Toronto – February 24, 2017 – Motion 103 (M-103) is a federal private member’s motion that condemns Islamaphobia and all forms of systemic racism and religious discrimination. It requests that the federal Heritage Committee study ways to reduce or eliminate systemic racism and religious discrimination, including Islamaphobia, and to collect data on hate crimes. The motion is partly in response to the recent deadly attack on a mosque in Quebec City that left six men dead.
A private member’s motion is not a Bill; it is a simple motion, an expression of opinion that has no legal force or effect. In the case of M-103, it simply instructs a Parliamentary Committee to study the matter.
The motion is similar to a NDP motion condemning Islamaphobia in all its forms that was passed with support from all federal parties just back in October. But this time, conservatives are raising fear over Motion 103. Four of the federal Conservative leadership contenders recently attended a rally protesting the motion. The rally was organized by an alt-right website and took place at a private college run by a televangelist who had been censured by the broadcast commission for his homophobic comments.
At the rally, all kinds of outrageous accusations were made about what the motion would do – none of which is true – but the Conservative leadership candidates at the rally were there to give their support to false and ridiculous claims that M-103 would restrict freedom of speech and lead to Sharia law in Canada. Their opposition to the motion has mirrored what can be found on far-right blogs and anonymous social media postings.
Conservatives are twisting themselves into pretzels while propagating fears about things the motion does not do.
There is a great need to quell an increasing climate of hate and fear directed towards Muslims, and to condemn all forms of systemic racism and religious discrimination. It is also time for right-wing conservatives and Conservative leadership candidates to stop pandering to those who promote such fear and hatred in Canada.