Thank you very much, Madam Chair.
I'll start with a comment to Dr. Bennett, and then I'll ask Ms. Hassan a question.
Dr. Bennett, you mentioned that some people have deeply held religious beliefs that they can't park at the front door. I would submit to you that virtually every Canadian has deeply held beliefs. Some of them are people who are atheists. People who characterize themselves as agnostic actually have some kind of a deeply rooted, underlying set of beliefs.
I see you nodding, so I suspect you agree.
The point I'm really getting at here, and this is an editorial on my part, is that I think we all have these beliefs of some sort. Some of us are Christian, others Muslim, others atheist, and so on. The problem is when government starts to privilege one set of beliefs over another and says that your beliefs must be left at the door if you have this set and not that set. I'm not talking about the advocacy of violence, which some people purport is part of some deeply held set of beliefs; I'm talking about perfectly legal points of view that, if you have them, make you into some kind of deplorable.
That's just my editorial. I'm sorry; I should give you the right of reply, but I really want to go to Ms. Hassan.
People have been saying, as you heard earlier, that M-103 does not have legislative power. It's a motion, and that's true. However, it calls upon us to write a report to the government, advising them—we're supposed to study this—on how they can develop a whole-of-government approach to eliminating or reducing systemic racism and religious discrimination, including Islamophobia. That implies that we may well be looking at some form of legislation and at recommending some form of legislation.
The nature of that wording makes it very hard for us as a committee to say that we're setting aside the word “Islamophobia” and instead focusing on what I would have preferred us to focus on, which is an approach to reducing or eliminating all forms of violence, systemic racism, religious intolerance, and discrimination towards Muslims—and, coincidentally, towards Hindus, Christians, Jews, atheists, and others. Given the fact that we're almost certainly going to be pushed into a situation in which the majority on this committee will insist that we include the word “Islamophobia”, would it be satisfactory to define “Islamophobia” as I've just done—that is to say, violence or systemic racism, religious intolerance, or discrimination towards Muslims? Would that be a way of squaring the circle, as it were?