It was a great pleasure and honour to be in Cambridge last night to hear Iqra Khalid speak. Ms. Khalid is the Liberal MP whose motion M-103 condemning anti-Islamaphobia as well as all other forms of racism, caused unnecessary consternation among most Conservative MP’s in their rush to appeal to the more crass elements in their party. Only a couple, like Michael Chong, were brave enough to stand up and be counted on the right side of history.
I will remind all that this very same Conservative Party was one which unanimously endorsed a very similar anti-Islamaphobia motion by Tom Mulcair last Autumn. Their immediate turnaround on this motion puts most of them in disrepute and should be a stain on that party for the shameful rush to the bottom of the barrel most have exhibited – particularly in light of 6 Canadians being murdered in cold blood by a racist terrorist in their place of worship in the very same time frame this was being debated. It was particularly fitting that this meeting and speaking was held at Wesley United Church in Cambridge. Both the pastor of that church and the Imam of the local mosque as well as several members of the Muslim Community were in attendance. local Cambridge MPP and Minister Kathryn Mcgarry was also there to show her support.
I came away (and I think most of the people who attended did as well) thinking what a courageous person Ms. Khalid is. It was also the first time I’ve heard her speak outside the House of Commons, and she is a very passionate and well-spoken person – and a proud Canadian. She did speak of the 55000 odd emails – a lot of them racist and hate-filled – that she received over this issue, s well as the death threats. She also however spoke of the many messages of support from Canadians she received apologizing for the behaviours or a hateful few, and that most of Canada / Canadians were not like this.
I will also make note that in the week since the motion M-103 was passed.. there have been no mass arrests of anyone at the Rebel or people sent away to camps.