Despite polls showing that 71% of Canadians would not have voted for the measure, Canada’s Parliament, with the strong backing of Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government, passed a motion this week 201 to 91 that critics say singles out Islam for special protection. Tabled by Muslim liberal MP Iqra Khalid, M-103 urges the federal government to “condemn Islamophobia” and to “develop a whole-of-government approach to reducing or eliminating systemic racism and religious discrimination including Islamophobia.” The term “Islamophobia” is nowhere defined in the motion.
A petition on CitizenGo asking MPs to stop the “restrictive ‘anti-blasphemy’” motion has been signed by 79,500 people.
“This motion will encourage legislation that would criminalize speech deemed ‘islamophobic’ and lay the groundwork for imposing what is essentially a Sharia anti-blasphemy law on all of Canada,” the petition states.
“If that happens, criticism of Islam would constitute a speech crime in Canada,” it states, adding that this “kind of content-based, viewpoint-discriminatory censorship is unacceptable in a Western liberal democracy.”
As LifeSiteNews reports, while the motion does not change existing laws or create new ones, it empowers a committee to study the issue of “eliminating…Islamophobia” and the federal government to collect data on Islamic ‘hate crimes’ for further study.
A Conservative alternative to the motion that condemned racism and discrimination against Muslims, Jews, Christians, and other religious groups — without including the word “Islamophobia” — was defeated by the Liberals in February. Liberals argued at that time that the Tories were simply trying to “water down” the very purpose of M-103, reported Huffington Post.
A number of Conservatives running for the the party’s leadership have been outspoken about the problems they see in M-103.
Brad Trost said he could not support the motion because it “will only serve to strengthen extremist elements within the Muslim community itself that seek to preserve and promote their own form of hate and intolerance.” He added that any “serious plan to combat religious discrimination in Canada should include all faith groups, including Christians and Jews.”
Pierre Lemieux said that Canadians should be wary of the language in the motion.
“Do you have a valid concern about Islam? Do you disagree with Sharia Law? Uneasy about radical Islamic terrorism? The Liberals may very well classify you as Islamophobic,” he wrote in an email to supporters.
Lemieux, who called on supporters to pressure MPs to force a recorded vote on M-103, called it a “great day for accountability and for freedom of speech in Canada” when almost two dozen MPs stood up on Tuesday to demand such accountability.
Leadership contender Andrew Scheer also added his voice of opposition to the motion shortly before the vote, saying that it “could be interpreted as a step towards stifling free speech and legitimate criticism” of Islam.
“M-103 is not inclusive. It singles out just one faith. I believe that all religions deserve the same level of respect and protection,” he wrote in an email to supporters.
“I will be voting against it because I believe in Freedom of Speech,” he wrote.
Finally, we leave it to Rebel Media’s Faith Goldy to react to this attack on Canadians’ most precious freedom– the freedom of speech