Why online Islamophobia is difficult to stop

More on Islamophobia from both the UK and Canadian perspectives:

Online Islamophobia is also flourishing in Canada. The National Council of Canadian Muslims NCCM is receiving a growing number of reports.

But there are now fewer means for prosecuting online hate speech in Canada. Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act protected against the wilful promotion of hate online, but it was repealed by Bill C-304 in 2012.

“It’s kind of hard to say what the impact is, because even when it existed, there weren’t a lot of complaints brought under it,” says Cara Zwibel of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association.

Though there is a criminal code provision that protects against online hate speech, it requires the attorney general’s approval in order to lay charges — and that rarely occurs, says Zwibel.

Section 319 of the Criminal Code of Canada forbids the incitement of hatred against “any section of the public distinguished by colour, race, religion, ethnic origin or sexual orientation.” A judge can order online material removed from a public forum such as social media if it is severe enough, but if it is housed on a server outside of the country, this can be difficult.

Ihsaan Gardee, executive director of NCCM, says without changes, anti-Muslim hate speech will continue to go unpunished online, which he says especially concerns moderate Muslims.

“They worry about people perceiving them as sharing the same values these militants and these Islamic extremists are espousing.”

Same issues arise with antisemitism.

Ironic that the government is publicly musing about measures to curtail ISIS and related radicalization messaging on-line given their elimination of s 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act (hate speech).

Why online Islamophobia is difficult to stop – CBC News – Latest Canada, World, Entertainment and Business News.

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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