MPs pass M-103 even as new poll says most Canadians would vote down the anti-Islamophobia (aka anti-Islamic blasphemy) motion which discriminates against all other religions.
National Post The House of Commons voted Thursday afternoon to condemn “Islamophobia and all forms of systemic “racism” (Islam is not a race) and “religious discrimination” (ONLY against Muslims) but the vote for the controversial M-103 was not unanimous.
Liberals, New Democrats, and Green Party MP Elizabeth May were in favour; most Conservative and all Bloc Quebecois MPs were opposed. The vote was 201 for and 91 against. It was a free vote, meaning MPs did not have to follow a party line, and two Conservative MPs voted in favour: leadership candidate Michael Chong and Ontario MP Bruce Stanton.
The motion was proposed by Iqra Khalid, a first-time MUSLIM MP representing a Mississauga, Ont. In addition to the resolution condemning Islamophobia, it asks the House of Commons Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage to study the issue of “eliminating systemic racism and religious discrimination including Islamophobia;” and calls on the federal government collect data on hate crimes for further study.
“The word ‘Islamophobia’ can be used to mean both discrimination against Muslims and criticism of Islamic doctrine or practice. It is important that we not conflate the two – religious people deserve legal protection, but religions do not,” Conservative MP Garnett Genuis said during a Commons debate Tuesday night. “People should not discriminate against individuals, but should feel quite free to criticize the doctrine, history, or practice of any religion.”
Liberals, including Khalid, maintain that the motion would in no way infringe on speech rights and would instead be a powerful symbol of solidarity with Muslim Canadians.
Khalid’s motion changes no existing laws nor does it create any new laws. And yet, the Angus Reid poll finds that three in 10 of those surveyed believed Khalid’s motion is, in fact, “a threat to Canadians’ freedom of speech.”