Dear Concerned Citizen,
One year ago, there was a concerted federal effort to introduce an annualized "Day of Remembrance and Action Against Islamophobia". The motivation for such a permanent day of atonement arose out of the passage of Motion M-103. This Motion made unsubstantiated claims of rampant racism and religious discrimination, including Islamophobia, across the nation and called for a “rising tide of hate and fear” to be quelled. The only evidence used to substantiate such claims came in the form of the Quebec City mosque attack of early 2017.
It mattered not that there were no charges of “hate” or “terror” in the mosque case or that the perpetrator, Alexandre Bissonnette, confessed that his motivations had nothing to do with Islamophobia. Rather, he stated they were due to a mind muddled with a deep and dark depression. As for the “rising tide of hate and fear”, this narrative was struck down as false by expert testimony given at House of Commons Heritage Committee hearings dedicated to studying Motion M-103. It came as no surprise that the federal effort to institute a “Day Against Islamophobia” was not supported by the Canadian public at large. The initiative was summarily dropped.
Now we have the Province of Ontario advancing a similar initiative in the form of Bill 83 - a Day of Remembrance and Action on Islamophobia Act, 2019. This initiative uses the same Quebec City mosque rationale employed by the Feds and is likely being accelerated as the thing to do given the recent Christchurch attack. The fact remains, the Quebec attack cannot be attributed to Islamophobia and Christchurch motivations are, as of yet, unknown. Indeed, the attacker, by virtue of his own manifesto, seems more motivated by eco-fascism than by any animus to Muslims.
The other issue with the Bill is its definition of the term Islamophobia as hostility against “followers of Islam in general”. This definition is totally subjective and open to the protection of doctrines, traditions and practices that these “followers” attach themselves to. Regardless, this is a human rights matter and Canadian jurisdictions will be obligated to closely consider and employ relevant international conventions. Canadians have seen how such interpretations have panned out in other Western jurisdictions such as Sweden, the United Kingdom and the European Union in general. Over the past few decades such domains have afforded special protections to the religion of Islam, and Sharia Law, over all other belief systems. In short, the faith practitioner is not only shielded from discrimination but so is the faith itself. A few examples include:
All this to say, the Ontario initiative to institute a “Day of Remembrance and Action Against Islamophobia” is a misplaced bit of virtue signalling that stands to divide the province along religious lines. It will create perceived “favourites” and inevitably lead to follow-on resentment that will be a source of social dislocation. How is it that the tragic killing of Muslims is of such political concern when the killing of non-Muslims by Muslims, such as in the Danforth massacre or in the case of Marissa Shen, is swept under the rug? Why is this the case even if the killers explicitly state they were motivated by jihad - as was the case with the assassinations of Canadian military members Patrice Vincent and Nathan Cirillo? Why is it that a non-Muslim in a Muslim majority country is 143 times more likely to be killed than a Muslim than the other way round? It matters not if you are a resident of a province other than Ontario. Ontario is the acknowledged leader in the area of Canadian human rights and its decisions will arrive in your province sooner rather than later.
If you agree, please sign this petition and send a dedicated email to Premier Ford to let him know how you feel.