M-103 protests: Violence breaks out as supporters, critics of motion condemning Islamophobia clash

— There were some tense moments in the of Montreal as supporters and opponents of a House of Commons  Islamophobia clashed.

Two protests were held in Montreal, one consisting of supporters of a motion before Parliament that condemns Islamophobia, the other by critics of the motion.

THE PRESS/Graham HughesPolice hold back protesters during a demonstration M-103 in Montreal, , March 4, 2017.

Despite police efforts to keep the two sides apart, some scuffles occurred between the two sides as tempers flared.

A similar protest took place in front of Toronto city hall, where some counter-protesters were escorted away by Toronto police. Photos show police tackling one protester to the ground.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes Two groups of protesters a M-103 in Montreal, Saturday, March 4, 2017.
THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham HughesTwo groups of protestors clash during a demonstration regarding motion M-103 in Montreal, Saturday, March 4, 2017.

A Liberal MP, Mississauga, Ont.’s Iqra , brought forward M-103 in the House of Commons last December. It was debated last month and is expected to be put to a vote in early April.  In the House of Commons debate, she read into the record dozens of  racist and sexually derogatory emails laced with expletives. 

The federal Conservatives oppose M-103 because of the reference to “Islamophobia”and so MP David Anderson put forward a motion that was identical in almost every aspect to Khalid’s motion except that it sought to have MPs “condemn all forms of systemic racism, religious intolerance, and discrimination of Muslims, Jews, Christians, Sikhs, Hindus, and other religious communities.

A vote was held on Anderson’s motion and, even though all Conservative, NDP, and BQ MPs voted in favour, it was defeated because Khalid, Joly, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the majority Liberal caucus voted against it.

With files from David Akin, National Post.

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