Irwin Cotler, a former Liberal MP and Canadian Justice Minister, says the Liberals should remove the word “Islamophobia” from M-103.
“I think if the term ‘anti-Muslim bigotry’ would be used, which is in effect the purpose of the (motion), that could cause the concerns of those who are worried about Islamophobia to abate,” said Cotler.
A Conservative counter-motion was introduced along the lines Cotler suggested. That motion urges the House of Commons to “condemn all forms of systemic racism, religious intolerance, and discrimination of Muslims, Jews, Christians, Sikhs, Hindus, and other religious communities.”
The Liberals rejected that motion.
Liberal government proving why people are concerned about M-103
Many who oppose M-103 do so because they worry it is the first step in an effort to silence debate and discussion. However, rather than be open to discussing those legitimate concerns respectfully, the Liberals have accused M-103 opponents of spreading hate.
Ironically, the Liberals have also accused those opposed to M-103 of “Islamophobia.” Quite ironic to use that term to try and silence those worried they will be silenced by that very term.
Free Speech must be protected
People should be held accountable for their actions. Those who commit or plan terrorist attacks must be dealt with harshly. And those who have nothing to do with violence should not be treated differently under the law, and should not face discrimination just because of their religion. As Canadians, we can have a discussion about the very real problem of Islamic extremism, while also protecting the rights of Canadian Muslim citizens.
But we won’t get anywhere if open debate and discussion is silenced. To see the Liberals already using the “Islamophobia” term against their opponents shows why people are so concerned. It’s easy to see the government moving from M-103 to legislating against further discussion and debate, which would be devastating to our free speech.
Hate speech must be countered by free speech. Government regulation only makes things worse.
With even a former Liberal calling on the government to drop the term “Islamophobia” from M-103, it’s time for the government to stop playing cynical political games.
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