The Canadian Parliament Just Passed A Controversial Motion Condemning Islamophobia
A motion condemning Islamophobia and other forms of discrimination passed in the Canadian House of Commons on Thursday.
The non-binding motion, M-103, calls on the government to “condemn Islamophobia and all forms of systemic racism and religious discrimination,” and to conduct a study on how to combat such discrimination.
The motion passed with 201 votes in favour, and 91 against.
The motion was tabled after tens of thousands signed a petition highlighting a “notable rise in anti-Muslim sentiments in Canada,” and calling for action. According to the most recent Statistics Canada figures, anti-Muslim hate crimes more than doubled in the three-year period from 2012 to 2014.
The motion took on added significance after a gunman entered a mosque in Quebec City in late January and opened fire on worshippers, killing six and injuring many more.
Although it didn’t cause much of a stir when first introduced by Liberal MP Iqra Khalid, M-103 eventually became the subject of many rumours and conspiracy theories.
Many critics falsely claimed M-103 would lead to anti-blasphemy laws, making it illegal to criticize Islam in Canada.
A day before the vote, Khalid addressed some of the backlash to her efforts, reiterating that the motion “is not legally binding.”
“In fact, M-103 serves as a catalyst for Canadians to speak out against discrimination and be heard where they may not have been heard before,” she said.
“Some other outrageous claims were made about M-103 and to that in simple and clear words, M-103 is not an attempt to create Sharia law. I vow to be the first person to oppose any motion or law that negatively impacts our multicultural, secular society. I assure you, M-103 does not.”
The vote on Thursday was along party lines. The governing Liberals and the New Democratic Party both voted in favour of the motion. Most Conservatives voted against.
Ishmael Daro is a social news editor for BuzzFeed and is based in Toronto.
Contact Ishmael N. Daro at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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