Press Release from C3RF
Canadian Citizens for Charter Rights and Freedoms (C3RF) is a group of Canadians who have come together to address Member of Parliament Iqra Khalid’s Motion M-103, a motion that stands to adversely impact the ability of Canadians to express themselves freely.
Members of the group come from many religious and ethnic communities and many have long histories as human rights advocates. The group supports the rule of law in accordance with Canadian traditions and strives to ensure freedom of expression and the equality rights of women and the LGBTQ community.
Motion M-103 flows from the House of Commons “E-411 (Islam)” petition and both documents call up the term, "Islamophobia". Motion M-103 goes further than the petition in that it levels the charge that everyday Canadians and their institutions are riddled with "systemic racism and religious discrimination".
C3RF finds the use of the term “Islamophobia” confusing and alarming. Confusing in that it wrongly equates Islamophobia with anti-Muslim, anti-Jewish, or anti LGBT hate speech. Alarming in that it is part of a well-funded Muslim Brotherhood public relations campaign to deflect legitimately founded criticism of Islamic extremists who seek to replace Canadian Law with sharia law, strike fear into the majority of Muslim leaders and clergy in Canada, and put a chill on legitimate criticism of political Islam.
In the case of M-103, we are very concerned about the Liberal Party’s unwillingness to compromise on the use of the term “Islamophobia”. C3RF had hoped that the member would have accepted recommendations from various faith communities, free speech advocates, former Justice Minister Irwin Cotler, the Conservative Party, the Muslim-Jewish Dialogue, and other groups to exclude the term and speak to the rights of all religious communities.
MP Khalid’s assertion that “Islamophobia” is an “irrational fear of Muslims” stands in contrast to definitions offered up by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). These entities detail “Islamophobia” as the “unfounded fear…of Muslims and Islam.” These differences cry out to be discussed and clarified before an informed vote can be taken.
The assertion that the motion is “non-binding”, “not a bill” and will not compromise freedom of speech is problematic given the fact that it calls for a 240-day study period that will conclude with recommendations that the “government may use to better reflect the enshrined rights and freedoms in the…Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.”