance and then merged with the Progressive Conservatives to form the Conservative Party). Jaffer is a Muslim of the Ismaili faith, and was the only Muslim member of the Canadian House of Commons from 2000 to 2004.[citation needed] He graduated from the University of Ottawa and is fluently bilingual.

Jaffer strongly supported the 2003 invasion of Iraq,[citation needed] arguing that Iraqis longed to live in freedom and rid themselves of Saddam Hussein. In making this argument, he drew attention to the fact that his own family endured oppression under Idi Amin.

Jaffer is known for a much-publicized 2001 incident in which he claimed to have done a radio interview. The interview was actually done by an aide, Matthew Johnston, who impersonated Jaffer, as Jaffer was opening his new Timothy’s World Coffee shop down the street at the same time as the interview.[citation needed] Jaffer subsequently apologized publicly and in the House of Commons for this falsehood, and was suspended from his caucus position for several months.[citation needed] The incident provided much fodder for the satirical current affairs show This Hour Has 22 Minutes, most notably when Rick Mercer performed a rap based on Eminem’s “The Real Slim Shady”, with the lyrics “Will the real Rahim Jaffer please stand up, please stand up?”. Despite election opponents’ occasional attempts to leverage this incident, he has been relected in both the 2004 and 2006 elections.

Following the 2006 election, Jaffer was named as chair of the Conservative caucus by Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

During the BFI awards in December 2006, Mr. Jaffer was named the biggest BFI in all of Edmonton. He was quoted in a local paper as being quite happy over the award.

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