National Council of Canadian Muslims thanks Conservative MP for entering anti-Bill 21 petition

Of note:

The National Council of Canadian Muslims on Thursday expressed its thanks to MP Garnett Genuis, Conservative Critic of Multiculturalism, for entering an anti-Bill 21 petition on the first day of session on January 27, 2020.

Bill 21, An Act respecting the laicity of the State, is the piece of legislation that prevents Jews, Muslims, Sikhs, and others from wearing religious symbols and becoming prosecutors, teachers, or police officers (among other professions) in Quebec.

“Since the day Bill 21 was passed, we have called upon all politicians, of all political parties, to condemn Bill 21”, said Mustafa Farooq, Executive Director of the National Council of Canadian Muslims.

“Other legislative assemblies, including Manitoba and Ontario, have passed motions to formally condemn Bill 21. Today, we thank MP Genuis for filing the petition calling on the House of Commons to formally condemn Bill 21. The time is now for all elected officials to formally condemn second-class citizenship in the House of Commons”.

The text of the petition states:

We, the undersigned citizens of Canada, draw the attention of the House of Commons to the following:
Whereas the province of Quebec has passed An Act respecting the laicity of the State (“Bill 21”), that restricts the wearing of religious symbols; and;
Whereas our federation is built on a diverse community, where many Canadians wear religious symbols including turbans, hijabs, kippas, crosses and many other symbols; and
Whereas the fundamental right of religious freedom is enshrined in the Canadian constitution; and
Whereas national civil rights groups, including: the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, the National Council of Canadian Muslims, B’nai Brith Canada, the World Sikh Organization, the Canadian Bar Association, Amnesty International, and the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs have condemned the legislation’s infringement on Canadians’ rights; and
Whereas the federal government bears a responsibility to stand up in defence of the Canadian multicultural mosaic;
We the undersigned therefore urge the House of Commons to formally denounce Bill 21.

Source: National Council of Canadian Muslims thanks Conservative MP for entering anti-Bill 21 petition

New role as Shadow Minister of Multiculturalism

Of interest given how Genuis defines his role and multiculturalism:

I am honoured to be officially taking on the role of Shadow Minister for Multiculturalism within the Conservative caucus. The government appoints a cabinet, responsible for administering the affairs of the nation. The “shadow cabinet” is a parallel structure that exists in the opposition, whereby specific members are tasked with leading the opposition’s response to the government on specific files. Shadow cabinet can also be about preparing to take on similar roles in government, although positions do often shift at that point for a variety of reasons.

My role as Shadow Minister for Multiculturalism involves holding the government to account in terms of their actions related to multicultural policy, and also working to ensure that our caucus is hearing and incorporating the unique experiences and perspectives of minority communities.

The Conservative caucus’s approach to multiculturalism is unique. We recognize and celebrate Canada’s identity as a community of communities. We are a country made up of distinct and different communities of people, who come together as part of a shared national community with common values and objectives. Attachments to the particulars of one’s own religious or ethnic community are good and reasonable, but they also must be transcended in the creation of a greater national community of shared commitments, of intertwining histories, and of unifying solidarity. This unity, in the midst of our diversity, is built on the foundation of freedom, human rights, democracy, and the rule of law. New Canadians come here not principally because of our diversity, but because of the freedom and peace that characterize our country and how we live well together in it.

In this role, I will always emphasize the importance of unity in diversity, and work to build common ground. Our country is quite divided right now – divided in terms of region, politics, religion, culture, and other dimensions. A lot of this division is the result, in my view, of policies pursued in the last four years at the federal level. Albertans feel disconnected from the rest of Canada because of anti-energy bills like C-48 and C-69. Cultural divisions have been exacerbated by a government that fails to effectively manage our immigration system and accuses anyone who disagrees with them of being bigoted.

Other factors have also accentuated division, such as the passage of bill 21 in Quebec and a rise in fringe xenophobic rhetoric. People understandably want to preserve their own culture, but preserving one’s own culture and faith does not require the suppression of someone else’s.

Multiculturalism isn’t just about diversity of appearance and confession – it includes diversity of thought and opinion. I will continue to challenge the government to respect the rights of people who hold different opinions from them and still participate fully in Canadian society.

In the midst of all these challenges, I will always emphasize unity, the importance of finding common ground, and the necessity of protecting fundamental rights and freedoms.

I look forward to taking on this important challenge.

Source: New role as Shadow Minister of Multiculturalism