Anti-Islamophobia Motion Passes in the House of Commons

 

After much debate—and much protest—Peel (Mississauga-Erin Mills) MP Iqra Khalid's controversial Private Member's Motion (M-103) has been passed by the House of Commons.

A few weeks back, Khalid tabled Motion M-103 in the House of Commons, a motion that calls on the federal government to condemn Islamophobia and combat all forms of systemic racism and religious discrimination.

The simple motion, which is not a law, but rather a call to action that directs Parliament to condemn discrimination and work to quell hate and fear, sparked a huge debate about Islamophobia, it’s meaning, and whether we should be using it to describe the wave of anti-Muslim incidents across North America--the latest of which was the tragic Quebec City mosque shooting.

While it's important to once again stress that the motion is not a law or bill, confusion and fear have continued to dominate the debate, with some critics suggesting passage implies a possible turn to/acceptance of Sharia law.

To break it down further, the motion is not just about Islam or the Muslim community. It condemns all forms of religious discrimination. After the news broke, Khalid had to be offered additional police protection, as Khalid’s staff at her constituency office began receiving threatening messages and phone calls from across Canada.

But protests or no protests, the motion passed 201-91.

How people—especially critics—will react to the passage of the motion is unclear.

Recently, controversies over Muslim prayer in public schools have erupted in Peel, prompting Brampton Mayor Linda Jeffrey to issue a statement on the matter. In her statement, the mayor reminded people that religious accommodation in schools is nothing new and added that she was concerned about the spread of “misinformation and hateful speech.”

Her statement earned the ire of both local and international critics, and even solicited a response from far-right American pundit Pamela Gellar.

Multiple media reports have also mentioned that school board meetings have been consistently interrupted by angry protestors in the wake of the decision to allow Muslim students to say their own prayers rather than ones pre-selected for them. Critics who oppose the initiative are arguing that the students may be secretly praying for the spread of Islamic extremism, something most officials have dismissed as both prejudiced and hysterical. 

It’ll be interesting to see how people react in the wake of the motion’s passage. 

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