Mr. Speaker, I will be sharing my time with the excellent member for Aurora—Oak Ridges—Richmond Hill. I look forward to hearing her thoughts on this motion.
I want to start by acknowledging the hon. member for Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles and my colleague from Calgary Nose Hill for their excellent work on this motion, and for closely monitoring this issue that is important to Canadians.
This motion is an emotional one. It reminds us of just how insignificant people can feel in the world as victims of terrorism, caught up in a conflict they did not create, terrorized by groups using others to achieve their goals.
We fortunately do not have to live these experiences in Canada and Quebec, but this is the reality elsewhere in the world. It is important to remember this and tell our constituents about the horrors perpetrated around the world and the role Canada can play in such situations.
I will read out the motion again, because it says a lot:
That the House support the sentiments expressed by Nadia Murad, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, who in her book entitled The Last Girl: My Story of Captivity, and My Fight Against the Islamic State, stated: “I dream about one day bringing all the militants to justice, not just the leaders like Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi but all the guards and slave owners, every man who pulled a trigger and pushed my brothers’ bodies into their mass grave, every fighter who tried to brainwash young boys into hating their mothers for being Yazidi, every Iraqi who welcomed the terrorists into their cities and helped them, thinking to themselves, Finally we can be rid of those nonbelievers. They should all be put on trial before the entire world, like the Nazi leaders after World War II, and not given the chance to hide.”; and call on the government to: (a) refrain from repeating the past mistakes of paying terrorists with taxpayers’ dollars or trying to reintegrate returning terrorists back into Canadian society; and (b) table within 45 days after the adoption of this motion a plan to immediately bring to justice anyone who has fought as an ISIS terrorist or participated in any terrorist activity, including those who are in Canada or have Canadian citizenship.
Many Quebeckers watching us right now know little to nothing about the tragic story of Nadia Murad, a story that has had little coverage in the media, especially French-language media. I believe this story needs to be repeated and told in such a way that it goes across borders. No woman or any other person should ever have to experience the repulsive acts that were committed against Nadia Murad.
Nadia Murad is a 25-year old woman who lived in a poor family in northern Iraq. She was part of a religious minority, the Yazidis—Yazidism is an ancestral monotheistic religion—who first fell victim to the Iraqi regime under Saddam Hussein.
To share a bit of what happened to Nadia Murad, I will cite an excerpt from an article in National Geographic that summarizes an interview that Ms. Murad gave in September 2017:
In August 2014, ISIS jihadists attacked Sinjar, the largest Yazidi town in Iraq, which was defended by Kurdish Peshmerga fighters. When the Peshmerga withdrew to the mountains, the Yazidis were at the mercy of jihadists who told them they would have to convert to Islam to save their lives. During 12 days, a mullah tried in vain to convince them to convert; most Yazidis refused.
That is when the horror took place: the village inhabitants were summoned, and women, girls, and children were separated from men. Brought to the local school, Murad watched helpless as six of her brothers were shot dead or decapitated.
Murad was abducted, taken to ISIS headquarters in Mosul, and sexually enslaved. For months, she was beaten and raped several times daily by at least one guard. Her last master wanted to sell her on the women's market and left to buy her an abaya, a traditional hijab. She took advantage of his absence to escape and took refuge in a neighbouring house. There, an Iraqi Sunni family agreed to provide her with Islamic identification papers in the name of one of the women in their family and helped smuggle her to the Iraqi Kurdistan border where she joined her brother.
I do not have the words to express how this story makes me feel.
The worst part is that there are many more stories like Nadia's. Hundreds of thousands of Yazidi women have suffered this same kind of awful treatment during the conflicts provoked by the Islamic terrorists of Daesh.
Rereading these stories made me very emotional. I felt angry and sad as I described these barbaric acts and injustices. No woman or human being deserves to be treated so cruelly. I think that people are touched by this story, like I am, and they want our country to make real changes in these countries to combat these terrorists and put an end to their brutal regime.
As a country, we must take immediate action to give justice to the Yazidi and other ethnic or religious minorities that are being persecuted by ISIS, including women, like Nadia Murad, whose bodies are abused by these terrorists who use rape and sexual slavery as weapons of war.
The Liberals say that they will support this motion, but I want to tell the Canadians watching us that they should be cautious. This government talks a good talk, but the motion is clear. We want a real plan, within a reasonable period of time, in less than 45 days. It is all well and good to support a motion, but without any meaningful action, this will all be pointless and no one will be helped. The Liberals have one chance. Since they have decided to vote with us on this motion, they must now take action and live up to the expectations.
Considering the Liberal government's track record since it took office, we have reason to be concerned. The Liberal government literally abandoned the fight against terrorists with its lax approach to dealing with ISIS. The Liberals decided to stop the strikes against ISIS and chose to live in a fantasy world, believing that all of these situations would magically take care of themselves.
The Liberal government's record of failure continues at the expense of Canadians and of those living in other parts of the world. There are Canadians who have left the country to join these terrorists and commit barbaric acts against women. Today, we are debating a motion that calls on the government to table a real plan to bring to justice the Canadians who acted as ISIS terrorists.
Let's imagine for a second that, at the end of the Second World War, we decided to stop going after Nazi criminals because the war was over. Imagine if we had not hunted them down the world over, leaving no stone unturned to find them and get the evidence to bring them to justice. Had that been the case, some of those Nazi criminals would still be among us. They would be citizens of various countries around the world, and they might have done more of the terrible things they did during the Second World War.
This situation is much like that. Some Canadians participated in atrocities. They went to those places to take part in genocide and barbaric acts. Whether they were just there to demonstrate support for those committing the acts, whether they participated in the acts themselves, or whether they witnessed acts that they did not report, those Canadians are guilty of not taking action to defend people who needed help and support. They did not act like Canadians; they acted like barbarians. Unfortunately, that is how they must be treated should they decide to return to Canada one day. They must dealt with to the full extent of the law.
The migrant crisis offers up daily proof that border security is not one of the government's priorities. We want the government to use the most effective tools available to make sure that, if these people come back, they are monitored very closely, required to abide by strict rules, and prosecuted to the full extent of the law.
Canada should immediately set major reforms in motion and take concrete action to ensure justice for women like Nadia Murad, who, tragically, was raped and used as a weapon of war. As Canadians and as parliamentarians, we cannot stand for that. I expect the government to take action.