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London chapter and allies challenge M-103 opponents

Photo by Kevin Jones.

The Council of Canadians London chapter participated in a solidarity action yesterday against xenophobia, Islamophobia and racism.

The outreach for the rally had noted, “Once again we must stand against xenophobia in London, as the ‘Canadian Coalition of Concerned Citizens’ and ‘PEGIDA’ plan to demonstrate for ‘Canadian values’ and ‘free speech’. Please join us in making these racist ideas unwelcome here!”

The London chapter and allies also challenged this group on March 4 when they held their so-called ‘March For Freedom, Liberty & Justice’ protest.

At that time, Metro News reported, “The group claims to be fighting for freedom and justice and to stand against Sharia Law [and globalization], but critics say it’s simply an attempt to incite violence against Muslims.” PEGIDA, which stands for Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the West, is a German nationalist, anti-Islam, far-right political movement that has now spread to various countries.

The Canadian Coalition of Concerned Citizens says, “WE WILL NEVER ALLOW the brainwashed and violent extremist Islamic fanatics to take roots in our most beautiful and peaceful Canada; this loving and free Nation which has generously adopted us and who loves us as much as we do. Let’s tell our elected representatives that we only have one word for Motion 103, and this is, NO!!!!”

Liberal MP Iqra Khalid’s Motion 103 calls on the government to: 1) recognize the need to quell the increasing public climate of hate and fear, 2) request the heritage committee study how the government could develop a government-wide approach to reducing or eliminating systemic racism and religious discrimination, including Islamophobia, and 3) collect data to contextualize hate crime reports and to conduct needs assessments for impacted communities and present findings within 240 calendar days.

The Liberals, NDP and Green Party leader Elizabeth May have all stated they will vote in favour of the motion. Conservative leadership candidates Kellie Leitch and Maxime Bernier have stated they will vote against M-103. Kevin O’Leary, who is believed to be the front-runner to win the Conservative Party leadership, has said that if he had a seat in the House of Commons he would vote against M-103.

The motion is expected to be voted on in the House of Commons in April.