In an op-ed on CBC’s website, Amira Elghawaby, the communications director at the National Council of Canadian Muslims provided a definition to the term Islamophobia arguing that there is no need to modify Motion 103 that calls on the government to condemn Islamophobia and all forms of systemic racism and religious discrimination and requests that the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage undertake a study of these issues and propose solutions.
NCCM (formerly CAIR-CAN), the leading advocacy group for Canadian Muslims that maintains close relationship with Justin Trudeau Liberal government, runs a nation-wide campaign to promote the passing of Motion 103 by the House of Commons while explaining that its activity for defending “fundamental rights and religious freedom” is “Zakat-eligible [Islamic charity] as declared by the Canadian Council of Imams (CCI) and various Islamic scholars, under the category of “fi-sabillilah” [in the path of Allah].”
In her article entitled “Anti-Islamophobia motion offers a chance to take a stand against hatred. Why quibble over semantics?”, Amira Elghawaby wrote the following:
As to the question of why mention “Islamophobia” in the motion at all: first off, the term is widely accepted and recognized – both in academic and public discourse – as referring to the irrational fear and hatred of Muslims, which can lead to discrimination and violence.
Samer Majzoub, the President of the advocacy group Canadian Muslim Forum who initiated the anti-Islamophobia petition (e-411) that lead to Motion 103, said in interview to the newspaper Sada AlMashrek (Issue 431, November 1, 2016, p.2) the following (originally in Arabic):
Does it [Motion 103] mean curbing the freedom of speech?
We have been asked this question many times. Of course there is no relation [between the two]. This pretext is being used by some of those who espouse Islamophobia. We say clearly that harassing Canadian Muslims because of their clothes, faiths, customs and traditions, and harassing their leaders and institutions, constitutes Islamophobia. Regarding those who want to criticize [Islam, Muslims] and express their views, there is freedom to all and we do not oppose it at all.”
Lt. Col. (ret.) Jonathan D. Halevi is co-founder and editor of CIJnews and a senior researcher of the Middle East and radical Islam at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. He is also a co-founder of the Orient Research Group Ltd.