Liberal Jewish and Muslim MPs condemn imams who called for the death of Jews [and anti-Muslim hate]

Great initiative and statement:

….So right now, the Parliamentary record shows Liberals voting down a motion condemning racism and intolerance even as Conservatives, New Democrats, and Bloc Quebecois MPs, along with the lone Green Party MP, voted in favour of condemning all racism and religious intolerance. (Conservatives, it should be noted, vowed not to vote for M-103 when that motion comes to the floor, preferring, instead the one voted on Tuesday.)

It’s in that context — the reports of the imams calling for death to Jews and the Liberal rejection of a motion condemning, in part, discrimination against Jews —  that a group of Liberal Jewish and Muslim MPs issued this statement Wednesday:

“As Canadians, we rise and fall together. Polarization doesn’t only hurt targeted groups, it hurts all Canadians.

As Parliamentarians, we feel it is our responsibility to rally Canadians around our shared values of human rights, equality and respect for each other. It is our duty to speak out and set an example for Canadians in confronting stereotypes and prejudice, and advancing understanding and education.

We are horrified by reports that two Imams in Montreal and Toronto called for the death of Jews during sermons. We condemn such behaviour and call on the mosques’ administration to take appropriate action.

We are equally troubled by reports of hate notes posted outside identifiable Jewish homes in Toronto this past weekend, as well as deeply concerning accounts from university campuses of Jewish students being targeted and vilified. Anti-Semitism is real and we must stand together against it.

We are also united in condemning Islamophobia and supporting Motion 103. Three weeks ago, six Muslim Canadians were killed during their prayer service at a Quebec mosque. Since the attack, there have been troubling incidents of mosque vandalism and a protest with hateful slogans outside a Toronto mosque. As Parliamentarians we recognize this rise in Anti-Muslim sentiment as Islamophobia.

We respect and defend Canadians’ right to freedom of speech and peaceful protest, and Motion 103 does nothing to change speech laws in Canada, contrary to falsehoods being circulated. We believe the best way to counter hate is through free and open dialogue and as such we also want to exercise our right to speak out against intimidating Canadians, including children, when they’re visiting their place of worship.

Motion 103 sends a message of solidarity to all those affected by religious and other forms of systemic discrimination and calls on the Heritage Committee to study and make recommendations to respond to them.

Religious, ethnic, gender and sexual orientation discrimination is a threat to our diversity and social cohesion. We call on all Canadians to lead by example. Words matter.

The overwhelming majority of Canadians reject guilt by association and stigmatization. That is why we must redouble our efforts to promote education and understanding.

We take pride in the countless Canadian stories of interfaith groups coming together to make our communities better.

We must continue to defend a Canada that is based on our Charter of Rights and Freedoms respecting the rights and responsibilities of all. Diversity is our strength.

Members :
Hon. Jim Carr, Winnipeg South Centre
Hon. Karina Gould, Burlington.
Hon. Ahmed Hussen, York South — Weston
Hon. Maryam Monsef, Peterborough — Kawartha.
Omar Alghabra, Mississauga Centre
Julie Dabrusin, Toronto — Danforth.
Ali Ehsassi, Willowdale.
David Graham, Laurentides — Labelle.
Anthony Housefather, Mount Royal
Majid Jowhari, Richmond Hill.
Iqra Khalid, Mississauga — Erin Mills.
Michael Levitt, York Centre
Yasmin Ratansi, Don Valley East
Dan Ruimy, Pitt Meadows — Maple Ridge.
Marwan Tabbara, Kitchener South — Hespeler
Arif Virani, Parkdale — High Park.
Salma Zahid, Scarborough Centre”

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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