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Fri. Apr 19th, 2024

Islamophobia is the dread, hatred, hostility towards Islam and Muslims. Islamophobia has manifested itself as vandalism of mosques, and physical assaults on Muslims, including violence against Muslim women wearing the hijab or niqab. In January 2017, six Muslims were killed in a shooting at a Quebec city mosque. The number of Islamophobic incidents have significantly increased in the last two years. However, Islamophobia has been condemned by Canadian governments on the federal, provincial and municipal level.
The motion calls on the government to ‘quell the increasing public climate of hate and fear’

Recently, the Canadian parliament has passed a landmark anti-Islamophobia and religious discrimination motion that calls on politicians to condemn anti-Islamic behaviour. The vote follows months of intensive debate in Canada, including protests from both the motion’s supporters and opposers.

This motion was initiated by Iqra Khalid, a Liberal member of Parliament who is a Muslim. She introduced the motion in December as a response to rising anti-Muslim sentiment. Its significance was brought forward again in January after a mass shooting at a mosque in Quebec City which left six worshipers dead. 

Some of the Opponents argued that if the government allows “condemn Islamophobia and all forms of systemic racism and religious discrimination”, it will limit free speech in the country and single out Islam for special treatment.

The most important fact in the motion is for the government to “quell the increasing public climate of hate and fear”. It also said there should be a “government-wide approach for reducing or eliminating systemic racism and religious discrimination”.

This would require the government to collect date on hate crimes, conduct official assessments of affected communities and present findings to parliament within eight months.The non-binding motion, known as M-103 was passed by 201 votes to 91. However, Conservative MP David Anderson recommended an amendment to the motion to try and change the words placement to include other religions. He argued that the motion should be to “condemn all forms of systemic racism, religious intolerance and discrimination of Muslims, Jews, Christians, Sikhs, Hindus and other religious communities”. But the amendment was rejected by Liberals. Ms Khalid consequently said: “Really, changing the wording of the motion would have watered it down and I think the committee can really look into this if it is an issue.”

Mr Anderson later said: “I think that many of us have wanted to have a mature discussion about this for a long time, and I think actually Ms Khalid and I would be on the exact same wavelength on that issue.”

Speaking after the vote, Ms Khalid told reporters: “I’m really happy that the vote today has shown positive support for this motion and I’m really looking forward to the committee taking on this study.”

Iqra khalid further posted on her wall, “#M103 has passed the house successfully, I would like to thank you for your support, for your critique, and for your advice. This journey has been filled with eye opening instances and experiences – and none of that would have been remotely possible without you! So again, from the bottom of my heart -Thank you!”

Most countries of the world have recorded and still recording discrimination at different levels. It is very important for every country to strategize means of reducing the level of racial and religious discrimination in order to sustain peace and development.

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