The Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ) has officially retracted a letter to the editor which called hijabs “instruments of oppression,” after an outcry from doctors and the Muslim community.
In a posting on its website, CMAJ states, “The letter “Don’t use an instrument of oppression as a symbol of diversity and inclusion” published in the Dec. 20, 2021, issue of CMAJ has been retracted by the interim editor-in-chief of CMAJ because the editorial process for the article was flawed and biased, and the letter should not have been published.”
“CMAJ acknowledges and is deeply sorry for the considerable hurt that many people across Canada have experienced from reading this letter. A formal apology from the interim editor-in-chief has been published at https://www.cmaj.ca/content/193/51/E1935.”
“I sincerely apologize on behalf of the CMAJ for my error in publishing the letter by Dr. Sherif Emil, which did not contain appropriate subject matter for publication by the CMAJ and which has disgusted many readers across Canada,” wrote Kirsten Patrick, the interim editor-in-chief. “I sincerely apologize for the considerable hurt that so many people, including medical colleagues and learners, have experienced from reading the letter. I take full responsibility for the inadequacy of editorial process that led to this error. Furthermore, I should point out that the title of the letter was authored by the CMAJ and was not the responsibility of Dr. Emil.”
“CMAJ is formally retracting the letter, which will include removal of all text except for the title and author information.”