M-103 read more

Avalanche of hate

A Muslim politician who wants to condemn Islamophobia in Canada has been swamped by vile messages

These are the vile things people said to a Muslim politician who wants to condemn Islamophobia in Canada

Liberal MP Iqra Khalid says she has been bombarded with thousands of Islamophobic messages, sexist comments, and death threats since tabling an anti-Islamophobia motion in the House of Commons.

Khalid, the MP for Mississauga-Erin Mills, said she’s received over 50,000 emails in response to M-103. That nonbinding motion calls on all Members of Parliament to condemn Islamophobia, collect data to contextualize hate crimes, and establish a committee to determine how best to combat xenophobia and religious discrimination of all stripes.

If passed, M-103 would not change Canada’s hate speech laws. But dissent against the motion has festered online, where far-right blogs have called it an attack on free speech and a sign of encroaching Sharia Law.

“Kill her and be done with it. I agree, she is here to kill us. She is sick, and needs to be deported.”

And Khalid has borne the brunt of that backlash. She read some of the threats she’s received in the House of Commons on Thursday.

“Kill her and be done with it,” one person wrote to the first time MP, who is herself Muslim. “I agree, she is here to kill us. She is sick, and needs to be deported.”

One person wrote that “we will burn down your mosques, draper head Muslim.” Another said that there’s no need to debate Khalid — “simply remind her that she is merely a woman, and she needs to sit the ‘blank’ down and shut the ‘blank’ up.”

Others called for her deportation.

“Why did Canadians let her in? Ship her back,” said another.

“Simply remind her that she is merely a woman, and she needs to sit the ‘blank’ down and shut the ‘blank’ up.”

“Why don’t you get out of my country? You’re a disgusting piece of trash and you are definitely not wanted here by the majority of actual Canadians.”

Khalid also quoted the transcript of a YouTube video that read “I’m not going to help them shoot you, I’m going to be there to film you on the ground crying.”

“Yeah, I’ll be there writing my story with a big fat smile on my face. Ha ha ha. The Member got shot by a Canadian patriot,” Khalid said, reading from the video’s transcript.

Khalid said she’s received supportive messages alongside all the hate, but she isn’t taking the death threats lightly.

“Why don’t you get out of my country? You’re a disgusting piece of trash and you are definitely not wanted here by the majority of actual Canadians.”

She has asked her staff to lock the office behind her and fears for her staff’s safety. She said that she’s asked her staff not to answer every phone call so they don’t “hear the threats, insults, and unbelievable amount of hate shouted at them and myself.”

Hate crimes against Muslim and Jewish communities are on the rise, and M-103 has taken on new urgency in the context of last month’s terror attack in Quebec City. That attack saw a 27-year-old French Canadian allegedly gun down six Muslim men praying at a Muslim cultural centre.

M-103 would also mandate that government conduct needs assessments to determine which communities need the most attention.

“‘I’m not going to help them shoot you, I’m going to be there to film you on the ground crying.”

Heritage Minister Melanie Joly told reporters on Wednesday that the Liberal party would support the motion. The NDP is also on board. But the Conservative Party is divided. While some Conservative MPs support the motion, others have shouted it down as an attack on freedom of speech that gives Islam special privileges.

So, Conservative MP David Anderson has tabled a competing motion, that instead removes the mention of Islamophobia and refers to Canada’s six most-practiced faiths.

Joly called Anderson’s motion a “watered down” version of M-103, adding that it was meant to address divisions within the Conservative party instead of the real problem — Islamophobia.

“We will burn down your mosques, draper head Muslim.”

Four Conservative leadership hopefuls — Kellie Leitch, Brad Trost, Chris Alexander and Pierre Lemieux — joined Rebel Media, the controversial right-wing website run by Ezra Levant, at a rally in North York earlier this week to rail against the motion. Leitch, who is promising to screen immigrants for “Canadian values” if elected, praised the rally for fighting back against “this politically correct nonsense.”  

One Vice News reporter saw a member of the audience give what looked like a Nazi salute, something organizers denied. Photographic evidence of the salute later emerged. 

Cover: Patrick Doyle/The Canadian Press

M-F 7:30PM HBO