Honourable Members of Parliament:
Below are comments from ACT! For Canada regarding Motion M-103 – “Systemic racism and religious discrimination”, to be debated on Wednesday, Feb 15th. These comments, expressing serious issues regarding this Motion, are entitled: “Why ALL MPs should vote AGAINST M-103.”
Thank you for considering our concerns, prior to the Wednesday vote on M-103. (and yes, we do understand the difference between a Motion and a Bill.)
Honourable Ministers and Members of Parliament
WHY ALL MP’S SHOULD VOTE AGAINST M-103
- It gives an Overly Broad Mandate to a Committee. Words such as “systemic”, “whole-of-government” and “holistic” are concerning.
- Term “Islamophobia” is too broad, undefined, often includes protection for a belief system,
- Term “Islamophobia” coined by Iranian fundamentalists with the AIM of declaring ISLAM INVIOLATE. No Religion or belief system should be declared off-limits by the State.
- Term “Islamophobia” includes a belief that “offending” a person or a person’s religion should be a crime. One is never responsible for the “feelings” of another person. Extending the law into the realm of personal feelings is excessive and Orwellian.
- No evidence is given of an “increasing climate of hate and fear”, or that such fear is not justified by global terrorism. “Quelling” emotions is not the realm of government or of legislation. Stopping criminal acts IS. (Again, this is Orwellian.)
- “Systemic racism” is not relevant to “Islamophobia”, since Muslim Canadians comprise all races, ethnicities and skin-tones, as do all other Canadians. (Maybe an attempt to expand scope of Islamophobia complaints?) Islam is not a race, any more than Christianity, which also has its share of “black” and “brown” adherents.
- Freedom of Religion is already protected in the Charter. It is not intended to and should never protect any religion or belief system from criticism. The intent of Freedom of Expression is precisely to protect speech which may offend or question orthodox beliefs or “sacred cows”.
- It is based on unproven assumptions: (1) that “hate and fear” of Muslims is widespread; (2) that it stems from and results in “systemic racism and religious discrimination, including Islamophobia”; (3) that government remedies (over and above existing legislation) could “quell” these emotions; and (4) the unstated assumption that hate crimes against Muslims are more numerous or more important than, say, those against Jews, which is patently untrue.
- The use of “evidence-based policy-making” in the area of “Islamophobia” research and statistics is concerning, as it is conducted or funded largely by political advocacy groups, so may be biased in favour of the desired conclusion.
- It appears to be an attempt to put in place at the federal level what the advocacy groups were unsuccessful in achieving in Quebec, with Bill 59, “an Act to enact the Act to prevent and combat hate speech and speech inciting violence and to amend various legislative provisions to better protect individuals”- both based on the OIC (Organization of Islamic Cooperation) draft legislation to impose so-called “blasphemy” laws in the West.
- The perception by Canadians that M-103 constitutes “special treatment” could cause a feeling of resentment towards Muslim-Canadians.
- The phrase “the Committee should make recommendations that the government may use to better reflect the enshrined rights and freedoms in the Constitution Acts, including the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms” gives particular concern, implying a limitation of Freedom of Expression for “Islamophobia”!
- MPs represent ALL Canadians. Do not abrogate their Constitutional right to Freedom of Expression in a well-intended but wrong-headed gesture of solidarity with Muslims after the tragic events at the mosque in Sainte-Foy, Quebec.
Thank you for your consideration of our concerns,
ACT! For Canada