Canada’s anti-Islamophobia study to start next month

I suspect that the Committee witnesses will have a fairly broad range of witnesses from a number of communities that overall will maintain the focus on Islamophobia/anti-Muslim while situating the issues in the broader context of racism and discrimination:

A committee study that Canada’s controversial anti-Islamophobia motion called for is likely to get underway next month, the Sun has learned.

All eyes will be on the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage as it hears from dozens of witnesses to study the ill-defined phenomenon of Islamophobia, along with other forms of discrimination and racism.

Liberal MP Iqra Khalid’s M-103 passed in the House of Commons by a vote of 201-91 on March 23 after weeks of controversy surrounding the wording of the motion. Now the committee will pick up where the motion leaves off.

While the motion supposedly denounces all discrimination, Islamophobia was the only one that received a specific mention. Khalid has stated her motion was partially inspired by E-411, an online petition exclusively focused on Islam.

A number of mainstream pundits argued during the controversy that the motion was nothing more than a gesture and would never amount to anything.

However now that the issue is headed to committee, it will result in a report that will provide recommendations that may inspire legislation.

Multiple sources confirmed to the Sun that lists of suggested witnesses have already been put forward.

Typically, Liberal, Conservative and NDP members of a committee each put forward their own party list of witnesses and then together they narrow it down to a smaller, mutually agreed upon list.

The witnesses invited to testify for this study will largely determine the scope and tone of the committee meetings. Will they give equal time to representatives of all religions, as well as the non-religious? Will those speaking about Muslim issues be liberal Muslims or more orthodox, pro-sharia voices?

Meanwhile, a petition on the government’s official e-petition website that was created to voice opposition to sharia law gaining a foothold in Canada has reached 42,000 signatures.

The petition that inspired Khalid’s motion reached 70,000 before it was closed for signatures.

Source: Canada’s anti-Islamophobia study to start next month | Canada | News | Toronto S

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About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

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