Action Alert: Urge MPs to request open review & debate of proposed anti-terrorism bill
The National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM) is calling on all Canadians to urge their elected officials to fully review and debate proposed security laws under Bill C-51.
Legal experts, civil liberties organizations, and several newspaper editorials have raised serious concerns and reservations about the proposed legislation.
The International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group, of which the NCCM is a member, is urging the government “to allow for serious debate and thorough consideration of the bill and calls for extended and wide-ranging consultations in public parliamentary committee hearings.”
The NCCM is further calling on Canadians to request that elected officials consult with mainstream Canadian Muslim organizations to better understand the challenges currently facing communities and to learn about the work already underway across the country to address radicalization towards extremist violence.
TAKE ACTION NOW:
1. Send an email to the Prime Minister and your Member of Parliament using our automatic form to the right to call for a full review and debate of Bill C-51, as well as extending an invitation to your elected representative to consult with local and national Canadian Muslim leaders and representatives.
2. Follow-up with a phone call to your MP’s office and to the PMO to express your concerns. To find your MP’s e-mail and phone number using your postal code check here.
3. Share this Action Alert widely through email & social media networks.
4. Support NCCM and help us keep working defending the rights of all Canadians. Remember, the NCCM is zakat-eligible and is also a non-profit organization that depends on the support of Canadians like you. Communities need strong, professional institutions. Make a financial contribution today.
Important points to consider including in your emails and phone conversations:
- Parliament should be provided with ample time to review this legislation, as well as to hear from experts in the areas of law, security, and civil liberties in order to ensure that its intent and purpose are fulfilled while respecting the rule of law and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
- Previous public inquiries into the actions of security agencies have raised the need for robust oversight, review and redress mechanisms. This bill fails to take those recommendations into consideration.
- The federal government has failed to demonstrate why current legislation isn’t sufficient to tackle terrorist threats and why proposed further encroachments on civil liberties and privacy are necessary. We also know, from past experience, that without oversight security agencies have abused the powers ceded to them.
- Elected officials should be mindful of the dangers of conflating Islam and Muslims with terrorism and the impact their public words can have on reinforcing negative stereotypes of Canadian Muslim communities and their institutions. This was demonstrated most recently when Prime Minister Stephen Harper irresponsibly suggested that the promotion of terrorism occurs in Canadian mosques without providing any evidence to substantiate his claims.
- Local and national Canadian Muslim leaders urge elected officials to consult with them to learn more about ongoing efforts to educate youth and counter radicalization.
- Community-based programs are already underway and offer one of the best strategies to combat radicalization. Elected officials should recognize and support these initiatives.