Ottawa: “I find it alarming and very telling of the Liberals who are using this issue to divide a country and further harm the very group they are professing to help”, stated Hon. Deepak Obhrai, MP, Calgary Forest Lawn
In an open letter to Canadians issued to the media on February 21, 2017, Hon. Obhrai wrote, “Canadians who are challenging this motion are not challenging the issues facing the Muslim community or that racism does not exist, what they are uncomfortable with in this motion is the favoring of one community over others. Even though the motion is written broadly to include other groups, it highlights the religion Islam (Islamophobia), therefore any debate or mention of this motion will focus on this religion at the exclusion of others.”
Obhrai went on to say that his own Muslim supporters have reached out to him to say that they fear if the Liberals continue to focus this motion on Islam, it will further jeopardize the way their community is treated and not been seen as equals.
Obhrai, the longest serving Conservative Member of Parliament draws upon his years of experience, and work on human rights to illustrate how and why the Liberals’ unwillingness to compromise and the rhetoric used will divide not just the Muslim community but Canadians as a whole.
Obhrai also points out that he supported the E-petition that asked the House of Commons to not let extremists define the religion of Islam as well as the Charter of Inclusiveness which treats all communities equally, brought forth by the Muslim communities themselves.
The challenge of the motion is not an issue of supporting/not supporting Muslim Canadians, but that of treating everyone as equals.