Canada’s anti-islamophobia motion proves divisive
The motion, proposed by liberal MP Iqra Khalid back in early December, calls on the government to “recognize the need to quell the increasing public climate of hate and fear” and to “condemn Islamophobia and all forms of systemic racism and religious discrimination.” The motion was debated this week, and will likely be voted on in March or April.
A petition signed by 69,742 people highlighting a rise in anti-Muslim sentiment in Canada was presented to Canada’s parliament on the same day as the motion.
The petition points to the contributions Muslims have made throughout history and calls on the House of Commons to recognize “that extremist individuals do not represent the religion of Islam” and to condemn “all forms of Islamophobia.”
News of the motion, which wouldn’t alter Canada’s laws in any way, has left a number of social media users concerned that it's just another step towards an outright ban on the criticism of Islam.
Pamela Geller, a US anti-Islam activist, went as far as to claim the motion was set to “create a Sharia state” in Canada, with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau “diabolically” employing “psychological warfare tactics” to mislead Canadians.
If 'Islamophobia' cannot be dropped from #M103 then it demonstrates that the motion is completely about silencing criticism of Islam.— Mark Peters (@MPeters74) February 16, 2017
#m-103 to combat hate & racism (Islam not a race, but an evil ideology masquerading as a religion). Pass a bill against hatred for freedom— Nikita Anne (@NikitaAnne77) February 17, 2017
For years we were told Harper had a hidden agenda to take away our rights. Turns out it was Trudeau and the Liberals. #M103— Barbara Myska (@bmyska) February 16, 2017
Islam is a religion/political ideology and no religion/political ideology should be protected against criticism. #M103— マイル (@martian_munk) February 17, 2017
Conservative politician Kellie Leitch has called for the motion to be scrapped.
M-103 is nothing more than a ban on free speech. First we can't say what we think, so what's next, a ban on thinking? #stopm103— Sharon (@tatdlace) February 15, 2017
Not everyone was against the motion or its perceived consequences though.
respectfully, I don't think we should just ignore it when an elected MP is called a terrorist or a "fucking traitorous bitch." https://t.co/5V8Udqs8Ug— Marie-Danielle Smith (@mariedanielles) February 16, 2017
Khalid received threats and racist slurs as a result of proposing the motion, and read some of the messages she received at the House debate Thursday.
“Why did Canadians let her in?” and “Kill her and be done with it,” were among the messages she read out.