Motion M-103: Threat to Free Speech
Motion M-103 was passed by the Liberal Government earlier this year. While motions are not bills and usually don’t cause any change in government policy there are a few motions that have actionable sections. M-103 is one such motion and requires the government to task a committee to examine religious discrimination in Canada and in particular to examine Islamophobia. And though many complaints were rightly made that the term Islamophobia was not defined and should be clear the Liberals refused to do so. The House of Commons Heritage Committee has been examining this right now and after conducting its examination of the issues will provide a report to Parliament, likely next year. So why might this be a problem?
There is a real concern that recommendations from the Heritage Committee hearings, once concluded, might lead to policies that will restrict free speech and in particular make it more difficult to discuss Islam and criticize its ideological/political/cultural positions. This is potentially very dangerous and threatens not only freedom of speech but Canada itself. No religion deserves or requires protection from critique and analysis. Canadians should be able to criticise any religious beliefs.
Let’s be clear. Canadians rightfully should not tolerate hatred to any group nor religious discrimination. Canada already has laws to deal with this and in addition laws to deal with violence perpetrated on any religious group. We do not need laws restricting criticism of religion and in particular Islam.
I have included links below to provide more detailed information on M-103 and concerns about it and the Heritage Committee hearings. I highly recommend these be viewed along with other sources providing fair and open critique of this important issue. There are Muslims in Canada that are concerned with this threat to free speech and are openly critical of M-103 and/or the Heritage Committee process such as Tarek Fatah, Raheel Raza, Salim Mansur and others. These people have written many articles and/or produced videos on the subject. Many others have also provided information on M-103 and the reason to be concerned. Please contact your MP to let them know if you have concerns about M-103 and the Heritage Committee hearings.
C3RF – home page (you can find a variety of source material on this issue there on M-103 and the hearings)
Briefing Note for the Committee on Canadian Heritage: Witness Testimony on Motion M-103 by Major (Ret’d) Russ Cooper.
Also Major (Ret’d) Russ Cooper’s youtube video presentation on this issue