Spencer: Islamophobia motion sows disarray among Tories

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17 February 2017 18:27:34 Ottawa Citizen - News

At this point, it is possible only two people in Parliament are still motivated mainly by concerns over religious bigotry: Iqra Khalid, the Liberal backbencher behind the unexpectedly controversial “Motion 103,” and Michael Chong, the Conservative leadership hopeful who supports her proposal but also opposes hate-speech laws. The rest of the mob now seem to be mere collaborators in a painful theatre of the politically absurd. But let’s start with Khalid’s good intentions. The Mississauga-Erin Mills MP introduced her motion against “Islamophobia” – a suddenly contentious term – in December, well before the attack that killed six people in a Quebec mosque in January. In other words, Khalid wasn’t trying to politicize a crisis; it hadn’t happened yet. She seems simply to have been moved by personal conviction. By week’s end, however, she was fairly suffocating in political hangers-on – including the PMO and senior ministers, who have basically claimed her non-binding motion as gospel (pardon the mixed religious metaphor) and insisted on needless rigidity around its wording – because there are now political points to be scored and smokescreens to raise. The smokescreening is brazen. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who, to be sure, supports religious minorities, nonetheless failed to take the stand against President Donald Trump’s Muslim-state travel ban that some felt he should. The sudden rush of love by Grit MPs for Khalid’s private initiative feels like a naked attempt to loudly reclaim moral ground. Added bonus: focusing everyone on her motion tends to divert us from reflecting on other inconveniences such as ethics probes into the prime minister’s vacation habits. I know, I’m being ungenerous: minority rights are deeply held Liberal values. Sure they are; that must be why the government responded with complete boilerplate multi-cult drivel to the initial e-petition last fall that helped fuel Khalid’s proposal. Meanwhile, by being unwilling to entertain any compromise on the specific wording of Khalid’s motion – which is now in the hands of strategists and likely out of her control – the Liberals have gleefully tossed a fox into the overcrowded henhouse of the Conservative party leadership race, with its squabbling over Canadian values tests and such. The Grits did not create this disarray inside the official Opposition, where most leadership contestants reject M-103; they’re merely using Khalid’s motion to sow further discord (discord, somehow, being a useful tool in helping minorities). Witness Mélanie Joly accusing the Tories of watering down the intent of Khalid’s motion by suggest their own wording, even though they specifically reference the the mosque attack. No compromise wording was, apparently, possible. Where do things stand? Just last year, the Tories backed an Islamophobia motion; now, mostly, they won’t support Khalid’s use of the word. The Liberals won’t back a Tory motion though it covers similar ground. The NDP will vote yes to both though it’s not really happy with either. We need an anti-grandstanding motion. For her part, Khalid now has had to fend off twitter trolls, hate mail and threats as both friends and foes pound her proposal into something it is not. This brings us to Chong. With so many of his leadership rivals opposing Khalid’s motion, he examined it on merit and concluded he supports it. Chong gains little politically for doing so. But he notes that the House has adopted similar motions at different periods, and he rejects the absurd accusation that Motion 103 would somehow encourage sharia law. Chong has been willing to do more than simply break ranks, though. In spurning the idiotic idea that Khalid’s initiative would restrict free speech, he goes on to argue that a far graver restriction is Canada’s Criminal Code restriction on hate speech. “The right way to combat hate speech is through free speech. Not through the Criminal Code,” he writes. That’s a bold statement – and it points to an MP thinking through an issue, not just trying for political points. Good luck to Ms. Khalid. And kudos to Mr. Chong. Christina Spencer is the Citizen's editorial pages editor. Full article on Spencer: Islamophobia motion sows disarray among Tories

Vice null Time17 February 2017 18:27:34


Mississauga MP’s motion to condemn Islamophobia and discrimination passes in House of Commons

0.93212426 27 March 2017 21:58:09 Brampton-News (from http://rss.metroland.com)

A Mississauga MP’s contentious motion condemning Islamophobia, racism and religious discrimination passed in the House of Commons Thursday (March 23).

Vice null Time27 March 2017 21:58:09

Debate wraps over Islamophobia motion

0.93212426 22 March 2017 02:01:27 Simcoe County-News (from http://rss.metroland.com)

Protests, acrimony over Islamophobia motion mark international anti-racism day

Vice null Time22 March 2017 02:01:27

Perth-Wellington MPP Randy Pettapiece brings news of recently-passed anti-Islamophobia motion to Stratford Mosque

0.93212426 04 March 2017 23:40:03 Home Stories

Randy Pettapiece was the first politician to step foot inside the Stratford Mosque.

Vice Alle News Time04 March 2017 23:40:03

Ontario anti-Islamophobia motion passes

0.93212426 23 February 2017 23:22:55 Simcoe County-News (from http://rss.metroland.com)

Anti-Islamophobia motion expected to pass Ontario legislature

Vice null Time23 February 2017 23:22:55

Anti-Islamophobia motion at Queen’s Park is expected to pass and send a ‘strong statement against all forms of hatred’

0.79896367 23 February 2017 20:10:54 Halton-News (from http://rss.metroland.com)

All three parties express support for the move that commits province to fight discrimination. But MPP says she has received backlash

Vice null Time23 February 2017 20:10:54

Ontario anti-Islamophobia motion set to pass

0.79896367 23 February 2017 16:42:22 Durham Region-News (from http://rss.metroland.com)

Anti-Islamophobia motion expected to pass Ontario legislature

Vice null Time23 February 2017 16:42:22

PC leader supports anti-Islamophobia motion

0.79896367 21 February 2017 18:01:55 Simcoe County-News (from http://rss.metroland.com)

PC leader supports anti-Islamophobia motion; says party opposes any form of hate

Vice null Time21 February 2017 18:01:55

MPP wants QP to debate Islamophobia motion

0.6658031 18 February 2017 04:04:25 Brampton-News (from http://rss.metroland.com)

MPP wants Ont legislature to debate on Islamophobia motion

Vice null Time18 February 2017 04:04:25

Remove 'Islamophobia' from motion: Cotler

0.6658031 17 February 2017 15:05:55 Simcoe County-News (from http://rss.metroland.com)

Former Liberal minister says 'Islamophobia' is a misunderstood word

Vice null Time17 February 2017 15:05:55

Liberals endorse anti-Islamophobia motion

0.5326425 15 February 2017 19:22:18 Simcoe County-News (from http://rss.metroland.com)

Liberal government backing controversial motion on condemning Islamophobia

Vice null Time15 February 2017 19:22:18