Sunday, March 19,
Freedom of Religion
Is Sharia Law alive and
well in Canada?
Betty Krawczyk, Cumberland BC
Motion 103 (M-103) introduced by Liberal MP Iqra Khalid asking the Standing
Committee on Canadian Heritage for “a-whole-of-government” approach to
reducing or eliminating systemic racism and religious discrimination
including “Islamophobia” troubles me a great deal.
First, Canada already has laws
protecting religious rights and freedoms under the Charter, and laws against
hate crimes. Secondly, by singling out Islam for special political and legal
protection as this motion does (no other religions are mentioned in the
M-103) we are standing on the precipice of giving an elevated political
preference and protection to one religious group above all others.
I am aghast that the Liberal government is seriously considering M-103 as
though this motion is about preventing racism and not about seeking special
protections for the religion of Islam. In my opinion, Islamophobia is not
caused by “systemic” racism in the Canadian population as M-103 describes.
I think Canadians in general, aware that we are all immigrants, or born of
immigrants, if we are not First Nations, try hard to rid ourselves of
racism. Waves of immigrants of different ethnicities have come to our
country, and settled; Chinese, Irish, Italian, Africans, Mexicans,
Americans; people of all races, colours and religions. Some have had more
difficulty than others in settling. Some give up and return to their native
countries but most remain and become part of Canadian life and the Canadian
work force regardless of the colour of their skins.
Muslims who have come to Canada as refugees and more who will be coming, are
composed of ethnic groups from all parts of the world. Some Muslims are very
fair skinned, some are dark. In my opinion, Islamophobia cannot be about
race per se, that is, the color of one’s skin or country of origin.
For these very reasons Islamophobia is not called Arabophobia,
Armenianophobia or Somaliophobia, terms which would identify ethnic groups
from the Middle East and Africa. These terms would be signifiers of certain
races. If discrimination occurs because of race, then that is racism. But
M-103 is not about race. It is about Muslims petitioning the Canadian
government for political support and special protection for a particular
religion in Canada.
This is a political act and not a right of religious freedom as they claim.
Some Muslims bring the desire to live under Sharia law with them when they
come to Canada, which they describe as religious laws, and therefore must be
protected under Canadian laws. With the Canadian Charter in mind, some
Muslims object to the way their children are taught in Canadian public
schools concerning sex education and even in music programs, and want
concessions concerning the right for their children to be given special
spaces and times to pray in public schools, which are secular schools.
In a recent posting by the Toronto Sun, Anthony Furey writes that Turkish
President Erdogan’s frequent use of the word “Islamophobia” is “weaponized
language”, a language used for political purposes. Calling any entity that
objects to Erdogan’s own political aims as Islamophobia helps to ward off
any criticism from the EU and any others who dare criticize his methods of
governing. Let’s not go down that road.
Canadians have a right in my opinion, particularly women, to be fearful of
our government’s readiness to elevate a misogynistic religion, or any major
religion for that matter, as they are all misogynistic to one degree or
another, to a special protection status by which “a-whole-of government”
approach that would make any political criticism of Islamic policies a
Canadian women have fought long
and hard to come out from under the yoke of governmental misogyny from the
time (1929) when women were not even considered “legal persons” in Canada in
(which happened in my lifetime).
Why is this motion (M-103) even under consideration? Is our desire to help
people from war torn countries weakening our own country to the point where
our own laws are being adversely affected? Surely we can help and welcome
the Muslim refugees without becoming victims of our own generosity.
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