Canada’s legislature passed a motion last week condemning “Islamophobia.” Although it has no legal force, Vivian Bercovici is disturbed by its implications, not to mention the parliament’s silence concerning a greater problem:
Many feel that the adoption of the term “Islamophobia” in the motion, [which makes no effort to define it], is ill-advised and potentially captures any negative comments made about the religion of Islam, thereby stifling free speech. For example: would the publication of cartoons satirizing the prophet Muhammad be “Islamophobic”? Such conduct, in recent years in Copenhagen and Paris, was deemed to be “Islamophobic” and was the direct cause of multiple murders of magazine editors and cartoonists. . . .
Discrimination against an individual due to religious belief is [already] prohibited by Canadian law, as is advocating genocide or promoting hatred and violence against individuals of a particular religion. Which is exactly what seems to be occurring with alarming frequency in some Canadian mosques, and about which the government seems unconcerned. Also, last Thursday, when the House voted on the Islamophobia motion, it was reported that in a recent sermon at a Montreal mosque, the imam spoke of the “disease of the Jews” [and advocated their murder]. . . . The mosque has posted the sermon on YouTube. . . .
In 2014, the most recent year for which there are statistics, there were 99 reported hate-based incidents involving the 1.2-million Canadian Muslims; and 1,627 such incidents targeting Canada’s 375,000 Jews. You do the math. . . .
One year ago, a motion condemning the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement and anti-Semitism was introduced in the parliament. . . . Iqra Khalid, [the Liberal MP who introduced the Islamophobia resolution], was not present for that vote. In fact, an observer who was in the House recalls that when the vote came to the floor, many Liberal MPs stood up and walked out. Forty-three of the 185 members of the Liberal caucus were absent for the BDS/anti-Semitism vote, and they did not all have dentist appointments or a sudden case of the flu.