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The New Arab

Canadian Muslim MPs missed vote on Israel boycott

The motion was passed with an overwhelming majority [AFP]

Date of publication: 25 February, 2016

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Most of Canada's Muslim MPs missed a parliamentary session on Monday to vote on a motion formally condemning the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel.

The Canadian parliament on Monday passed a motion formally condemning the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel, with almost all Muslim MPs missing the vote.

The motion that was introduced by the opposition Conservative Party called on the Canadian government to "condemn any and all attempts by Canadian organisations, groups or individuals to promote the BDS movement, both here at home and abroad."

The motion won the support of the ruling Liberal Party to which all but one of Canada's 11 Muslim MPs belong, and was passed by an overwhelming majority of 229-51.

Only three Muslim MP ended up voting on the motion, while the rest were amongst 43 Liberal MPs who were absent or abstained.

Liberal MP Maryam Monsef was forced to vote with the government as she holds the cabinet position of Minister of Democratic Institutions.

Meanwhile, the only Muslim MP for the Conservative Party, Ziad Aboultaif, voted in favour of the motion put forward by his party.

Nick Whalen, a Liberal MP who opposed the motion, said many parliamentarians deliberately abstained.

The motion says the BDS movement "promotes the demonisation and delegitimisation of the State of Israel."

Last week, the British government outlined new rules that ban publically funded bodies from instituting boycotts of Israeli goods.

"Locally imposed boycotts can roll back integration as well as hinder Britain's export trade and harm international relationships," the British Cabinet Office said in a statement.

The BDS movement describes itself as a "nonviolent campaign that supports proven methods of conscientious objection to encourage Israel to respect international law."

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