In the News: Fatima Houda-Pépin Denounces Draft Bill 59

Madame Fatima Houda-Pépin denounces Bill 59 which would criminalize so-called “hate speech.”

Presentation of Madame Fatima Houda-Pépin, on Draft Bill 59 (in French), at hearings of the Commission des institutions, 2015-09-14.

Madame Minister, what this draft bill does is to introduce into Quebec legislation the concept of islamophobia, […] it does so in order satisfy demands from Islamist groups, radical Islamist groups, who have for many years demanded that hatred of religions be criminalized.


In this draft bill there is confusion between freedom of expression about a religion, which is a matter of ideas — the bill would constitute a sort of idea-police — and hatred directed towards believers themselves.


We must return to the origin of the problem. Already back in 1948, when the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was in preparation, the problem was evident. Saudi Arabia opposed the Declaration for two reasons: because of the principle of gender equality, and because of the principle of freedom of religion, that is, the right to choose one’s religion, and blasphemy […]

(Translation: D.R.)

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