NATIONAL PULSE – M-103: If Canadians, not MPs, voted in the House, the motion condemning Islamophobia would be defeated

AS PARLIAMENT prepares to vote on the anti-Islamophobia motion that has been part of the national discourse for months, a new public opinion poll released today (March 23, 2017) by the Angus Reid Institute finds that, if Canadians and not their elected representatives were voting, M-103 would fail.

More than four-in-ten Canadians say they would vote against the motion condemning “Islamophobia and all forms of systemic racism and religious discrimination,” while fewer than three-in-ten would vote for it. A sizeable number – nearly one-third – say they are not sure or would abstain from voting.

This finding comes from a public split on the larger significance of anti-Muslim attitudes and discrimination in society. Half say it’s not necessary for government to condemn Islamophobia, and 55 per cent say the problem of anti-Muslim sentiments in this country has been “overblown” by politicians and the media.

Three-in-ten say the motion is ‘a threat to Canadians’ freedom of speech’ and should not be passed

Key Findings:
• Canadians are split between believing anti-Muslim attitudes and discrimination are “a serious problem” (45%) and believing that they have been “overblown” by politicians and the media (55%)
• Three-in-ten (31%) say M-103 should not be passed because it is “a threat to Canadians’ freedom of speech”
• Canadians who voted for the governing Liberal Party are divided on how they would vote on this motion, which was put forward by a Liberal MP. Past Conservative voters are more unified in opposing M-103 (68% would vote against it)

M-103 was originally tabled by Liberal MP Iqra Khalid, a Muslim, in the fall of 2016. It was brought forward for debate in February following the mass shooting at a mosque in Quebec City’s Sainte Foy neighbourhood. The motion requests that the government:

• “Recognize the need to quell the increasing public climate of hate and fear”
• “Condemn Islamophobia and all forms of systemic racism and religious discrimination”
• “Request the heritage committee study” the development of “a government-wide approach to reducing or eliminating systemic racism and religious discrimination, including Islamophobia”
• “Collect data to contextualize hate crime reports and to conduct needs assessments for impacted communities and present findings within 240 calendar days”

The motion has drawn a significant backlash from members of the opposition Conservative Party, as well as from the general public. Protests against the motion – and counter-protests in favour of it – have been held across the country, sometimes turning violent.

Some M-103 opponents argue that it singles out one religion – Islam – for special treatment by using the word Islamophobia in its text. Conservative MPs offered an amendment that would have removed the reference, but it was defeated.

Others argue that M-103 is more seriously problematic. In the motion’s condemnation of Islamophobia, they see a potential stifling of legitimate critiques of Islam as a religion, and thus an violation of free speech rights.

Link to the poll here:

About Mel Rothenburger (5782 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

7 Comments on NATIONAL PULSE – M-103: If Canadians, not MPs, voted in the House, the motion condemning Islamophobia would be defeated

  1. R A George // March 24, 2017 at 9:19 PM // Reply

    Come on J ?. You,re at it again. How about some plain English we can all understand, or heck even French. Is it John,Jack, Jennie or Julie. Don,t be shy.

  2. CAMILLE B VILLENEUVE // March 24, 2017 at 11:41 AM // Reply

    I have already often said that Islam was incompatible with our Canadian values. Come on, people, please educate yourselves!

  3. I trust the politicians rather than polls to make the right decidion

  4. CAMILLE B VILLENEUVE // March 23, 2017 at 6:49 PM // Reply

    At a time when more Muslims in Canadian mosques are calling for the killing and Jews and infidels, that motion was passed today. When will be the time to have a frank discussion about Islam?

  5. George S Duncan // March 23, 2017 at 1:16 PM // Reply

    M-103 is bad enough for the reasons stated above.
    But it’s even worse in that it is the means to introducing a law that will make anything that “offends” Muslims illegal.
    Muslims get to decide what offends them, and the courts will dish out fines and or jail time.
    Those who scoff at this notion need only look at what has been happening in the U.K. and other European countries where this sort of thing is already established.

  6. Mike Everatt // March 23, 2017 at 10:56 AM // Reply

    Because the motion specifically mentions “Islamaphobia”, it should rightfully be turned down. We already have in place laws that protect against hate speech, which do not infringe of Freedom of Speech. Although the motion does also say “and all forms of systemic racism and religious discrimination”, that sounds like an afterthought, so the main focus on the motion is Islamaphobia. This is wrong; singling out one religion by name is, in itself, religious discrimination.

  7. -No one -in Canada, at least- wants to give any weight in jurisprudence to Sharia Law, per se…and rightfully so; therefore, the terminology should be voted down. Period.

    For we live under a set of enforcement principles or code of laws that transpire [legal def.: advance; arise; ensue] out of rational basis and not, per se again, on the basis of a religious so-called tolerance of expression of religion. Tolerance of expression is found under Canada’s multiculturalism, embodying all Canadians.

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