Canada is again setting the pace for promoting multiculturalism in the western hemisphere. Canadian parliament passed a federal motion condemning Islamophobia. The motion was based on an e-petition sponsored by parliamentarian Liberal MP Frank Baylis; the original e-petition received more than 70,000 votes. Here is the full text of the petition:
Islam is a religion of over 1.5 billion people worldwide. Since its founding more than 1400 years ago, Muslims have contributed, and continue to contribute, to the positive development of human civilization. This encompasses all areas of human endeavors including the arts, culture, science, medicine, literature, and much more;
Recently an infinitesimally small number of extremist individuals have conducted terrorist activities while claiming to speak for the religion of Islam. Their actions have been used as a pretext for a notable rise of anti-Muslim sentiments in Canada; and
These violent individuals do not reflect in any way the values or the teachings of the religion of Islam. In fact, they misrepresent the religion. We categorically reject all their activities. They in no way represent the religion, the beliefs and the desire of Muslims to co-exist in peace with all peoples of the world.
We, the undersigned, Citizens and residents of Canada, call upon the House of Commons to join us in recognizing that extremist individuals do not represent the religion of Islam, and in condemning all forms of Islamophobia.
The motion was proposed earlier this year but was objected to by a number of conservative MPs. When it was voted on for a second time at the end of October, it was unanimously approved. Despite Canada having taken several steps to combat Islamophobia, Islamophobic attacks have more than doubled over the last 3 years.
The National Council of Canadian Muslim’s Executive Director, Ihsaan Gardee, said, “This motion sends a strong message to Canadians that discrimination and hatred against Muslims is unacceptable… Canadians want and expect strong leadership from our elected officials when it comes to fostering inclusive communities.”
At a time when the U.S.A. has elected a President who has vowed to put a “total and complete shutdown” of Muslims entering the U.S., creating a database with personal information of American Muslims and sending Syrian refugees residing in the U.S. back to Syria, motions like this are a breath of fresh amidst a challenging climate. I may not live there, but just knowing the motion was passed, and that our Canadian brothers and sisters can rest a little easier at night, is a cherished thing; thank you, Canada.