In David Matas’ warning against Islamophobia legislation, he said that anybody who doesn’t fear radical Islamist terrorists is “foolhardy.”
A Canadian committee is reviewing an anti-Islamophobia motion passed by the House of Commons and is to report back to the Justin Trudeau government on legal remedies to combat the problem.
The M-103 motion did not define Islamophobia, and some say it could be used to restrict any criticism of radical Islam, or free speech in general.
Matas is the senior legal counsel to the Jewish human rights organization “B’nai Brith Canada” and has been honored with the Order of Canada for his contributions to human rights legislation.
“Not every fear of Islam is Islamophobia,” Matas said to the House of Commons Heritage Committee, noting that anyone who is not afraid of the various radical Islamic terrorist outfits in the world is “foolhardy”.
“Islamophobia does not appear in a vacuum,” Matas told MPs. “It grows out of a fear of incitement and acts of hatred and terrorism coming from elements of the Islamic community.”
M-103, anti-Islamophobia motion, states that the members of the House of Commons call on the Government of Canada to condemn Islamophobia in Canada and “all forms of systemic racism and religious discrimination.”
Shimon Fogel, CEO of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, has called for the committee to provide a more precise definition of Islamophobia.
Fogel referenced to the Toronto District School Board guidebook which describes Islamophobia as “fear, prejudice, hatred or dislike directed against Islam or Muslims, or towards Islamic politics or culture.”
“This incident exposes significant problems with relying on ad hoc, inadequate definitions of Islamophobia,” said Fogel.
On Wednesday, the Quebec legislature passed Bill 62. The new law forbids any form of face covering in any public space that receives funding from the government. Critics say the law primarily targets Muslims.
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