People Are Falsely Claiming That Canada Is About To Make It Illegal To Criticize Islam

    Online rumours claim that Justin Trudeau will pass blasphemy laws to create "a Sharia state."

    A motion before the Canadian Parliament that calls for a study of Islamophobia has set off a wave of online rumours and conspiracy theories that criticizing Islam will soon be illegal in Canada.

    Despite the straightforward language of the motion, M-103 has been painted by some columnists and websites as an attack on free speech.

    US outlets have also jumped on the story. The website of Pamela Geller, one of the most prominent anti-Islam activists in America, published a piece claiming the motion will "create a Sharia state."

    Canadian PM, Justin Trudeau, Smears all Canadians with Islamophobia Lie to Create a Sharia State…

    "In order to push this vote forward, [Justin] Trudeau has diabolically employed psychological warfare tactics created by the Muslim Brotherhood, and has smeared the entire Canadian population with the lie that they are Islamophobic," the blog post claimed, without any apparent evidence.

    Many other conservative and anti-Muslim websites have raised alarm over the nonbinding motion, all suggesting that free speech is under attack in Canada.

    Ontario MP Kellie Leitch, who is seeking the leadership of the Conservative Party, criticized M-103 on the grounds that it confers "special privileges" on one religion.

    The MP behind the motion says she's been surprised by some of the hyperbolic online reaction. "It is a little troubling," Khalid told BuzzFeed News. "This is not legislation. This is a motion."

    In introducing the motion, Khalid said that as a "young, brown, Muslim-Canadian woman" she had herself faced discrimination based on her faith.

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    "When I moved to Canada in the 1990s, a young girl trying to make this nation my home, some kids in school would yell as they pushed me, 'Go home, you Muslim' — but I was home," she said. "I am among thousands of Muslims who have been victimized because of hate and fear."

    The House of Commons will start debate on Khalid's motion on Feb. 15.


    M-103 will have its first hour of debate on Feb. 15 but no vote has yet been scheduled, as stated in an earlier version of this story.