Wouldn’t it be lovely if the Conservatives, who pride themselves on their ability to run the federal government like a corporation, would issue a corporate-style FAQ to explain why their anti-discrimination motion is superior to the anti-Islamophobia motion recently tabled by the Liberals.
If they did, it might look something like this…okay, you’re right, it would look nothing like this.*
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Q: What problem is your motion intended to address?
A: We want to address “the climate of hate and fear exemplified by the recent and senseless violent acts at a Quebec City mosque” by condemning “all forms of systemic racism, religious intolerance, and discrimination of Muslims, Jews, Christians, Sikhs, Hindus, and other religious communities”.
Q: You mention “the violent acts at a Quebec City mosque”. Are you trying to address Islamophobia?
A: Umm….no. Conservatives don’t use the word “Islamophobia”. We’re talking about *all* forms of systemic racism, religious intolerance, and discrimination of Muslims, Jews, Christians, Sikhs, Hindus and other religious communities”.
Q: Oh, so you’re worried that the recent attack against the Hutterites is breeding a climate of hate and fear, right?
A: Hutterites were murdered at worship…?
Q: No, neither were Christians, Jews, Sikhs, Hindus, Jehovah’s Witnesses, or Druids.
A: Thank god!
Q: The only members of a religious group who were slaughtered while at worship were Muslims. That’s why the Liberal motion condemns Islamophobia as well as “all forms of systemic racism and religious discrimination”. Why doesn’t the Conservative motion mention “Islamophobia”?
A: Because Kellie Leitch says “no religion should be enjoying any special privileges.”
Q: How does the reference to “Islamophobia” confer “special privileges” on Muslims? You’re aware that being able to walk into a store and not have your clothing ripped off or being able to pray in a mosque without being killed is not a “privilege,” it’s a Charter right.
A: (pause…wheels turning….) Maybe “special privileges” is putting it too strongly; let’s try this: Chris Alexander says the Liberal motion is “senseless and ill-worded”.
Q: I see. The Liberals want a study on “reducing or eliminating systemic racism and religious discrimination including Islamophobia”. The Conservatives want a study on reducing or eliminating “all types of discrimination in Canada”.
You do realize that reducing or eliminating *all* types of discrimination means reducing or eliminating sexism, ageism and homophobia (to name a few) in addition to Islamophobia, right?
A: Wow, did it really say that?
Q: Yes. Care to comment on Mr Alexander’s criticism that the Liberal motion is “senseless and ill-worded”?
Q: The Conservatives could have avoided tabling an “ill-worded” motion by replacing the reference to violence at the Quebec City mosque with the word “Islamophobia”. Why didn’t they do that?
A: Because “Islamophobia” is a confusing word, no one knows what it means.
Q: Really? Cast your minds back to October 2016. Remember Petition e-411? It said: “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.” The petition was supported in a unanimous (that means you) vote of the House. The word “Islamophobia” didn’t bother you then…
A: Yes but back then the CPC leadership race was just getting started. No one but Kelly Leitch understood that an opportunistic politician could ride the wave of Islamophobia in Canada as effectively as Donald Trump did in the US. Kellie opened that door and now most CPC leadership candidates are trampling over her to snag those bigoted voters before she brings them home.
Q: Aren’t the Conservatives standing on the side of the bigots by failing to condemn Islamophobia?
A: Sure they are, but as long as they cloak their bigotry with the same obfuscation we saw in the Black Lives Matter/All Lives Matter debate, they think they’ll get away with it. They’ll give lip service to fighting religious discrimination while at the same time currying favour with the white supremacists. It’s a win-win situation.
Q: How can it be a win-win if the Conservatives’ refusal to condemn Islamophobia results in the growth of Islamophobia?
A: No need to worry your pretty little head about that. Once the Conservatives are back in power, they’ll put Humpty Dumpty back together again.
Q: And if they can’t….?
A: Who cares, we won.
Q: *Heavy sigh*
*The words used in describing the motions are taken verbatim from the motions themselves. See http://www.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?Pub=hansard&Language=E&Mode=1&Parl=42&Ses=1&DocId=8769411&File=0