Dear Mr. Jati Sidhu, MP (Mission — Matsqui — Fraser Canyon)
I write to you, my elected representative to Parliament, to urge you to vote against Iqra Khalid's Motion M-103 "Systemic racism and religious discrimination" this week.
My rationale is simple.
Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees my right to freedom of speech. That right includes the right to speak out against ideas and issues I find deplorable without fear of retaliation by my government.
Charter Section 2. Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms:
(a) freedom of conscience and religion;
(b) freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication;
I wrote the following my July 15, 2016 column “Islamophobia? Just More Media-Manufactured Nonsense” (http://bit.ly/2kpAliF)
"Is it 'inexplicable and illogical fear' of a group of people when that group of people is responsible for all these terror attacks? Is it 'overwhelming and unreasonable fear' when a single religious group is responsible for hundreds and hundreds of rapes on a single night across Europe? "
Under Ms. Khalid's motion speaking such truths would be decried as hate crimes. That is absurd.
Her motion singles out "Islamophobia" for special consideration yet never defines what that term means. It seeks to place one religion, Islam, above all others and then condemn any criticism of it. Ms. Khalid uses thinly veiled language so she can claim her motion supports all religions when it does no such thing.
“(a) recognize the need to quell the increasing public climate of hate and fear; (b) condemn Islamophobia and all forms of systemic racism and religious discrimination and take note of House of Commons’ petition e-411 and the issues raised by it;”
She does not condemn Canadian Muslim Imams who routinely call for the killing of Jews, Christians and anyone else who oppose Islam.
At the Al Andalous Islamic Center in Montreal, Quebec Imam Sayed AlGhitawi routinely preaches for the murder of Jews.
“O Allah, destroy the accursed Jews
O Allah, show us the black day you inflict on them
O Allah, show us the wonders of your power and ability inflicted on them, O the most Merciful”
She does not call for AlGhitawi or others like him to be charged with inciting violence based on religion. It is only the critics of Islam she wants silenced.
That is abhorrent to Canadian values and our Canadian culture, not to mention our Charter of Rights and freedoms and our Criminal Code section 319.
Then she demands we establish a government-wide plan to eradicate Islamophobia.
“(i) develop a whole-of-government approach to reducing or eliminating systemic racism and religious discrimination including Islamophobia, in Canada”
If her motion supported all religions Islam would not be singled out. It would not even be mentioned. That she uses, as the basis for her motion, petition e-411 only proves my point.
“We, the undersigned, Citizens and residents of Canada, call upon the House of Commons to join us in recognizing that extremist individuals do not represent the religion of Islam, and in condemning all forms of Islamophobia.”
Once again Islamophobia is not defined. It casts a wide net and does not care who it ensnares. It's a politically-charged term that in its broadest application means any and all discussion of Islam that disagrees with Islam and/or Sharia law.
That is fundamentally at odds with Canadian history, Canadian culture, Canadian jurisprudence and our Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
If I can freely criticize my Prime Minister, as I did in my Amazon #1 best-selling book “Justin Trudeau: 47 Character-Revealing Quotes and What They Mean for You,” without fear of government reprisal but must fear speaking out against Islam then I no longer live in the Canada of my birth.
I live in a nation where political correctness is the supreme law of the land and any criticism of a single religion, Islam, is punished as a hate crime.
That is obscene.
I must join Barbara Kay in asking the question, “How long until my honest criticism of Islamism constitutes a speech crime in Canada?”
Honest criticism is a fundamental cornerstone of Canada’s democracy. It is protected by our Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
I urge you to defend my right to freedom of speech, as defined in Section 2 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, to vote against Iqra Khalid's Motion M-103 when it comes before Parliament for a vote later this week.
Thank you in advance,
Christopher di Armani
PO Box 507
Lytton, BC V0K 1Z0