Mr. Speaker, I rise today to call attention to a grave danger contained in the government's anti-terrorism bill. The bill defines terrorist activity in such a way that criminal prosecution would begin to focus on the underlying beliefs of terrorists. The bill singles out crimes committed for political, religious, or ideological purposes.
A crime is a crime is a crime. Our justice system must judge actions, not religions or ideologies. An act of violence does not become any more or less an act of violence because it was committed for religious or ideological purposes or for any purpose whatsoever. Our justice system does not prosecute motive, specifically in order to preserve Canadians' rights of religious observation, their right to belong to political parties and their right to freely believe what they believe.
The law should be hard on those who commit terrorist acts, but when we begin to prosecute personal thought we erode the very freedoms we are seeking to protect. Thought crime is a dangerous path that we ought not to follow.