Why did the Liberals reject a motion condemning all forms of religious intolerance?

Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Canada December 7, 2015. (Chris Wattie/Reuters)

Religious intolerance has always been a problem in many countries, some of them certainly demonstrating it more than others.

Indeed, this is not a new occurrence and I’m sure we can agree that religious intolerance in the West is shown towards all types of religions including Christians, Muslims, Jews and Hindus.

So when every single Liberal MP unanimously rejected a motion that would condemn all systemic religious intolerance and hate in favour of their own motion, it certainly brought up some important questions.

One of them being why the Liberals rejected that motion in favour of their own motion, M-103, which like the aforementioned motion, condemns all systemic religious hate and racism; the difference being that M-103 singles out Islamophobia as the form of religious discrimination which deserves the most attention.  Indeed, every MP from the Conservative, and NDP parties voted to pass the motion.

Saying this, is it not so wrong to claim that one religion should not receive special treatment over another?

Of course one could make the argument that there has been a lot of tension regarding Islam following the rise of populism and nationalism in the US and Europe.

However, that shouldn’t take away from the fact that Jews and Christians receive overt discrimination on a daily basis.

Indeed, when the Masjid Toronto mosque recited a prayer calling for death to Jews, was that not a form of systemic religious hate?

This happened at ironically the same mosque where an anti-Islam protest took place, which welled up serious tensions and garnered mainstream coverage.

Certainly, this one instance is not just an isolated form of hate towards Jews.

In 2014, a mosque in Montreal had another imam call for the death to all Jews.

Just yesterday, there were anti-Semitic notes found at a North York condo containing virulent anti-Jewish sentiments and swastikas.  Mezuzahs were ripped off of people’s doors.

Furthermore, according to StatsCan, in 2014, 429 hate crimes were made towards religions.  Of those hate crimes, 213 were made towards Jews whereas 99 were directed to Muslims.

The point being, Islamophobia isn’t the only problem that is plaguing our collective religious community.  Anti-Semitism is certainly just as bad, if not worse.

Regardless, certain forms of religious discrimination shouldn’t be ranked in terms of importance.  They should all be held on an equal footing.

In the case of M-103, it seems the Liberals are ranking Islamophobia as a higher and more relevant form of discrimination that should be dealt with and in their doing so, they are essentially reducing other forms of religious tolerance as not as important.


About Jake Beaumont 58 Articles
BA in Media Studies from the University of Guelph. Graduated from the University of Guelph-Humber with a Diploma in Journalism. Former Research Analyst for Honest Reporting Canada. Published in the Huffington Post, Vancouver Province and many other newspapers across Canada. Specializes in Middle-East politics. Currently situated in Toronto.

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