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Canada Why this London, Ont., MP voted against a 2017 motion to condemn Islamophobia

00:45  11 june  2021
00:45  11 june  2021 Source:   cbc.ca

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Karen Vecchio posing for the camera: In 2017, Karen Vecchio, the Conservative MP for Elgin-Middlesex-London, voted against M-103, a motion introduced by Ontario Liberal MP Iqra Khalid to condemn Islamophobia. She spoke to CBC London on Thursday about how she'd approach the issue today. © Karen Vecchio/Twitter In 2017, Karen Vecchio, the Conservative MP for Elgin-Middlesex-London, voted against M-103, a motion introduced by Ontario Liberal MP Iqra Khalid to condemn Islamophobia. She spoke to CBC London on Thursday about how she'd approach the issue today.

In the wake of the fatal attack Sunday on a Muslim family in London, Ont., politicians of every stripe have come out to condemn hate and violence in this province and across Canada.

Salman Afzaal, 46, his wife Madiha Salman, 44, their daughter Yumna Afzaal, 15, and Salman's mother, Talat Afzaal, 74, were killed. The youngest member of the family, nine-year-old Fayez, survived and remains in hospital.

The latest news developments on the fatal attack in London, Ont.

  The latest news developments on the fatal attack in London, Ont. The latest news on the vehicle attack in London, Ont., that killed four members of a Muslim family and seriously injured a nine-year-old boy on Sunday (all times eastern): --- 9 p.m. Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole says reports that a vehicle attack that killed four people in London, Ont., was motivated by the fact the victims were Muslim is "horrific and heartbreaking." In a series of social media posts, O'Toole expressed his deepest---

Following Tuesday night's vigil, Karen Vecchio, the Conservative MP for Elgin-Middlesex-London, is among those who took to social media, and said, "Last night I stood amongst 10,000 Canadians who came together to grieve, commemorate and address the issues of Islamophobia."

But in 2017, after six people were killed in an attack on a Quebec City mosque, Vecchio voted against M-103, a motion first introduced in 2016, to condemn Islamophobia.

In the recent attack, police say they believe it was premeditated and motivated by anti-Muslim hate. Community groups and politicians have also spoken out about Islamophobia.

Vecchio spoke to Rebecca Zandbergen of CBC's London Morning on Thursday morning about why and how she may have done things differently:

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  Kingston’s Muslim community says that Islamophobia is deeply rooted in Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau addresses the deaths of four people in London on Sunday in the House of Commons.

Standing among over 10,000 people who were there to commemorate the family and address Islamophobia: it was a very powerful evening. I think since the tragedy on Sunday, this has been a time in which many people throughout London and the region are reflecting because this is just a family, a family like I have. The bottom line is no family is free until all families are free. No family should ever worry about walking down the street and be targeted because of their religion and how they look.

I recognize the importance to the community and the importance to push this forward to understand racism and hate. So M-103 today would look very different in my eyes. But back at that time when this was put forward in 2016, there was also another motion in the House that I had supported. It was much broader. I have spoken to Iqra Khalid [the Ontario Liberal MP who sponsored the motion] and I have respect for her and worked with her on the women's caucus for some time. We had put forward a motion that was a bit different and much broader. It expanded to different religions ... that included Sikh, Jewish, Islam. It expanded everything.

'Dark day:' Police say five pedestrians run down in London, Ont., targeted as Muslims

  'Dark day:' Police say five pedestrians run down in London, Ont., targeted as Muslims LONDON, Ont. — A Muslim family of five out for an evening early summer stroll were mowed down by a driver in an "act of mass murder," the mayor of London, Ont., said on Monday. The deadly attack on Sunday evening, denounced as terrorism by one Muslim group, left four of them dead and a boy with serious injuries, police said. "Words fail on a day as dark as this but still words matter," Mayor Ed Holder said. "This was an act of mass murder perpetrated against Muslims, against Londoners, and rooted in unspeakable hatred." A 20-year-old man from London was arrested in the parking lot of a mall seven kilometres away.

No. When I voted, I personally thought we need to include other communities, including the Sikhs and Hindus.

You're absolutely right. I recognize that, yes, I could have voted for both, and would I today? Absolutely. But what I'm saying is at that time when I was looking at those bills, I wanted to expand it.

Yes, absolutely. I absolutely do.

Once again, it's the messaging.We're looking at our economy right now and so I want to ensure when we're talking about it, we're looking at the security of Canadian families and security includes the economy, it includes safety, includes it all. So I would not take what he has indicated there in our motto, to have anything to do with Islamophobia. It is not the intention whatsoever and people can try to take any phrase like that and move it. It is absolutely genuine and wanting to ensure that we have a secure Canada for all Canadians. And that includes our new immigrants to Canada, and to our brothers and sisters who are of Muslim faith.

I understand where you're coming from, but we're referring to the economy. I see where you're going on this. And I think every single time you have a slogan, we have to be very cautious because there's going to be lots of individuals that are going to take that and that they're going to twist it. Let's not kid ourselves. When we have political foes, they like to take anything and twist it.

Lots of phone calls. Lots of people have tried to put things on my Facebook. I find that we're at a time of great hate. And so I've been trying to reach out to all of those people individually. I don't believe the social media platforms are the best way to have discussions. I've been on the phone with many individuals in our own community, including going to the vigil just last night here in St. Thomas with the St. Thomas Islamic Centre. I think we have to do lots of great work in our smaller communities and that's the kind of work I'll continue to do.

Hijab-wearing B.C. women say they fear being targeted by white supremacists after deadly London truck attack .
A brutal act of hate that left four members of a London, Ont., Muslim family dead and a young boy orphaned is causing some members of the community in B.C. to fear for their lives.It is also causing many of them to fear for their lives.

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