Jack Shearing (3/27/17)
The Canadian parliament has passed has just passed an anti-blasphemy motion. Inconspicuously titled, M-103, the new legislation while sensationalized by many right-wing outlets as outright forbidding criticism of Islam is actually just a preliminary step in that direction. M-103 was passed by a huge margin: 201 parliament members voted in favor of the anti-free speech legislation over the votes of 90 dissenters.
The legal motion is split up into three parts which appear at first glance to be generally harmless until you consider their implications. Here’s what the first two parts say exactly:
“That, in the opinion of the House, the government should: (a) recognize the need to quell the increasing public climate of hate and fear; (b) condemn Islamophobia and all forms of systemic racism and religious discrimination.”
The third part details a study to be conducted on hate speech, its perpetrators and recommends that the Canadian government move forward in taking actions against them. It’s mostly jargon so I’ve left it out but if you’d like to read the whole thing click here.
Part of the reason this legislation is so ridiculous is because its claims are directly contradictory to each other. I don’t disagree with the claim that there has been a considerable increase in hatred and fear in western populist masses towards Islam. Considering the brutal terrorist attacks that have taken place in France, England, The United States and Germany that have claimed hundreds if not thousands of innocent lives in the past year alone; People are right to be afraid and careful around people who could pose a threat to them, their families or their countrymen.
Their solution to this problem is not to take actions against third-world immigration, terrorism or its mitigating factors but instead to take legal actions against those Canadian citizens voicing criticisms of Islam and the dangerous consequences of embracing such a violent ideology. This is completely counterproductive! If Canada wants to decrease criticism of Islam then it should find a way to end the terror attacks – not muzzle the victims.
Can I also take a second to remind the Canadian parliament that Islam is not a race of people? It’s a religion. It’s a set of beliefs, an ideology that has potential to be beautiful though it has been currently been perverted for violent ends by a radical sect. That radical sect poses a real danger to the west and our values: We cannot let them stop us from defending ourselves against those who seek to destroy us and undermine our prosperity.
The citizens of Canada should be concerned by this motion and take action now against free-speech limiting laws before they become a reality, especially ones that would tangibly increase the threat of terrorism against them.
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