Windsor Islamic Association wants support for government ban on Islamophobia

Windsor Islamic association supports a government motion to condemn Islamophobia and religious discrimination, and to track hate crimes against Muslims.

Several Conservatives have argued the motion will infringe on free speech

Heritage Minister Melanie Joly and Liberal MP Iqra Khalid hold a news conference on Parliament Hill today ahead of debate on M-103, which calls on the government to condemn Islamophobia. (CBC)

The Windsor Islamic Council is supporting an MP's contentious motion calling to condemn Islamophobia and religious discrimination, and to track hate crimes against Muslims.

M-103, which was tabled by MIssissaugua MP Iqra Khalid, was debated in the House of Commons Wednesday with critics arguing the specific reference to Islamophobia could infringe on free speech.

The motion, which is non-binding, has been a subject of intense argument online where some have said it could lead to Shariah law in Canada.

But Maher El-Masri, chairman of the Windsor Islamic Council, said the motion should be left as is — especially after the Quebec mosque attack that killed six Muslim men.

"This is about irrational hate that translates into a threat to our unity and our society fabric, and instill fear in people's hearts and minds," he said, adding members of Windsor's Islamic community are afraid after recent attacks.

Call to end attacks on Muslims

Sarah Mustaq, a Muslim student, said the M-103 could help keep Canadians of all faiths safe.

"How are we going to ensure that something like that, whether on a small scale or a large scale, won't happen again?" she said, referencing the Quebec attack.

As for concerns about free speech, El-Masri said the motion is about condemning hate — something all Canadians should support.

"This is not just about speech," he explained. "When you are defending our Canadian values, the values of inclusiveness and tolerance, how is that an attack on freedom of speech?"

The Windsor Muslim leader called on people across Canada to contact their MPs in support of the motion.


  • An earlier version of this story identified Sarah Mushtaq as a representative of the Windsor Islamic Council.
    Feb 16, 2017 3:25 PM ET