In an otherwise bleak political landscape for Muslims, there was some good news yesterday when a motion condemning Islamophobia won unanimous approval in the Canadian Parliament. The motion was presented by NDP leader Tom Mulcair.
Thursday October 27, 2016,
Unfortunately Islamophobia has gained much traction in many Western countries due to the scapegoating of Muslims by unscrupulous politicians and media pundits. Who has not heard of Donald Trump’s ranting against Muslims? True, he has targeted a long list of others including Mexicans etc but his special wrath is reserved for Muslims.
Despite its largely peaceful nature, Canada is not immune from Islamophobic eruptions either. Mosques have been targeted in many cities. Earlier this week, an Islamic Cultural Centre in Quebec was vandalised. Last month, a mosque in Hamilton, Ontario was the subject of an arson attack. Luckily, there were people inside the mosque even though it was late at night and the perpetrator was captured and handed over to the police.
Exactly a year ago, a mosque in Peterborough was firebombed destroying the building completely. Reflecting the good nature of Canadians, Christian and Jewish groups immediately came forward and offered the Muslim community space in their religious buildings to offer Friday prayers while the mosque is repaired.
Concerned about the rising tide of Islamophobia, a petition was launched last June to make it a hate crime. The petition organizers set a target of 100,000 signatures by October 6. While this target was not achieved, a total of 69, 742 Canadians endorsed the petition.
Yesterday (October 26), NDP leader Tom Mulcair stood in the Canadian House of Commons and presented the following motion regarding Islamophobia:
That the House join the 69,742 Canadian supporters of House of Commons e-petition (e-411) in condemning all forms of Islamophobia.
In a rare show of harmony, all parties in the Canadian parliament unanimously endorsed the motion presented by NDP leader Tom Mulcair:
This motion of unanimous support followed a powerful statement made in the House of Commons moments before about the vandalism that occurred at a Sept-Iles Muslim cultural centre earlier this week.
Mulcair, who will be replaced as Party leader next year, stood up in the Canadian parliament and made the following statement before presenting the motion:
“Mr. Speaker, hate crimes targeting Muslim Canadians have tragically become more frequent in recent years. Each time we hear of another, it weighs heavily on our hearts.
“We know that Canada is fundamentally a country of peace.
“We must actively fight hate perpetrated against the Muslim community and denounce, in this House, lslamophobia in all of its forms.”
“I am proud that my colleagues dropped their partisanship to send a strong signal that Islamophobia will not be tolerated in Canada,” said Mulcair.