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HAT Forum: Motion M-103-Islamophobia, proposer Moses Klein

  • The 519 Community Centre 519 Church Street Toronto, ON, M4Y 2C9 Canada (map)

That, in the opinion of the House, the government should: (a) recognize the need to quell the increasing public climate of hate and fear; (b) condemn Islamophobia and all forms of systemic racism and religious discrimination and take note of House of Commons’ petition e-411 and the issues raised by it; and (c) request that the Standing Committee on  Canadian Heritage undertake a study on how the government could (i) develop a whole-of-government approach to reducing or eliminating systemic racism and religious discrimination including Islamophobia, in Canada, while ensuring a community-centered focus with a holistic response through evidence-based policy-making, (ii) collect data to contextualize hate crime reports and to conduct needs assessments for impacted communities, and that the Committee should present its findings and recommendations to the House no later than 240 calendar days from the adoption of this motion, provided that in its report, the Committee should make recommendations that the government may use to better reflect the enshrined rights and freedoms in the Constitution Acts, including the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

1. Much of the controversy around M-103 revolves around the meaning of the word “Islamophobia”. What do you understand by this word?
2. M-series motions are not legislation. What is the purpose of stating the views of the House in such a motion?
3. Is it appropriate for a motion condemning “all forms of systemic racism and religious discrimination” to single out a particular target? Why or why not?
4. Does M-103 have implications for free speech in Canada?
5. If you were an independent Member of Parliament, how would you vote on this motion? Are there any amendments you would propose?