Parliament: Statement on M-103 and the Disinformation Surrounding it

On Thursday, February 16th, 2017 in Debate, Parliament
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Elizabeth May:

Mr. Speaker, we do not have to go back very far to find quite outrageous things said by former parliamentarians. I would like to have seen this House in the wake of the tragedy, the murders, in Quebec City. We were quite united. We were clear, as parliamentarians, that we were denouncing the murderous acts against Muslims for the sole reason that they were praying in a mosque.

We should be united around this, and I appreciate that the NDP position is to vote for both motions. I agree, for the record. The motions, side by side, do not create any conflicts, one with the other. They can both be passed. I see nothing wrong with Motion No. 103.

The background context that poisons this debate is what is going on in social media and what is going at rallies, such as the one this weekend in Toronto. There are posters on utility poles around Ottawa this morning that call out what they allege is Christian-phobia and say that Motion No. 103 will bring sharia law.

The backdrop to our reasoned debate as parliamentarians is an unreasonable campaign of disinformation that is unfortunately reaching people across Canada who honestly believe now that the completely reasonable Motion No. 103 will threaten religious freedom or bring sharia law.

That is the problem with our debate here. We are not engaging with the real problem: an anonymous plague of false and disinformation.

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  • rd

    Canadians are so naive. Look at Europe, London, Paris, Spain, Greece etc. Since when does Free Speech mean limited speech? The wording and concept is far too vague and all encompassing. Get real people!

    • Luv

      I too would like to see much greater public attention to the underlying causes of the situation unfolding in Europe.
      “Paris Burns, Nobody Cares” https://youtu.be/xF-Lof8Qiy4

  • ESTEE

    Fake news now in Canada.

  • IamSalome

    Hate Speech is not free speech. It is malicious and used in order to SPREAD hate. That is what needs to be shut down. Fair comment is fair comment. If we want to talk about the merits of various religions that is fine. If we want to talk about the dangers of fundamentalist religions that is also fine. If we want to talk about the dangers of terrorist, fundamentalist Islamic groups that promote hate and murder that is also fine.

    BUT to incite against ALL Muslims in the name of a few terrorist, fundamentalist Islamic groups that promote hate and murder is just plain crazy.

    • Luv

      That’s all well and good, but the most important thing in a FREE NATION with equal rights for ALL (ostensibly) is that anyone should be free to express critical comments about ANY individual or group publicly without fear of reprisal simply for having expressed the comment. If the comment can be debunked by a well-thought-out response, than that too is our right (and obligation) in a FREE NATION of TRUTH SEEKERS.

      Nobody should have the POWER to tell another what they can or cannot say!

      We should be EXTREMELY disappointed in the Green party for endorsing this ill-conceived travesty.

      • IamSalome

        We can say anything we want EXCEPT that which will inspire others to violence. Do you think that Hitler’s hate was free speech? It was simply speech which led to the atrocities during WWII.

        I believe that we can speak about Islam without inspiring people to hate Muslims. We can speak about its good and bad points – but we must always guard our speech so that we do not inspire hate.

        I believe that fundamentalist religions can be very dangerous – be that Christian, Islam, Judaism, Sikh or others. But that does not mean that I will label ANY religion for the violent behavior or the few!

        • Luv

          Your intentions are good. Unfortunately, there are those with less-than-good intentions who take advantage of ‘special protections’ in order to interfere with the ability of others to exercise their own powers of analysis and formulate their own critical value judgements. Legislation of such intellectual roadblocks entrenches complacency in public discourse, enabling new ignorance and prejudice to take hold, arguably laying groundwork for the very violence they’re meant to pre-empt. JMO…

  • chrisgrow

    it appears that all humans will only justify their differences either political, religious, economic by what ever means is available ! History is our proof and epitaph .

  • a Smith

    I sort of thought, we had laws against beating people
    (who may or may not be LGBT, or who may or may not be a different color or culture, or who may or may not have different political or religious views).

    I sort of thought, the same goes for any type of violence, armed or otherwise.

    I sort of thought immigrants, who became canadian citizens, have the same rights and protections as all other canadians, even third generation.

    Now I wonder. Why don’t we apply the laws we already have?

    Judging by human nature, and much history of it, that if you give special rights to a group. That group will be disliked eventually. Even hated.
    And so, the cycle of “discrimination” starts.
    M103 is like “painting a target” on muslims, on some level.

    Now I wonder.
    Is M103 being supported by good people with unexpected bad results?
    Or is it being supported by intelligent people who EXPECT bad results?

    And also, is it true, that M103 does NOT differentiate between the islam religion and the muslim people?
    I would hope, valuable tax dollars are not being diverted to protect any religion. Traditionally, Canada has used tax dollars to wipe out religions, if the indiginous (sixth generation canadians) experience is any example.
    Maybe M103 should be about reversing the damage done there instead.
    So then, why all the discussion about M103? Why is there an M103?

    Any you find nothing wrong with M103? Is it true that, negative comments about islam with be illegal? Why is islam so special? It seems I am giving up a lot of rights for a religion, I do not care about at all. I’d rather keep the rights.

    I wish the members in all parties in the government of Canada, were focussing on getting that “sock puppet” out of the prime minister’s chair, or at least, limiting the damage he can do.

  • deb

    It is impossible to define hate speech. People want free speech to criticize issues they disagree with. Who is going to decide what is criticism and what is hate? There is a problem when you can not freely speak, however unpleasant. Will words like jihad and terrorist be outlawed? You cannot force people to love Islam unless perhaps sharia law is implemented along with their religious police.

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